The California marijuana industry is extremely active these days with all sorts of interesting people pursuing the goal of finding a successful niche. Among these entrepreneurs are numerous cannabis consultants on-hand to help with a variety of tasks related to getting operators and investors ready to apply for a state marijuana license. As an operator, investor, or anyone else looking for assistance in traveling from start to finish, selecting a cannabis consultant might seem almost as hard as doing the job yourself… And then you ask yourself, why don’t I just do it on my own?
The most important reason to hire someone else is that they can get from point A to point B better than you can. Having confidence in one’s abilities is a great thing, but no one has all the answers and learning how to solve any problem could take a lot of time on your own. We have provided you with five key things to look for when hiring a cannabis consultant
#1 – Does your cannabis consultant have a vision for how they will help you?
Any cannabis consultant you talk to will tell you he or she is good at what they do. The opposite is simply not an option or they would be out of business. The first important element about whether they are right for you is if they have a clear vision for achieving your goal, whether you are setting up a marijuana dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing, or distribution business? If so, ask them what that goal looks like? Will there be any pitfalls once that goal is achieved? How would they recommend starting down the path toward that goal? What sort of guarantees or likely outcomes do they provide? They need to be able to identify and walk you down a clear path, or your time and money will likely be wasted on them.
#2 – Does their skill set match your specific need?
The second step in finding a cannabis consultant that fits your needs is determining why you need one and what they will do? What is the goal you are trying to achieve and with what part do you want or need help? If you haven’t performed any research, it may be worth it to learn at least a little about what you want someone you hire to do for you. Otherwise, how will you know they did a good job, or even finished? Ask your potential consultant to give you a detailed, written description of the work, including:
- What they will do for you;
- How they will do it;
- How long it will take them; and
- How long it will cost
#3 – Can they get things done?
Many consultants are good at talking about their business and how successful they have been. But when all is said and done, there is usually more said than done. We have provided the following tips to determine whether a consultant can get things done for you:
Tip #1 Before meeting the consultant, review their website and other marketing materials so you know who you are dealing with. Pay attention to the information they provide and whether it is relevant and specific to the work you need them to perform. While generic descriptions and graphics may be a sign that they are busy, it could also mean they are disorganized, or cannot get to the finish line.
Tip #2 When first meeting, you can learn a lot by whether they are on time, how organized they are, and how they handle your meeting. Have they taken the time to learn about you? Are they prepared and speak specifically about how they will handle your project needs, or do they only answer questions with generalities?
Tip #3 Once they provide you documentation about what they will do for you, it is important to read and understand this material. A lot of consultants will give you canned proposals that are not specific to your project, or they may be disorganized, with no clear path to the goal you have already discussed.
Tip #4 If you hire a cannabis consultant, pay attention to their performance, timeline, and how much they are billing you. Each can be easily measured by comparing the proposal or work plan to how the work is done using spreadsheet.
#4 – Do their expectations meet yours?
There are three primary avenues for how things get done. They are either done fast, cheap, or correctly. Each can vary in degree, but it is impossible meet all three goals to their fullest potential. The consultant you hire can also be evaluated using this method. If you are in no hurry, you may want to place a higher priority on a cheaper price while still getting high quality service. Likewise, if you are in a rush, paying a higher price could be the difference in whether you meet your deadlines. If a consultant quotes you a lower price than other consultants performing the same tasks, they may be more efficient than the others, but they may also produce low quality work or take significantly longer, if they finish at all. In contrast, if their price is high, they may perform better than the others, or they may be inflating their value. The summary question to ask is, can you find a consultant that is cheap, get’s the job done right, and does so quickly? If not, it makes sense to prioritize two of these three goals.
#5 – Do they have experience helping others with your issue?
Although the legal cannabis industry is new, most consultants who know what they are doing have a range of experiences from within, as well as from similar businesses in other industries. Ask the marijuana consultant about past projects and success stories. Were they related to cannabis? If not, how do they relate to your needs? If they suggest a particular skill, piece of equipment, or technology, learn how they have used it in the past, how well it worked, and why they want to use it with your project. Do they have photos, graphics, reports, or example text from other projects? Do they have testimonials from other clients to share?
BeGreenLegal has provided business planning, and land use and environmental permitting services to clients within and outside the cannabis industry for two plus decades and also have experience operating a marijuana cultivation and distribution business.
If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you set up, expand, or comply with local and state regulations, contact us for a half hour consultation.