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Franchising vs Licensing: Choosing a Retail Model for Your Cannabis Business

Want to run a business selling cannabis? It’s a great idea, especially since so many people buy weed and, even during the pandemic, cannabis sales are still high. However, cannabis retailers have an important choice on their hands when it comes to what kind of retail model they want to use- franchising vs licensing. These […]

Franchising vs Licensing for Your Cannabis Business

Want to run a business selling cannabis? It’s a great idea, especially since so many people buy weed and, even during the pandemic, cannabis sales are still high. However, cannabis retailers have an important choice on their hands when it comes to what kind of retail model they want to use- franchising vs licensing.

These are two of the most common options for those who want to open a cannabis dispensary. Both make the process easier than creating a brand and building it from the ground up and each option has pros and cons. So when choosing a retail model for your cannabis business, which is better- franchising or licensing? Here’s a breakdown of both.

Franchising A Cannabis Business

If you don’t want to deal with the stress and hard work of building a whole new brand, franchising is one of the best options for your cannabis business. Franchising is a popular retail model in all industries as it allows you to start a business with an established brand name and identity.

The cannabis industry is growing rapidly throughout the United States and, as such, you can now find various established chains of dispensaries and cannabis stores. Becoming a franchisee for one of these brands can help you get your cannabis business off to a flying start as it’ll already have a strong brand reputation to attract customers.

One of the main benefits of franchising a cannabis business is that it saves a lot of work on how to run your business. Not only can franchises give you the rights to use their brand materials, but they can also give you guidelines on how everything is run. This can save you a lot of hassle in figuring out the details of your business.

However, you should also consider the drawbacks. Franchising a cannabis business will give you less freedom as you’ll have to run your business based on what the franchise wants. It can also be expensive to franchise a business in many cases, although this largely depends on the brand you choose to franchise. 

Franchising A Cannabis Business

Licensing A Cannabis Business

Another one of the common retail models for cannabis businesses is licensing. In some cases, licensing is similar to franchising. You can attain the rights to an established brand and won’t need to work so hard on building your brand from scratch. However, these two models have numerous differences.

Some businesses may choose to license a business over franchising as it gives you a much greater level of control over your business. You won’t need to follow the rules set by a franchise. Instead, you’ll attain the rights to the brand materials and you can choose how to use them accordingly.

Usually, setting up a licensing agreement is also cheaper and easier than franchising. With fewer demands and more opportunities, this makes it a particularly attractive option for cannabis business owners who want to sell products from an established brand but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks of franchising.

Licensing a cannabis business can still be costly as you’ll still need to pay fees to the licensor. Running a licensed cannabis business can also be trickier than a franchise as you’ll have to figure out how to run things instead of following the plans of the franchise. With that said, it’s still one of the best models for cannabis businesses.

Franchising vs. Licensing: Which Is Best

If you want to run a cannabis business with an established brand, then franchising and licensing are two of the best retail models to consider. Both will make it much easier to run a successful business as you’ll have permission to use established brand materials and products. But which one is best for your business?

Franchising and licensing both have advantages and drawbacks and both are worth considering. The one that’s right for you largely depends on personal choice and what you think will work better for your business.

Those who want to run a business with an established brand, as well as established guidelines, will likely benefit more from franchising. Although it’s more expensive, it can also save a lot of time as you’ll already have a blueprint on how to run your business successfully and make sales fast.

With that said, businesses who want the freedom to run their business how they please will likely benefit more from licensing. This gives you much more leeway to use brand materials how you wish, which is a better option in many cases.

Promoting Your Cannabis Brand

Promoting Your Cannabis Brand

Whichever retail model you choose for your cannabis business, you’ll want to consider ways to promote your brand. While franchising often makes marketing much easier, those who license their business and those building a new cannabis brand will want to use some of the most effective cannabis marketing methods to their advantage.

Digital marketing methods are particularly helpful, especially as these make it easy for customers to find you online. Franchised and licensed businesses should ensure they’re listed on Google and on their brand website to ensure customers can find them. New brands should build a professional website and use SEO and content marketing to attract consumers.

Another one of the best ways to build your cannabis brand is with custom branded cannabis products. From branded lighters to rolling papers, these products can be sold or given out to boost brand loyalty and recognition. They can also increase your sales as many customers will grab them as add-on purchases.

Conclusion

Franchising and licensing are both worth considering if you’re looking to start a cannabis business with an established brand. Both of these models save a lot of hassle when it comes to building and promoting a brand and attracting customers. Franchising requires less work but licensing will give you more freedom over how your business is run.

Of course, starting a new cannabis brand is also an option. Although this can take time and effort, building a brand from scratch can be hugely rewarding. You can find many guides on promoting your cannabis business, as well as branded promotional products, at Cannabis Promotions.