Finding the right location for your cannabis business can be very tricky especially if you are new to this business. It requires a good amount of research and some knowledge about city layouts. Today we are going to look at how we can find the best location for your prospective marijuana business.
Now before we dig deep into this matter lets look at some important facts about the Cannabis business and what are the start-up requirements.
• The Research
Cannabis businesses are dictated by not only state law, but also municipal codes, ordinances, and laws. As a prospective business owner the easiest way for you to navigate these laws and get this research done is to hire a professional. There are many attorneys and real estate agents and brokers that deal specifically with marijuana that stand ready to assist you. For choosing a destination for your business you want to make sure that you research the city code to ensure that they allow medical marijuana facilities within their city limits. After you have confirmed that they allow marijuana facilities, you want to see where specifically those facilities are allowed. Usually, cities allow different types of facilities in different areas of the city. For example, marijuana grow facilities are almost always relegated to industrial zones, whereas provisioning centers are allowed in more traditional business settings.
Now that you have found a property in the specific zoning area where your business is allowed to be do you need to do any more research? the short answer is of course! In addition to zoning restrictions every city that allows a marijuana facility also requires mandatory setbacks from other establishments like churches, schools, parks,…etc. You will need to confirm the building you have selected complies with these setback requirements or your business will not be allowed to operate. You also need to consider parking, most cities require you to have parking sufficient to cater to your expected business. This means that in addition to all the above requirements you have to make sure the property you select has either a private parking lot, ample street parking, or land on the property that can be converted into a parking lot.
• The Application
It is always better to speak to the local real estate professionals and attorneys before trying your hand at a marijuana application. For the sake of sticking with the topic of this article we will discuss only the municipal application process. In Michigan the application process is different from city to city. Some cities allow multiple applications on the same property, while others only allow one at a time. This is a very important distinction for you to know since you are a prospective cannabis business owner. For those cities that allow multiple applications on the same property, your application will usually be compared “apples to apples” with the other applicant, with the victor being the one that offers the most contribution by having their business approved. Additionally, all city applications charge a fee, which is non-refundable even if you are denied.
City applications also have different requirements for what you need to qualify for a cannabis business license. For example, in the city of Detroit you are required to show financing in the same amount and kind as you would with your state application. Whereas with other cities all that is required is showing that you are currently in process of acquiring a state license. These requirements are integral to knowing where you will locate your cannabis business because you could save valuable time and money and focus your efforts on the finding a suitable property as opposed to getting lost in the weeds.
• What is Next
After you think you have found a suitable property you want to find out what kind of market for cannabis use or sale you are dealing with. All successful businesses take into account what percent of the market they will make up. In your case whatever cannabis business you choose to open, you should know not only how many others like you are in the area, but also how many are currently applying for locations in the area. Depending on whether you are one of the first in the area or really late to entering the area can make a huge difference as to whether this is actually the best location for your business. Additionally, some new cannabis business owners will have a unique approach to their specific business, like an Apple store themed dispensary that has become a state-wide chain in California, or vertically integrated facilities that are an all in one shop.
Finding the right location for your cannabis business is about a lot more than just the actual physical location. You need to consider If this is your first time trying your hand at a cannabis business it is highly advisable that you hire a professional to assist you in completing this process. You will save yourself time, money, headache, and much more by working with someone who knows what to do in the aforementioned situations. Speaking of marketing you want to ensure that your location is easy to find and you are able to get advertisements set online with dedicated cannabis sites like WeedMaps and Leafly which can, in turn, also help customers discover your facility.