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What is a "Social Equity" Cannabis License?

Cannabis Business Social Equity

Cities and states around the country have adopted various processes and criteria for issuing the (often limited and very valuable) cannabis licenses.  In our course about the license process, Belinda and I talk about several types of processes including 1) Merit Based, 2) Lottery and 3) Social Equity.  The concept of Social Equity is new to many people, so I'm going to explain here about how it might work.

The concept of Social Equity in the Cannabis industry is an effort to make up for damages…

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The impact of COVID 19 on the legal cannabis industry

Covid cannabis business

COVID 19 has presented the U.S. and the rest of the world with a monumental challenge that most of us could never have expected.  The impacts of the pandemic are devastating and far-reaching and it would be hard to imagine any person, business, or community that hasn't been deeply impacted by the pandemic and surrounding events.  

It should first be noted that even before the outbreak began, the Cannabis industry was facing very difficult capital markets, with limited liquidity, tumbling stock …

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How to Open a Dispensary (Part 3)

How to open a dispensary in Michigan


I still pinch myself sometimes to make sure I’m not dreaming when I realize I opened a dispensary in California in 2019. It was a dream come true, so yeah, I do feel a huge sense of accomplishment. And, I really believe that if I can do it, you can too.


It just takes research, and some very strategic thinking and planning.


I’ve put all my best tips in the online class I developed with my business partner, Sarah. She has also opened a lot of dispensaries in California. 


I’d say that …

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How to Open a Dispensary (Part 2)

I’m writing today about how to open a dispensary, which I accomplished in 2019, in California. 


I was one of a handful of people who got through my City’s process for a conditional use permit in San Diego, and now I teach a course with my business partner, Sarah on how to do it.


One of the hardest things to do when you want to open a dispensary, is to convince the landlord to lease you the building. We go into more depth in our course with more tips and techniques you can use. But keep readi…

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How to Open a Dispensary (Part 1)

I’ve written a lot about my experience of opening a cannabis dispensary in California. Check out this post on finding the real estate, and this one on xxx


But, today I want to give you some tips on how to approach the landlord. 


My biggest secrets, tips, and insider information are found in our online course that Sarah and I teach, called Learn How To Get A Cannabis Permit, and if you’re really serious about understanding what it takes to open a dispensary in your state, you should sign up…

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Questions To Ask Before You Get Into a Marijuana Business

Questions to ask when starting a marijuana business


I’m often asked if I would advise anyone to get into the marijuana business. The question is hard to answer because it’s not an easy decision for anyone contemplating it. The risks are high. The rewards, IF SUCCESSFUL, can be very high. 


The main issue that initially challenges us all in the legal cannabis world, is HOW, and then inevitably, WHY. 


So before you go down that path, ask yourself some basic questions and jot down the answers as you go. What you want to end up with is a con…

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Cannabis Legalization: Spotlight on Illinois

On June 25, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B Pritzger signed a bill into law that would legalize recreational cannabis starting January 1, 2020. This made Illinois the 11th US state to allow recreational ("adult use") marijuana. 

illinois cannabis rollout business license

The initial rollout did not provide for any immediate new retail cannabis licenses. Rather, the existing medical marijuana dispensaries were permitted to start selling recreational cannabis as of the first of January.  However, later in 2020, Illinois will grant addition…

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Cannabis Legalization: Spotlight on Michigan

On December 1, 2019 Michigan became the 10th US state to allow recreational ("adult use") marijuana.  The expansion into adult use followed years of regulated medical cannabis, which was first allowed in 2008 and expanded in 2016. The most recent licensing process is overseen and directed by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).  Information about the regulatory agency and other useful information can be found at this link.  The state is also working on legislation that would result in…

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Marijuana license: your questions answered!


We ran a quick query this morning through Google Search to see how many people were asking questions around marijuana licenses ... and what those questions were…. 


It turns out, a lot of you are asking questions, and they are really good! 


So we decided to post the top 25 or so, and answer as many as possible.

Ready? Here goes...


  1. Can you sell a marijuana license?

This is such a great question, because it tells us you are thinking ahead. Good job! 


The answer depends on your city’s …

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Starting a Business in the Stigmatized Industry of Cannabis

cannabis business stigma - unsplash

A lot of people consider pursuing the cannabis industry, but are concerned about the personal, professional, or financial ramifications of working in an industry that is federally illegal.  Many people ask how a type-A, rule-following type like me got comfortable pursuing a career in a "sin industry".  Many ask for advice on how to address the ever present stigma.  There will be raised eyebrows at elementary school events, family dinners, and when you run into the supermarket after a site visit …

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