Cannabis Consulting | 2024 Guide

CNBS' exclusive guide to cannabis consultancy; including the different types of cannabis consulting agencies and experts, how to choose the right one for your business, and few recommendations of well known industry leaders.
Author: John White

Cannabis consulting firms are helping thousands of entrepreneurs capitalize on a booming industry. In 2013, between 128 and 232 million people used marijuana. That’s a staggering 2.6-4.9% of the global population. Traction is only building as several countries have legalized cannabis for recreational and medical use. In the United States alone, this industry is worth billions and counting.

These statistics paint a picture of why consultants are offering their services. In 2019, there’s been $52 billion in sales partnered with a 76% increase in jobs. Legal changes, demand, and a unique product are driving the need for education and hands-on assistance for entrepreneurs everywhere.

What are Cannabis Consulting Services?

Cannabis consulting services help new entrepreneurs and seasoned veterans grow their empires. Save time and iron out wrinkles by hiring experts to diagnose issues, create business plans, or provide education on the cannabis industry. Whether you’re looking for advice on “growing pains” or setting up your first dispensary, consultants offer an experienced take on growing and selling cannabis legally.

Read on for our list of the top consulting firms serving the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industries at the end of this article.

Types of Cannabis Consulting Firms

Marijuana consulting firms specialize in specific areas to fit the needs of their customers. Most entrepreneurs getting into the industry have experience but need supplementary help from an outside source.

There are many types of cannabis consulting groups that each serve a purpose. Some focus on the business aspect of cannabis, giving you informational snapshots on marketing, overhead costs, labor, and cost of goods. While others focus on your grow operation for maximum yield, diversity, and product quality. Additionally, you can hire somebody to advise on the legality of your business. With so many choices it’s important to weigh your needs and research each firm when hiring a consultant.

Medical Cannabis Consulting

An educational consultant helps you diagnose a patient’s ailments by recommending the proper medicine. Medical consultants suggest cannabis use plans, help with strain selection, and provide dosage tracking.

Hundreds of different strains are often used to treat thousands of different conditions. Some patients could just have a headache, while others are suffering from cancer. It’s important to know which strains give patients the desired results and relief.

Additionally, consultants give insight and premium education on the plant itself, so you can understand why medical marijuana is a powerful healing tool. Often, these consultants help businesses operate in states where marijuana isn’t legal for recreational consumption. These firms often provide insight into state rules and regulations on operating a legal medical marijuana dispensary.

Business Cannabis Consulting

Cannabis consultancy firms are more often than not, business-oriented. Business advisers help new companies build from the ground up. Additionally, they help existing dispensaries navigate through legal and operational trenches by providing insight into an evolving industry. Here are a few ways a business consulting firm can help entrepreneurs:

  • Operations – Plan for inspection and opening, daily procedures, and future growth.
  • Staffing – Get insight on structuring your team by finding the right people to fill crucial roles.
  • Licensing – Learn the ins and outs of earning a state-specific license, while the industry is constantly changing.
  • Start-ups – Take a business plan on paper and make it a reality with specific advice for new entrepreneurs.
  • Compliance – Ensure your business is up-to-date and running smoothly under state-specific cannabis laws.
  • Exit strategies – With so many variables in this ever-changing niche entrepreneurs need an exit strategy.

All these features should be included in a business plan provided to a client. However, some consulting agencies provide “a la carte” services. After negotiating cost and coverage you should rely on your consultant’s expertise to formulate the most efficient strategy for your brand’s needs.

Cannabis Cultivation Consulting

Reduce your operational pitfalls and boost profits by learning from experts in the industry. These cultivation consulting agencies are dedicated to helping you set up a spectacular grow operation. There are quite a few pieces when growing your product, here are a few ways cultivation experts can help:

  • Architectural schematic design, permitting, and construction – If you’re building a grow room, get industry “best practices” on how to set up the area for success.
  • Equipment identification and sourcing – Consultants will give their clients advice, shopping lists, and sourcing for the most important equipment needed for a successful operation.
  • Grow education and product sourcing – Learn industry insights on how to get the most out of the space, equipment, and plants you choose.
  • Operational monitoring – Consulting groups provide grow-room monitoring and hands-on problem-solving solutions based on experience.
  • General logistics and wholesale distribution – Consultants help entrepreneurs with cannabis logistics, helping them move their product efficiently.

Consultants can also leverage their connections allowing their clients to get products much cheaper. This is particularly helpful when setting up a grow facility or determining logistics.

Educational Cannabis Consulting

This form of consulting is an information overhaul approach that helps start-ups and veterans alike. There’s educational consulting for everything imaginable in the industry, even content that is created for specific state regulations.

You can choose from all-inclusive programs or individual topics. Some groups provide cannabis workshops or boot camps designed to teach you over time. Educational consultants will advise you on the industry’s best practices, helping you launch your brand.

Be sure to have specific outlines of what you’d like to accomplish when choosing a program or mentor. Each consulting group offers a different product. For example, one boot camp for growing marijuana in California will be vastly different than one in Arizona. Additionally, if you’re growing on a larger scale that must be considered. Some are focused on the legalities of the practice, while others focus on the cannabis culture itself.

Investment Cannabis Consulting

With legalization and profits soaring, especially in the US, investment consulting groups are there to build rock-solid returns when they invest in cannabis-related business ventures. These firms focus on predicting trends in the market and making solid investments based on business models.

When the opportunity arises, consult groups help to find additional investors if necessary. Once set, they analyze regulatory frameworks, provide information on current legislation, and help with the overall branding of the product.

Investment firms are masters of business and can dissect a plan to predict profit margins over time, giving clients the best chance to strike on their contribution. It’s important for these firms to have lots of experience in the cannabis market because of its tendency to shift under a leaky legal foundation.

How to Choose a Cannabis Consulting Firm

Your needs are specific and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, narrowing down your business’ needs can point you in the right direction. Here are some questions you can ask to make sure you hire the right person for the job:

  • What experience does this consultant have?
  • Can they provide past or current client references?
  • Have they asked for a detailed list of your business’ needs?
  • What is the hourly rate or flat fee they charge?
  • Are they promising results or extended education when you sign off on their work?
  • Do they have the proper education or credentials to be handling your business?
  • Do they have a defined list of deliverables included in their quote?
  • How do they maintain anonymity and separate clients when it comes to conflicts of interest?

These are straightforward questions to ask any consulting agency, and if they have difficulty answering any of them you might need to find somebody else. If a firm isn’t willing to be transparent with its client there’s an issue. Additionally, if they aren’t well-versed in tracking the time they spend and itemizing those costs that can be a red flag.

Some firms will ask for equity and overpromise their results. The best example of their work is recent clients. Because of this, it’s important to speak to those who have worked with them to get an idea of their operational integrity.

Final Words

The cannabis consulting business is taking off like a rocket because of massive leaps in marijuana legalization all over the world. With 2024 being the biggest boom yet, this market is anything but saturated. Current business owners and entrepreneurs have a rare opportunity to capitalize on this growth, some of which need help from professional consulting services to protect their investments.

Growing a business is a product of innovation, hard work, and education. All of these are paramount to its success. You’re not alone, help is out there for your business. Pinpoint your specific needs and contact a cannabis consulting group today. Read on for our list of the cannabis and CBD industries’ top business consulting firms in each essential niche.

The Best Cannabis Industry Consultants

Brightfield Group

Green Lane Communication

John White - CNBS Author: John White
John is the founder and CEO of CNBS and is in charge of our brand relations, website management, media and press inquiries, industry overviews, B2B guides, and more. Passionate about educating on its benefits – John has been using cannabis to relief and manage his chronic pain for almost 12 years, working as an external consultant in the private cannabis sector for more than five years, and growing cannabis for personal use for almost eight years.
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Category Pages:
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  • Organizations & Associations - An in-depth overview of the cannabis organization and associations industry.

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Karla Bur
Karla Bur
3 years ago

I live in East TN, where it is still illegal. However, I am interested in becoming a Certified Medical Cannabis Consultant. I began my journey into MMJ after a cancer diagnoses and surgery. My desire is to counsel with patients who are interested in MMJ as part of their overall treatment plan, after approval by their physician. To date, only the use of CBD products that contain less then 0.3 are legal. Our neighboring states are ahead of us in legalization but it is a huge possibility here within the next few years. I want to be ready!