Cannabis Business Resolutions for 2022

While 2021 didn’t quite turn out how those of us in the cannabis industry may have hoped in terms of passing meaningful federal regulatory changes related to banking, legalization, and so on, the industry did continue to grow and more Americans voiced their support of federal legalization. In other words, cannabis normalization is getting closer, and all signs point to continued growth in 2022. Is your business ready?

Now is the time to set your plans and make your resolutions for the next 12 months. Here are five important cannabis business resolutions for 2022 that you should consider as you develop your goals and strategies to reach those goals this year.

1. Create an Email Marketing Plan

As the saying goes – the more things change, the more they stay the same. Nowhere is that saying more accurate than the cannabis industry in terms of advertising and marketing. While the industry continues to evolve and grow, advertising and marketing options remain limited, and that’s why email marketing is so crucial to businesses operating in and with the cannabis industry.

Cannabis license holders and ancillary businesses must prioritize email marketing in 2022 in a strategic, purposeful way. This doesn’t mean you should send out a bunch of generic messages to big lists or people. That’s a recipe for failure when it comes to email marketing! No, this means you should take the time to hire the right help or learn how to effectively run email marketing campaigns yourself. 

To get started, read the following articles and learn about email marketing strategy, execution, and mistakes to avoid:

2. Review Your Intellectual Property Portfolio

One of the things we learned from the 2021 MJBiz Factbook is that there are eight key factors that investors look for when considering a cannabis business investment, and intellectual property (IP) is included on that list:

  • Management team’s experience, qualifications, and strength: 67%
  • Potential size of the return on the investment: 56%
  • Detailed and realistic business plan: 44%
  • Historical financial data or performance: 33%
  • Potential of the company and its role and prominence in the industry: 33%
  • Pro forma financials: 22%
  • Timeline for the investor to get a return on their investment: 22%
  • Strength of the business’ defensible assets such as their intellectual property or equipment: 11%

Intellectual property includes patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, which protect your unique business advantages in the marketplace so others can’t copy and profit off of your work. 

If you haven’t already reviewed your intangible assets and created a process to protect your intellectual property, then you need to do so in 2022. With the growth and increased competition coming to this industry and the increase in merger and acquisition activities, there is no more time to delay taking care of your IP portfolio. 

3. Strengthen Your Teams

Your business is only as strong as the team that runs it – at every level. As shown in the list of the top eight things investors look for when considering a cannabis business investment in #2 above, the management team’s experience, qualifications, and strength ranks in the top spot. 

However, to reach your goals in 2022 and beyond, now is the time to resolve to strengthen your internal and external teams.

To do so, you need to ensure you have the right people in place internally and the right vendors in place externally to take your business to the next level. Your business is only as strong as its weakest link. Read the articles below and start strengthening your teams now:

4. Assess Your Environmental Footprint

Sustainability and the impacts that cannabis businesses have on the environment have become hot topics in recent years. Plenty of research has been conducted and evidence has been shared showing how cannabis cultivation negatively affects the environment. The problem is exacerbated by illegal growers

Research shows cannabis cultivation has negative effects on water, land, animals, air quality, electricity, and more. Beyond cultivation, the cannabis industry has negative environmental impacts across the supply chain with single-use packaging waste being one of the biggest problems.

Now is the time for cannabis businesses to step up and make changes to differentiate the black market even further from the legal market. Changes related to sustainability and environmental impact provide a perfect opportunity to widen the gap between legal and illegal cannabis markets.

5. Plan Your Exit Strategy

What is your ultimate goal for your business? Do you want to keep working in your business until you retire? Then what? Do you want your business to get acquired, or do you want to grow and acquire other businesses? Every business should have an exit plan, and with mergers and acquisitions happening every day in the cannabis industry, now is the time to develop yours.

An exit strategy is critical for a number of reasons. Even if you don’t plan to exit the cannabis industry in the near future, an exit strategy helps you:

  • Set goals 
  • Make business decisions knowing what direction the company should be going in
  • Make your business more appealing to investors and/or lenders
  • Avoid unwanted exits

Consider where the industry may go in the future as you develop your exit strategy. What happens if adult-use cannabis is legalized at the federal level? What happens when big companies with deep pockets enter the cannabis industry? These are the types of questions to ask yourself so you’re ready when the industry inevitably changes in the future.

Key Takeaways at Cannabis Business Resolutions for 2022

Your 2022 business resolutions should focus on setting your business up for success, not just in the next 12 months, but for years to come. Build a strong foundation, and you’ll be well-positioned to thrive in the future. 

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