Although cannabis is still a federally prohibited substance, a legal industry continues to bloom. Currently in the United States, 33 states have legalized marijuana in some form while 11 states in total have legalized recreational marijuana.
According to MarijuanaSEO.com, there are 9,397 active licenses for marijuana businesses as of 2017 and legal sales are predicted to hit more than $22 billion by 2022. While those figures are promising, the startup cost for a regulated cannabis dispensary is approximately $775,000! Not to mention countless rules and regulations.
If you’re like most people and don’t have a million dollars to risk on a developing a start-up, don’t worry! There are still plenty of ways to own your own business in the cannabis industry. The best way is by developing what is known as an ancillary cannabis business. Basically taking the skillset you already have, and applying it to the cannabis industry!
Ancillary cannabis business support the cannabis industry without needing to be licensed, held to strict regulations or actually selling legal marijuana. Businesses like graphic design, legal representation, cannabis media, and accountants.
Here is a list of successful entrepreneurs who prove that you can take your current skill-set and apply it to the legal cannabis industry:
Jessie Gill is cannabis nurse who teaches patients and consumers about cannabis. Gill is the founder of Marijuana Mommy®. an online patient resource that has reached hundreds of thousands of visitors. She utilizes science to combat the stigma against cannabis users.
Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey is the author of The Art of Weed Butter and an interdisciplinary cannabis entrepreneur legally working with weed since 2005.She currently resides in Mexico City exploring cannabis and the diasporic connections between Africa and Latin America. She is the co-founder and creative director of Xula CBD, the co-host of Broccoli Talk podcast, and the founder of a new benefit pop-up dinner, Cenas sin fronteras.
Visine Queen is an artist, event creator, and graphic designer with a highly curated Instagram page dedicated to cannabis culture. Visine Queen is recognized as one of the first brand’s creating artwork for urban women who smoke, we have now grown into hosting curated cannabis events specifically for us, by us.
Rachel Gillette is among the first attorneys in the nation to dedicate her practice to the cannabis industry. An advocate as well as an attorney, Gillette was the Executive Director of the Colorado state chapter of NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. She works with startups and entrepreneurs, investors, and ancillary industry businesses and and is committed to helping change laws – and perceptions – relating to cannabis. Gillette has worked to ensure state licensed and legal marijuana businesses are fairly taxed and regulated.
Co-Founded by entrepreneurs Tonya Rapley, Mary Pryor, and Charlese Antoinette, Cannaclusive was created to facilitate fair representation of minority cannabis consumers. The Cannaclusive collective works hard to make it easier for brands to communicate with diverse audiences and ensure that minority consumers are not an afterthought by creating databases of businesses ran by people of color, as well as their portfolio of cannabis stock photos with diverse subjects.
A former “Big 4″ accounting professional, Naomi has over 12 years of experience in both public accounting and industry accounting. Granger co-founded DOPE CFO in order to bring proper accounting and bookkeeping practices to cannabusinesses. DOPE CFO provides educational tools for accountants and financial professionals to enter into the cannabis industry for untapped professional potential.
Rehmatullah is an investor and advisor to numerous cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs, including the advisory board of The Initiative, and is dedicated to developing female and minority leadership in the industry. She is Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, Partner of Big Tent Ventures, and member of the board of directors for Akerna Corp. Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management and B.S. in Finance from The Ohio State University.
A coast-to-coast creative, Doreen Sullivan transforms stunning one-of-a-kind vases into smoking devices perfect for the sophisticated smoker. Her ceramic bong and pipe company My Bud Vase ™ is becoming the high-class glass solution for smoking nationwide.
Carly Fisher is a James Beard nominated journalist, an award-winning brand storyteller, creative director, multi-disciplinary artist and occasional talking head. Committed to destigmatization efforts, education and evolving research within the fast-growing cannabis industry, she routinely contributes stories to GQ, High Times and Miss Grass.
Tyler Rae who performs under the name Tyler Therapy, is the Canna-Queen of Tik Tok and creates videos and song covers within the Los Angeles Cannabis Community. She is a Canna Mom OG with a two year old son who has worked closely with Tommy Chong and has made theme songs for brands such as Snap a Bowl.
Kassandra Frederique is Managing Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns. Frederique previously ran the day-to-day operations of the statewide campaign to end New York’s racially biased marijuana arrests, which cut the number of NYC marijuana arrests in half. In addition to working for policy solutions to reduce the harms associated with drug use, Frederique works with communities throughout the state to address and resolve the collateral consequences of the War on Drugs