Cannabis dispensaries can make millions by selling the substance in legal states. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible for all but a small fraction of people to afford to open such a company. The operating and licensing costs could run into the millions in the first year alone.
Unless you have such a massive amount of capital available, you need to find an alternative way to profit from cannabis. We outline five ways to do so legally in this article, apart from finding a job in the industry.
1 – Become a Cannabis Influencer
An influencer is someone with knowledge on a topic who becomes well-known on social media. They post about their area of expertise on different platforms and gather a huge number of followers. Next, they nudge their followers towards specific products and services. The brands in question pay the influencer for their services.
The goal is to differentiate yourself from others in the niche to generate a lot of followers.
The goal is to differentiate yourself from others in the niche to generate a lot of followers. This means creating original content that captivates your audience. What can you offer that others don’t? The most successful influencers have a unique style that helps them remain relevant.
A few years ago, marijuana influencers were easily exceeding 100,000 followers on platforms like Instagram. These days, however, there is a crackdown on mentions of cannabis on social media. Therefore, it is trickier to become a marijuana influencer today. An alternative is to focus on the CBD industry.
2 – Transform Your Home into a Bud & Breakfast
Even in states with recreationally legal cannabis, it remains illegal to use it publicly. Visitors to states such as Colorado and Oregon often find that hotels and B&Bs are not receptive to marijuana use.
The Bud & Breakfast has solved this particular issue. It is an Airbnb for cannabis enthusiasts but is only a relatively new phenomenon. Budandbreakfast.com was only created a few years ago. It resembles Airbnb in many ways but caters specifically to cannabis users.
The idea is to rent out your house on a short-term basis to interested parties. The available homes and rooms vary from $50 per night to over $1,000 in luxurious locations. If you open a Bud & Breakfast, you will need to vet interested parties yourself. It is also essential to have a list of rules that guests must follow. Also, be prepared to use lots of air freshener to remove the smell of cannabis after a guest checks out!
In some cases, homeowners only rent out a room. Others give the freedom of their house or apartment to guests. Some people go the extra mile and provide free marijuana to their guests.
3 – Open a Cannabis Food Truck
This is one of the more recent opportunities on the list. The idea makes a lot of sense. Most people are aware of the link between cannabis and the munchies. If you consume certain marijuana strains, you are likely to experience an increase in appetite.
There is stiff competition from regular food trucks. However, you have the advantage of being creative and catering to a specific audience. Most food trucks have an unimaginative menu. In general, you can expect to see burgers and fries, hotdogs, Mexican, Chinese, or Middle Eastern food.
If you have a cannabis food truck, you can let your imagination run wild. In theory, you open your business right across the road from a large dispensary. Offer a host of foods that are favorites of marijuana users, and you should earn a considerable profit.
However, you will need to meet a series of strict food hygiene requirements. There is also a lot of red tape that can stop you from beginning your business. Consequently, there are still relatively few cannabis food trucks in existence. The first one didn’t open in Vancouver until September 2018, for example.
Also, you can forget about selling cannabis-infused products from your truck. That process requires an entirely different and even stricter set of regulations.
4 – Design & Sell a Cannabis-Friendly Subscription Box
This is potentially the most saturated of the niches mentioned on the list. However, you can still make money if you excel in the marketing stakes. A subscription box is akin to a hamper and is filled with marijuana-related paraphernalia. It can include items such as pipes, bongs, rolling papers, and more.
A subscription box is akin to a hamper and is filled with marijuana-related paraphernalia.
The issue here is that you are up against some big players. Tommy Chong uses the Daily High Club, for example. An estimated 250,000 people use their products. They provide an impressive array of goods, including high-quality glass pieces. Members benefit from timely monthly shipments.
One way to make your way in this niche is to take an existing non-marijuana subscription box and put a unique twist on it. This also involves finding a target audience more likely to use you than a company like the Daily High Club.
5 – Invest in the Marijuana Industry
This is the best option for those who want to earn but aren’t feeling creative. The potential growth of the cannabis market is the subject of fierce debate. According to Grand View Research, the industry’s global value could exceed $73 billion by 2027. Meanwhile, Fortune Business Insights believe the market could come close to $100 billion by 2026.
Regardless of the correct figure, there’s little doubt that marijuana is big business. As a result, it is tempting to invest heavily in cannabis companies. However, this was the attitude of many novice investors in 2018. Recreational sales began in California in that year, a fact that significantly increased market size. Canada also fully legalized marijuana in October 2018.
Some investors gambled heavily and lost as the stocks of almost every cannabis company plummeted. For example, one Tilray share was worth $146 in October 2018. By March 2020, its value had collapsed to just $3.65.
Therefore, it is essential to invest wisely and not fall for the hype. A handful of cannabis companies will unquestionably prove shrewd investments. However, finding the right ones in a sea of options is the tricky part.
It is wise to adopt the time-honored approach to investing, which is to look for potentially undervalued stocks. Here are a few things to consider in a company before parting with your money:
- Earnings growth
- Price-to-Earnings ratio
- Debt-to-Equity ratio
- The company’s relative strength within the industry
Final Thoughts on How to Legally Make Money from Cannabis Without Selling It
Opening a dispensary is potentially one of the most lucrative endeavors any entrepreneur can embark upon. Unfortunately, it remains the preserve of the wealthy or of people capable of raising massive investment. The enormous operating costs, and the price of licenses, mean a dispensary business is beyond most people’s reach.
Fortunately, there are several other ways to get involved and make money from marijuana legally. If you know how to market yourself, becoming an influencer makes a lot of sense. You can open up your home to marijuana users or sell them delicious junk food from a truck. Another option is to create a unique subscription box. Failing that, you can always invest in the industry and hope its growth translates into profit.