Competition in the cannabis industry is fierce, and dedicating time, resources and money toward a new cultivation business or facility does not guarantee an applicant will win a license. It is more important than ever that companies looking to launch or expand in new markets set themselves apart. Reliable capital and a well-rounded team of experts that includes people with backgrounds in commercial cultivation (ideally cannabis), engineering, architecture and the law are key. Yet building a cannabis business goes beyond financial and human capital and even beyond the facility itself.

Each state, and even each municipality, has its own labyrinth of regulations that companies must navigate and follow closely, and officials that review license applications are looking for more than sound business acumen—they often want a commitment to their communities and to know that the company will provide an educational, philanthropic role, in addition to bringing jobs and increased tax revenues.

With eight markets on the cusp of legalization votes this November, the cannabis industry landscape could look very different in 2021. With that comes opportunity, but also challenges. This guide provides an overview of the many steps essential to starting or expanding a cultivation business. In the following pages, you’ll find tips on: what to consider when evaluating these nascent markets; how to create a winning license application; how to write standard operating procedures to get your team up and running as quickly as possible and ensure consistency and long-term success; how to decide whether to build new or retrofit an existing facility, whether you’re growing in greenhouses or indoors; and key considerations for operating your cultivation facility.

While this special report offers a strong foundation for your new or expanding venture, many other factors are essential to your success. Look for more best practices on everything from extraction to lighting, nutrients to drying and curing cannabis, building a winning team, and much more in our six years of archives on CannabisBusinessTimes.com.

Read the Cultivation Startup & Expansion Guide