How to Expand a Cannabis Business

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 25, 2024

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far as a successful business owner. That alone deserves a pat on the back. But now it’s time for phase 2: expanding your business. As cannabis gains wider acceptance, business owners have an opportunity to explore new markets and locations. 

The following guide will show you how to expand a business, with some tips that focus on cannabis entrepreneurs.

What Is the Future of the Cannabis Industry?

According to data from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the cannabis industry is expanding rapidly. Cannabis companies are expected to bring in $31.1 billion in revenue this year.

Meanwhile, more states are legalizing recreational marijuana, and studies are ending the stigma surrounding its use.

These trends provide opportunities for cannabis business owners looking forward to expanding their business and adapting to new market demands.

10 Steps for Expanding a Cannabis Business

Wondering how to expand a business? The following steps can provide guidance for growing your marijuana business.

1. Understand the Cannabis Regulatory Environment

First, you need to learn more about the evolving federal, state and local regulations that apply to marijuana companies. Most of these regulations apply at the state level and provide guidance on who can sell recreational cannabis. It’s important to understand these regulations if you’re thinking about expanding your business across state lines. 

Knowing and complying with the state license regulations is another important understanding the have.

2. Revisit Your Business Plan

A business plan can help you define your goals and remain focused throughout the expansion process. And if you need financing, lenders will expect to see an updated business plan featuring your goals, target market, finances and strategies.

3. Secure Expansion Funding

Since cannabis legalization has been proceeding at a state-by-state level, banks and traditional lenders don’t offer business expansion loans to cannabis companies. You’ll need to find cannabis-direct lenders who specialize in your industry and can provide access to funding. Be sure to check lender's eligibility requirements before applying.

4. Invest in Quality Products and Services

Expanding your business doesn’t necessarily mean making it bigger, but you may need to refine your goods and services to meet changing customer needs or industry trends. 

It might be time to do some research into the latest products, equipment or cannabis business services. An equipment financing loan will typically be easier to obtain than other types of funding and can help you purchase new sales equipment or preparatory tools to expand your operations.

5. Improve Your Marketing Strategy

One of the most important tasks of any business owner is building brand recognition. Cannabis entrepreneurs may rely on traditional marketing tactics that include posters, email updates, flyers, direct mailers and signage.

But you’ll also make new inroads by investing in digital ads such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, creating social media campaigns or creating branded content to attract the attention of your target market.

6. Build Your Brand

Building your brand is about more than just getting your name out there. It also means adopting a clear, consistent image and voice across all of your marketing channels. 

Focus on using just one logo, and make sure the tone and vocabulary of your written communication reflect the vibe of your company and that you’re on the same wavelength as your target market.

7. Build a Network

Develop relationships with other cannabis business owners. They may be able to offer personal advice on new industry trends or even share stories of how they successfully navigated regulatory issues to build their brand. 

Even the professional networking site LinkedIn offers groups for cannabis entrepreneurs, such as the “Cannabis Investors & Entrepreneurs” group.

8. Use Technology

Technology can help you achieve new goals, such as creating a website to market your products or post relevant content. But technology can also be used to manage your finances or automate core accounting and accounts receivable processes to save time and increase your efficiency.

9. Expand Your Marijuana Business

It’s OK to daydream. Cannabis entrepreneurs can benefit from thinking about how to expand a business devoted to cannabis. Get creative. Look for ways to expand by investing in new equipment, discovering new product lines or opening additional dispensary locations to expand your reach.

10. Monitor Your Progress

Perhaps most important is tracking your progress. This includes your finances and making sure you maintain the cash flow to meet your overhead costs. 

It also means keeping track of how well your marketing campaigns are performing and how these efforts directly impact your sales figures. Don’t be afraid to adjust your strategy if something isn’t working or if you want to try a new approach to your business.

Extra Tip: Get Cannabis Business Insurance

Getting cannabis insurance is essential when planning to expand your cannabis business because it provides protection and peace of mind in a highly regulated and volatile industry. With the legal landscape constantly changing, having the right insurance coverage helps safeguard your business against risks such as theft, product liability, crop failure and regulatory compliance issues.

As you scale up your operations and invest in new facilities or equipment, having insurance coverage tailored to the unique needs of the cannabis industry ensures that any unexpected events or losses won't derail your expansion plans. Additionally, insurance can help you navigate the complexities of the industry and provide financial support in case of legal disputes or other challenges that may arise during the expansion process.

Here are some of Benzinga's best cannabis insurance:

Turn Your Dreams into Reality

Cannabis business owners face unique challenges. But that often makes your business more rewarding. The tips listed above provide a solid foundation for expanding or improving your marijuana business. 

And as recreational cannabis gains wider acceptance, you can expect your business to grow. With the right game plan — and the right financing — you can watch your entrepreneurial dreams become a lasting reality.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why do cannabis businesses fail?


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1 in 5 American businesses fail in the first two years of operation, regardless of their industry. The most common reason relates to cash flow. Cannabis businesses need to ensure they have the funding they need to expand as well as maintain their financial obligations.


Is cannabis the fastest-growing industry?


By some estimates, cannabis is among the top-performing industries in the United States, with sales figures that have remained strong even after emerging from COVID.


What is the first step you should take to expand a business?


Before you consider an expansion project, you should take time to evaluate your goals. This evaluation will help you develop a strategy to reach these goals and ensure that your expansion projects align with your company’s vision and values.

Sarah Edwards

About Sarah Edwards

Sarah Edwards is a CBD and cannabis writer passionate about empowering people with accurate, engaging and accessible content about both industries. She has nearly a decade of writing experience focused on cannabis and CBD culture, science and business. Her work has been published on Cannanine and The Hemp Haus.