How To Start a Medical Marijuana Business

By John Lavitt 07/14/14

If you've ever yearned to start your own MMJ biz, the Cannabis Career Institute will show you how.

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Can you now take a class on how to grow and sell marijuana? The Cannabis Career Institute conducts seminars across the country on how to run a medical marijuana business. Held at a Best Western in Fort Myers, Fla., a recent seminar focused on the dual options of either starting a medical marijuana dispensary or an actual grow operation. An audience of 17 paid $299 each to attend the 10-hour workshop on the nuts and bolts of starting and maintaining such a business.

Although most of the participants were looking to take advantage of this relatively new opportunity, others attended to actually help family and friends in times of crisis. For example, John Allen of Fort Myers hoped to ease the pain of both a friend who has multiple sclerosis and his mother who has lung cancer. Still, the majority of attendees were made up of a wide array of successful regular Joes; lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, and investors all looking to get into the “canna-biz.”

The focus of the seminar is on developing a balance between “compliance and self-reliance.” Working with prospective business owners, seminar leader Aaron Silverman encouraged them to do their Cannabis homework while developing the proper business background needed. Silverman described a myriad of opportunities: dispensaries, delivery services, growers, equipment, edibles, real estate, and security, among others.

Perhaps the strongest emphasis of the seminar was placed on following government laws and regulations, both local and national. Silverman warned that given the history, “This will be the most-watched industry. Remain compliant,” or suffer the consequences, he said. “The cool thing about this industry is that the supply will never meet the demand. It’s not gonna happen.”

In a second seminar in Panama City, Florida, Robert Calkin, the actual founder of the Cannabis Career Institute and a former instructor at the California pot college Oaksterdam University, explained to his students, “This is Business 101...once you can do this legally, they still need to know how to start the business, market it and succeed. It’s the nuts and bolts of the cannabis business.”

Although the medical marijuana business can be profitable, the teachers emphasized that it also hard, requiring dedication and long hours. The entrepreneurs were warned that there are no short-cuts and they would only reap what they were willing to sow.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.