Scaling a Commercial Cannabis Grow Operation – Green Market Report

Editors Note: This is a guest post.

We know what you’re thinking: isn’t an article about “cannabis scalability” a bit premature? After all, we’re talking about an industry that’s still federally illegal. How could businesses plan for the future when marijuana laws are in constant flux? 

True, scalability is trickier in the cannabis sector, but that doesn’t mean business owners shouldn’t consider it. Cannabis may be a new industry, but it’s moving at a rapid pace. Competition in recreationally legal states is already intense, and you’d better believe established companies have a game plan for new markets. 

If you’re thinking about expanding your cannabis business, please don’t wait for governments to give you the “green light.” Now is the best time to plan your future operations so you could claim your territory ahead of the competition.

Does Your Company Have The Capital To Scale? 

Before you begin drawing up plans for scaling your business, please ensure you have plenty of capital on standby. While this may seem like an obvious tip, you’d be surprised how many cannapreneurs rush into new markets due to the “fear of missing out” (aka FOMO). While the temptation to expand quickly is understandable, you won’t be very successful if you’re still struggling with profitability. 

Although there’s a lot of excitement surrounding legal marijuana, please remember this substance has been banned for most of the 20th century. Customers in new markets often need time to warm up to weed—which means you need capital on hand to wait out these unprofitable months. 

Before expanding, be sure to take the time you need to establish a brand name in your chosen area. Once you learn what business model works for you, it’s far easier to replicate that success in a new location.

How Could You Optimize Your Grow Space? 

As your customer base grows, you’ll need to consider how to increase your average cannabis yield without adversely affecting your cultivation expenses. Of course, building more space is the obvious solution, but that’s not feasible for most businesses. Instead of expanding your grow operations, you should research how to maximize your current space’s potential. 

For instance, many cultivators are reporting great success with vertical farming. Hey, since you can’t expand your grow rooms horizontally, why not stack your plants on top of each other? Typically, people who use these vertical farms double or triple their yield without a significant expenditure increase. 

Another strategy worth looking into is using tissue cultures. Initially created for orchids, tissue cultures involve taking a small sample from a mother plant and incubating it in a sterile lab setting. The main advantage of using tissue cultures is they produce significantly more plants than clones. Tissue cultures also require less energy and water than maintaining mother clippings.

On the downside, it’ll cost you a pretty penny to set-up a tissue culture lab, especially if you’re transitioning from clones. Unfortunately, since cannabis tissue cultures are so new, you might also have difficulty finding competent lab technicians. However, it’s worthwhile running a cost-benefit analysis to discover whether tissue cultures could help you expand.

Buying Cannabis Seeds in Bulk: Quantity vs Quality

While we’re mentioning alternative grow techniques, it’s important to remind you to keep a close eye on your product’s quality. Unfortunately, as cannabis businesses start focusing on quantity, they often run into quality control issues.

One of the most common mistakes is cutting corners with inferior starting genetics or cheap bulk seeds. This is probably the worst decision as it’s going to impact the final product’s quality, and won’t save you much.

At the end of the day, it’s your high-quality cannabis that keeps customers coming back. Keep this in mind as you continue your scalability operations.

Don’t Skimp On Seed-To-Sale Software!

If you want to scale your cannabis business, it’s essential to invest in cannabis-specific seed-to-sale software. Having an excellent seed-to-sale program will save you a ton of time and aggravation, especially as you expand into new markets with different cannabis laws. 

Not only will professional seed-to-sale software keep you compliant, it will also make your business operations more efficient. High-quality systems often have analytics that could reduce labor costs and add predictability to your pot production.

Seed-to-sale software could help you make sense of critical data like average harvesting times, yields, and employee performance. Looking through the info on your seed-to-sale software could help you spot trouble areas and explore automation options. 

If you haven’t already, be sure to look through all of the seed-to-sale offerings on the current cannabis market. Take your time researching systems that support multi-state operations and have all the automated features you desire. 

Take Advantage Of MJ M&A

Let’s be honest: some people get into the marijuana industry with little to no business acumen. While these cannapreneurs have great ambition, they often lack the business know-how to make their business a success. This scenario could present an opportunity for business-savvy cannabis companies.

Since there are many inexperienced people in the cannabis industry, we’ve seen many viable grow operations go under in recent years. If you’re looking to expand, you need to be ready to step in and make attractively-priced acquisitions that fit your business model. 

In addition to having capital on hand for these mergers, experts recommend staying abreast of the latest canna-news in your target areas. Be sure to build your LinkedIn and social media profiles, and attend as many cannabis events as possible. Not only will these strategies increase your brand awareness, they could open your eyes to potential expansion opportunities.

Need Help With Cannabis Scaling? Seek Out Professional Guidance! 

Whether you’re just starting your cannabis business or seeking to expand, you probably have many legal and financial questions. As a final tip, please consider seeking professional guidance in your area. Nowadays, it’s easy to find a cannabis cultivation expert that could help address your company’s needs. Paying for these services could offer you invaluable insights as you attempt to reach your sky-high goals.

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