The community: A cannabis operator’s inheritance

by August 22, 2016

Location, location, location. No matter what business you’re in location is the key to success. But as a cannabis business owner, you must think beyond your four walls and consider the new responsibility you have inherited: your community.

You are a part of the community you do business in, and the presence of your business is crucial to the community’s overall strength and economic growth. Providing jobs and paying taxes is the first step, but no matter if you’re operating in a traditional shopping area or neighborhood that has been impacted by the war on drugs, you must engage and just like this plant, you must nurture your community. Start making an impact with these recommendations.

Listen and listen well
Listening is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make a profound impact on your community. By listening you get to know the community members and develop an understanding of the real struggles and needs. Before opening your doors, introduce yourself and meet the community leaders. It will make a difference. 

Assess your surroundings
Finding out how you can make an impact can be as easy as taking a look around. Is there a lack of resources? Has the neighborhood been neglected? These are all opportunities you can act on now. Start a community garden. Organize a team cleanup day. Your community understands how lucrative your cannabis business is, so give back! This especially reigns true for neighborhoods that have been deeply impacted by the war on drugs. For example, Harborside Health Center has a number of community outreach programs. From blood drives to food  and coat donations they work closely with community leaders to address the real needs.

Know AND understand your community demographic
This information will not only give insight into running your business, but what/how to market in the area. If you operate in an area with a large senior living community, consider holding special deals during days/times they tend to shop. Is your clientele made up of cannabis geeks or consumers interested in learning more? Hold a meet and greet with your growers or a local extraction operator. Going the extra mile to cater to your patients/customers shows them that you’ve done your homework and that you truly care about their needs and interests.

Be a good neighbor As you know, the stigma still remains and a cannabis operation is not always welcome news at first. That’s why our last recommendation comes from our marijuana consultants. Familiarize yourself and practice the good neighbor policy by meeting and establishing relationships with the business owners, law enforcement, and government officials in the area. Something will go wrong. It’s small business. Having these connections will come in handy. In addition to these relationships, the good neighbor policy also means showing the community how you plan to mitigate potential problems like odor, customer/patient traffic, security concerns and loitering at the beginning. So the next time you’re scouting a location for your operation, remember the impact you make is not limited to the medicine you provide patients/customers. You’ve inherited something beyond those four walls and it’s your responsibility to make a positive impact.

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