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Cannabis Consulting Firms: Who Works With Them, When, and Why

Updated: Mar 27

A cannabis consulting firm is a professional advisory service that offers guidance and support to entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. These firms assist in navigating the complexities of starting and growing a cannabis business, providing valuable expertise and insight into the legal and regulatory landscape. Cannabis consulting firms are niched specifically for the industry and come with many different core competencies.

Who Works With Cannabis Consulting Firms

Cannabis consulting firms cater to a wide range of clients - from new entrepreneurs and expanding businesses to well-established operational companies. Despite the costs involved, the specialized industry knowledge and strategic support offered by these firms make them an asset for anyone looking to succeed in the cannabis industry. Consulting firms often come with a significant cost so many businesses, especially those on a budget, can be apprehensive about whether or not working with a consulting firm is right for them. Let's dive in to what types of clients work with consulting firms and why.

New to Cannabis Business

Cannabis consulting firms play a crucial role in helping entrepreneurs establish and expand their businesses by offering specialized knowledge, strategic planning, and compliance support. Entrepreneurs entering the cannabis market face unique challenges due to the evolving legal framework and industry-specific regulations. Working with a cannabis consulting firm can significantly increase the chances of success by ensuring compliance with laws and regulations while developing effective business strategies.

By leveraging the experience and industry-specific knowledge of a cannabis consulting firm, entrepreneurs can effectively navigate the complexities of the cannabis industry, ultimately increasing their likelihood of success.

Expanding Cannabis Businesses

Operational businesses that are looking to grow their footprint in the cannabis market also benefit from working with cannabis consulting firms. Expansion requires strategic planning and understanding of different market dynamics which these firms provide. Whether it’s identifying new markets for entry, planning product line expansions or scaling production capabilities, consulting firms offer valuable insights backed by data-driven research.

Moreover, expanding businesses also need to stay on top of regulatory changes as they enter new markets or scale their operations. Consulting firms help these businesses remain compliant while growing, reducing the risk of legal issues that could potentially hamper their expansion plans.

Operational Cannabis Businesses Looking for Support

Even well-established businesses in the cannabis industry turn to consulting firms for support. This could be for various reasons such as improving operational efficiencies, staying updated with regulatory changes, staff training, brand development, or even crisis management.

With their deep understanding of the cannabis industry, consultants can identify areas where operational efficiencies can be improved leading to cost savings. Many operational cannabis businesses can be resistant to working with outside consultants but the truth is that operating a cannabis business maxxes out the energy and bandwidth of most employees and executives. Working with a consulting firm allows a company to hire on extended bandwidth for special projects and specific outcomes without having to overextend existing team members or hire on new W-2 employees.

a dispensary ina new shopping center with a large pink sign that reads BUKA with a small cursive font saying Cannabis Dispensary directly underneath
BUKA Cannabis Dispensary Concept Developed by Cann Strategy

Benefits of Working with a Cannabis Consulting Firm

Starting and growing a cannabis business can be a challenging endeavor, but working with a reputable cannabis consulting firm can provide numerous benefits and support throughout the entire process. Here are the key advantages of partnering with a cannabis consulting firm:

1. Comprehensive Guidance and Support

Cannabis consulting firms offer comprehensive support throughout the business development process, including market research, competitive analysis, and strategic planning. This guidance is invaluable in helping make informed decisions and develop effective strategies for sustainable growth.

2. Specialized Knowledge and Experience in the Cannabis Industry

Consultants bring valuable insights and understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities in the cannabis market. Their specialized knowledge enables businesses to navigate complex regulatory landscapes, make informed decisions, and stay ahead of industry trends. Cannabis consulting firms of any kind understand the mechanics of the cannabis industry as it relates to their specialty and a cannabis company's special needs.

3. Access to a Wide Network of Industry Professionals

Reputable consulting firms have established connections with key players in the cannabis space. These networks can open doors for partnerships, investments, and distribution channels, providing businesses with valuable opportunities for growth and expansion.

Cannabis consultants play a crucial role in ensuring that businesses operate within legal boundaries and maintain high standards of governance. Their expertise in compliance allows businesses to avoid costly mistakes and operate with confidence within the regulatory framework.

5. Niche Focus

One of the standout benefits of working with a cannabis consulting firm lies in their niche focus. The cannabis industry is highly specialized, with various sectors requiring different expertise—from license applications and operations to HR, PR, and Marketing.

Cannabis consulting firms can offer tailored services to meet these unique requirements. This means they can provide precise solutions for your specific needs at any given time, making them a valuable partner in your business journey.

For instance, if you're struggling with license applications, a consulting firm specializing in this area can guide you through the process efficiently. They understand the regulatory and operational intricacies involved and have experience in dealing with similar situations, thus increasing your chances of success.

Even more specifically if you are starting a cultivation or processing company for the first time consulting firms can help. you plan the facility, select equipment, establish a cultivation methodology and even develop produyct recipes so you don't have to make the many many mistakes that many new businesses in the cannabis space make when starting these types of businesses.

In short, no matter what challenges you're facing or what area of operation you need help with, there's likely a cannabis consulting firm that specializes in it. And by choosing such a firm, you're ensuring that you get expert advice and strategies designed specifically for that area of need. This niche focus not only increases the effectiveness of the solution but also makes it more cost-effective as it eliminates trial-and-error approaches and delivers results faster.

Key Services Offered by Cannabis Consulting Firms

Cannabis consulting firms like Cann Strategy offer a range of services to assist entrepreneurs and existing cannabis business operators in navigating the complex and evolving landscape of the industry. These services are designed to provide comprehensive support and guidance across various aspects of business development, compliance, and operational efficiency.

1. Business Strategy and Planning

Cannabis consultants provide invaluable assistance in developing a robust business plan tailored to the unique needs of the cannabis industry. This includes outlining the company's vision, identifying the target market, assessing competitive advantages, and crafting detailed financial projections. With their expertise, consultants help businesses establish a clear roadmap for success, taking into account the specific challenges and opportunities within the cannabis market.

By leveraging the knowledge and experience of industry-specific consultants, businesses can gain a strategic edge in positioning themselves for growth and sustainability. Whether it's adapting to regulatory changes or capitalizing on emerging market trends, effective business strategy and planning set the foundation for long-term success in the cannabis industry.

Working with a cannabis consulting firm like Cann Strategy can significantly enhance an entrepreneur's chances of successfully building a business that can compete in some of the most cut throat cannabis markets in the country.

2. Financial Consulting and Fundraising

Cannabis consulting firms, such as Cann Strategy, offer a wide range of services to assist entrepreneurs in the financial aspects of starting and growing a cannabis business. While the specific services may vary depending on the firm's expertise and focus area, below are some common areas where they provide valuable support:

  1. Financial Modeling: Cannabis consultants help entrepreneurs develop comprehensive financial models that project revenue, expenses, and profitability. These models take into account various factors such as market demand, pricing strategies, production costs, and regulatory compliance expenses. By creating accurate financial models, consultants enable entrepreneurs to make informed decisions about their business strategies and potential funding needs.

  2. Budgeting and Forecasting: Consultants assist in developing realistic budgets that align with the business plan and financial projections. They help entrepreneurs identify key cost drivers and allocate resources effectively to maximize profitability. Additionally, consultants provide guidance on how to create financial forecasts that can be used for decision-making and securing funding.

  3. Investment Proposal: One of the critical aspects of fundraising for a cannabis business is presenting a compelling investment proposal to potential investors or lenders. Cannabis consulting firms have expertise in crafting investment proposals that highlight the unique value proposition of the business, market potential, competitive advantage, and projected returns on investment. These proposals are tailored to attract funding from individuals or institutions interested in the cannabis industry.

  4. Capital Structure and Fundraising Strategy: Consultants work closely with entrepreneurs to determine the optimal capital structure for their cannabis businesses. They assist in determining how much equity or debt financing is required and develop a fundraising strategy accordingly. This includes identifying potential sources of capital such as private investors, venture capital firms, or loans from financial institutions.

  5. Dispensary Financial Management: For entrepreneurs operating dispensaries, financial management is crucial for success. Cannabis consultants provide guidance on inventory management systems, cash flow management procedures, profit margin analysis, and expense control strategies. These services help dispensaries maintain healthy financial performance and comply with regulatory requirements.

By leveraging the expertise of a cannabis consulting firm, entrepreneurs can access specialized financial consulting services that are tailored to the unique needs and challenges of the cannabis industry. Whether it's creating accurate financial models, developing investment proposals, or implementing effective financial management practices, consultants play a vital role in helping entrepreneurs navigate the complex financial landscape of the cannabis business.

3. HR Solutions for the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis businesses face unique HR challenges due to the nature of the industry and the legal landscape. A dispensary consulting firm can provide valuable guidance and support in navigating these challenges and implementing effective HR solutions. While the specific services may vary depending on the firm's expertise and focus area, below are some common areas where they provide valuable support:

  1. Employee Safety: Ensuring the safety of employees is crucial in the cannabis industry, which involves handling and processing a controlled substance. Cannabis consultants can help businesses develop safety protocols, implement proper training programs, and ensure compliance with occupational health and safety regulations. They can also assist in creating standard operating procedures for handling cannabis products safely.

  2. Payroll Compliance: The cannabis industry is subject to complex regulations, including strict payroll compliance requirements. Consultants can help businesses navigate these regulations and ensure accurate payroll processing, including proper classification of employees, tax withholdings, and reporting.

  3. Training Programs: Effective training programs are essential for ensuring compliance, maintaining product quality, and enhancing customer satisfaction. Cannabis consultants can assist in developing comprehensive training programs that cover topics such as product knowledge, customer service, regulatory compliance, and security protocols.

  4. Recruitment and Hiring: Finding qualified personnel in the cannabis industry can be challenging due to its unique requirements and restrictions. Cannabis consultants can help businesses with recruitment strategies, job descriptions, applicant screening, and interviewing techniques to attract and select top talent.

  5. HR Policies and Procedures: Developing robust HR policies and procedures is vital for maintaining a positive work environment and minimizing legal risks. Consultants can assist in creating employee handbooks, policies on drug testing and workplace conduct, conflict resolution procedures, and performance management systems tailored to the cannabis industry.

4. Operational Consulting

Operational consulting is a key service offered by cannabis consulting firms such as Cann Strategy, aimed at ensuring smooth and efficient operations within the company. It covers a broad range of aspects including operational planning, process optimization, and new site launches.

Firstly, operational consultants work with cannabis businesses to set up their operations correctly from the get-go. This involves designing and implementing processes that are efficient, compliant with regulatory requirements, and suited to the specific needs of the business.

Secondly, if a company plans to launch new locations, operational consultants can provide valuable guidance based on their extensive industry knowledge. They assist in selecting suitable sites, setting up the necessary infrastructure, and navigating local regulations - all vital components of a successful launch.

Finally, for existing operations, consultants can offer an objective review and identify areas for improvement. By optimizing operational flow and boosting productivity, businesses can increase their revenue significantly while maintaining high standards of quality and compliance.

5. Compliance Services

Compliance services are another key offering from cannabis consulting firms. Given the complex regulatory landscape of the cannabis industry, compliance is paramount not just to avoid legal repercussions but also to maintain a positive reputation.

Consulting firms offer both on-site reviews of operations and thorough checks of documentation and records. On-site reviews allow consultants to observe operations firsthand, identify any potential compliance issues, and suggest corrective measures. This could include anything from security protocols to waste management practices.

Reviewing documents and records is equally important as it helps ensure that businesses have robust record-keeping systems in place - a requirement under most cannabis regulations.

In addition to these reviews, consultants also provide ongoing support to help companies stay updated with evolving regulations and pass state inspections or audits with flying colors. This kind of proactive compliance management is crucial in minimizing risks such as fines or license suspensions/revocations and avoiding negative media attention which could harm the company's reputation.

By leveraging the expertise of a cannabis consulting firm in HR solutions, businesses can ensure compliance with regulations while creating a safe work environment for employees. These services enable cannabis businesses to focus on their core operations while minimizing HR-related risks and challenges.

How to Choose the Right Cannabis Consulting Firm for Your Business Needs

When choosing a cannabis consulting firm to help you navigate the complexities of the industry, it's important to think about a few key things. The right consulting firm can make a big difference in how successful and how much your cannabis business grows. Here's what you should look for when picking a cannabis consulting firm:

Reputation and Track Record of Success

  • Find a consulting firm that has a good reputation and has been successful in the cannabis industry before. Look into their past clients and projects to see how much they know and how well they do their job.

Range of Services Offered

  • Think about all the different services that the consulting firm offers. If they have a wide range of services like business strategy, financial advice, following rules, and HR solutions, it shows that they are good at lots of different things.

Understanding of Local and National Rules and Market Changes

  • It's really important that the consulting firm knows all about the rules and how the market is changing where you want to work. This will help them follow all the laws and find new opportunities for your cannabis business.

Customized Approach vs. One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

  • Look for a consulting firm that makes plans just for you instead of using plans that they made for other people in the past. When the plans are made just for you, they can deal with your specific problems and goals better.

  • Ask how hands on the consultants will be with you. How frequently are the available for calls and emails and what is the specific scope of the project. Many times a firm will have tiers of service and with each higher level tier comes more attention and more customization.

Do You Like Them?

  • Working with a consulting firm often requires frequent interaction. Make sure you work with consulting firms where you like the person/people you'll be interacting with. Projects with people who don't get along have a hard time succeeding.

Price Point

  • Consulting firms vary widely on price point. Make sure you're comfortable with what you're paying for what you're getting. Just because a firm is expensive doesn't mean they're "too expensive" it simply means that they don't fit in your specific budget. If you're a company working within a limited budget then find a firm that does fit in your budget or can tailor a service scope to fit within the budget you're looking for (if it's limited).

By thinking about these things, you can find out which cannabis consulting firms are best for your business needs and goals. Then you can start working together to make your cannabis business even better.

Case Studies: Success Stories from Entrepreneurs Who Worked with Cannabis Consultants

Case Study 1: Streamlining License Application Process

One success story involves a cannabis entrepreneur who faced numerous challenges when applying for the required licenses to start their business. The entrepreneur sought the expertise of a cannabis consulting firm, Cann Strategy, to navigate the complex and ever-changing regulatory landscape.

  • The consultants provided in-depth knowledge of local regulations and compliance requirements, streamlining the application process and ensuring all necessary permits were obtained promptly.

  • Through their guidance, the entrepreneur was able to avoid potential pitfalls and delays, ultimately receiving the essential licenses without unnecessary complications.

Case Study 2: Strategic Business Planning for Market Entry

In another case, a budding cannabis business sought assistance from a consulting firm to develop a comprehensive business strategy for entering a new competitive market. Cann Strategy stepped in to provide tailored guidance and support throughout the planning and application phase and won the business a dispensary license in a new market, establishing their second location and making them a multi state operator for the first time. This company is now moving on with Cann Strategy to establish more locations and further expand their brand.

  • With their specialized industry knowledge, the consultants assisted in conducting thorough market research and competitive analysis to identify key opportunities and potential challenges.

  • Through collaborative strategic planning sessions, the business was able to formulate a solid market entry strategy, leveraging the expertise of the consulting firm to gain a competitive edge.

  • The firm successfully executed the application process.

  • The firm made the professional introductions necessary and negotiated with key parties along with the client to get them the best outcomes.

Case Study 3: Overcoming Financial Hurdles Through Expert Guidance

A third case study highlights how a start up cannabis business with a limited budget struggled with financial modeling and fundraising efforts. Recognizing the need for professional financial consulting, the business turned to a reputable cannabis consulting firm for assistance.

  • The consultants at Cann Strategy offered invaluable support in developing simple financial and business models along with an attractive presentation deck that the startup could then use to start seeking investment.

  • Their expertise in financial consulting not only helped in securing necessary funding but also provided the business with a clear roadmap for sustainable financial management and growth.

These real-life examples demonstrate how entrepreneurs have successfully overcome challenges and achieved growth by partnering with cannabis consulting firms like Cann Strategy. By leveraging their expertise, businesses have been able to navigate complex regulatory landscapes, develop sound strategic plans, and secure essential funding, ultimately positioning themselves for long-term success in the dynamic cannabis industry.

The Future of the Cannabis Consulting Industry

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and evolve, so does the role of cannabis consulting firms. These firms are constantly adapting to new trends and emerging opportunities in order to provide the best possible guidance and support to entrepreneurs in the cannabis space. Here are some insights into where the industry is headed and how consultants are keeping up with the changes:

1. International Expansion

With the legalization of cannabis gaining momentum in various countries around the world, there is a growing demand for expertise in navigating international markets. Cannabis consulting firms are expanding their services to help businesses explore opportunities beyond their domestic borders. They provide valuable insights into different regulatory frameworks, cultural nuances, and market dynamics that can impact international expansion strategies.

2. Rise of Cannabis Tech Startups

The intersection of cannabis and technology is creating exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurs. From seed-to-sale tracking systems to online marketplaces, cannabis tech startups are revolutionizing the industry. Cannabis consulting firms are staying ahead of these developments by partnering with or acquiring tech companies to enhance their service offerings. By leveraging technology, consultants can provide cutting-edge solutions for clients, such as data analytics, compliance software, and digital marketing strategies.

3. Diversification of Services

As the cannabis industry matures, entrepreneurs require more specialized guidance in specific areas of their businesses. This has led cannabis consulting firms to diversify their service offerings beyond traditional business strategy and licensing support. For example, consultants now offer expertise in areas such as product development, branding and marketing, operational efficiency, and sustainability practices. By expanding their range of services, consultants can cater to the unique needs and challenges faced by different types of cannabis businesses.

4. Continued Regulatory Navigation

The legal and regulatory landscape surrounding cannabis is complex and constantly changing. Cannabis consulting firms play a crucial role in helping businesses stay compliant with evolving regulations at all levels - local, state/provincial, and federal. With new legislation being introduced regularly, consultants are staying up-to-date on the latest developments and providing clients with the guidance needed to navigate these changes effectively.

5. Industry Consolidation

As the cannabis industry matures, we can expect to see increased consolidation among cannabis consulting firms. Larger consulting firms may acquire smaller ones to expand their reach and service offerings, while some firms may choose to specialize in specific niches within the cannabis industry. This consolidation will likely result in a more competitive landscape and drive further innovation as firms strive to differentiate themselves.

The future of the cannabis consulting industry is bright and full of opportunities. Consultants are adapting to new trends such as international expansion and the rise of cannabis tech startups. They are diversifying their services, staying on top of changing regulations, and exploring partnerships to enhance their expertise. By working with a reputable cannabis consulting firm, entrepreneurs can leverage these industry insights and expertise to navigate the complexities of the cannabis market and increase their chances of success.


To increase your chances of success in the competitive cannabis market, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a trusted cannabis consulting firm such as Cann Strategy. With their extensive experience and wide range of services, Cann Strategy can provide valuable insights and support in establishing and expanding your cannabis dispensary. It is important to remember that navigating the intricacies of the cannabis industry can be challenging, but with the guidance of knowledgeable professionals, you can confidently pursue growth while ensuring compliance with regulations.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) About Cannabis Consulting Firms

What is a cannabis consulting firm?

A cannabis consulting firm is a professional service provider that offers guidance and support to entrepreneurs in starting and growing their cannabis businesses. They assist in navigating the complex legal and regulatory landscape and provide valuable insights to increase the chances of success.

What are the benefits of working with a cannabis consulting firm?

Working with a cannabis consulting firm provides specialized knowledge and experience in the cannabis industry, access to a wide network of industry professionals, tailored solutions for legal and regulatory compliance, and assistance in license application and facility design.

What key services are offered by cannabis consulting firms?

Cannabis consulting firms offer services such as business strategy and planning, license applications, operational set up or improvement, financial consulting and fundraising, as well as technology, security, cultivation and production.

How can a cannabis consulting firm help with business strategy and planning?

They can help with developing a solid business plan that outlines the company's vision, target market, competitive advantage, and financial projections. When a company is ready to expand, a cannabis consulting firm can be useful in helping to develop the expansion plan by evaluating the market, available expansion opportunities, and designing a game plan to execute on the company's goals.

What type of financial consulting and fundraising support can be expected from a cannabis consulting firm?

Cannabis consulting firms offer assistance in financial modeling, budgeting, and creating an investment proposal to attract funding from investors or lenders.

How do cannabis consulting firms provide Training solutions for the cannabis industry?

Training consulting is key in the retail sector of the cannabis space to support the staff's ability not only to understand complicated regulations but also to ensure they understand sales skills to increase basket size and other important knowledge such as security risks and emergency response protocol.

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