Venturing into cannabis store management is an exciting endeavour in a new, dynamic industry. Cannabis shares many characteristics with other industries, but it is also quite different—especially with regards to regulation, reporting, and compliance. There is plenty to learn and do, leading to what can be a very fulfilling and challenging career.
Since the field is relatively young and constantly changing, having a sure footing when you begin managing a store is important. The cannabis industry will become more competitive as it grows, so be prepared. Read on for some business management tips that can come in handy in this space!
Understand Your Market When You Apply for a Cannabis Retail Store Licence
There can sometimes be a misconception that the cannabis industry is both easy to work in and incredibly lucrative. While you can find financial success in the field, it takes attention and skill to understand the market.
- Have a plan for where you’d like to direct your efforts. A cannabis program can help you identify goals and point you in a direction where you can find fulfillment and success.
- Be prepared for uncertainty. The market is still evolving in Ontario and many changes are likely on the horizon. Be ready to adapt to these changes and continuously learn.
- Decide whether or not you’d like to run an independent business or enter into a partnership with a licensed producer. There are advantages and disadvantages to both:
- Partnerships offer the advantage of name recognition, as well as support from the licensed producer with branding, design, and marketing.
- Independent businesses have more autonomy and are more of an entrepreneurial endeavour that some people find more rewarding.
Before you get a cannabis retail store licence, a training program can help you learn more about aspects of the market you should be familiar with. It can also be a great way to help you with decisions like whether to opt for an independent business or partner with a licensed producer.
Compliance Is Key when You Open a Cannabis Store
One of the biggest differences between cannabis retail and other types of retail is the level of regulation involved with the product. There are both federal and provincial regulatory compliance requirements that must be met. Some challenges you may encounter regarding regulations include:
- Not being able to have a window display – Conor Purdon, Cannabis Retail Program Developer of AAPS says, “That definitely takes away from your opportunity to merchandise your products and actually create these attractive window displays that bring customers in”.
- ID verification, which can have a large negative impact on a business if there is a lack of compliance – Purdon comments, “Any kind of sale to a minor could result in you losing your license entirely. So that’s just another kind of regulatory burden that I would say most retailers minus the LCBO and convenience stores have to face”.
- Reporting – Reports must be sent in monthly for regulation, which is different from most retail industries.
Remember the Importance of Employee Retention
In many management roles, getting good talent working in your store is of the utmost importance. Like other retail businesses, Purdon says that cannabis retail shares high turnover rates and the issue of retaining employees. He says that this can be improved by, “being able to effectively manage a team and to display leadership talent and skills”.
Your people skills and communication strategies can come into play with this issue when you open a cannabis store, as the better you are at creating a rewarding, positive work environment, the lower your turnover can become. When you nurture your skilled team, you can build a strong atmosphere of cooperation and professionalism.
Are you interested in getting a cannabis store licence and want to learn about courses that can help you?
Contact AAPS for more information.