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How to Find Your Niche When Starting a Cannabis Business

The cannabis industry is estimated to reach $51 billion by 2025, according to New Frontier Data. This is why lots of entrepreneurs are looking to find some space in the booming and promising marijuana business. If you’re an entrepreneur and feel like the cannabis business is calling your name, you need to first figure out […]

How to Find Your Niche When Starting a Cannabis Business

The cannabis industry is estimated to reach $51 billion by 2025, according to New Frontier Data. This is why lots of entrepreneurs are looking to find some space in the booming and promising marijuana business.

If you’re an entrepreneur and feel like the cannabis business is calling your name, you need to first figure out where you fit in the industry before you think of anything else. A good place to start is pinning down your target audience so you can establish your niche.

Read on as we take you through how to find a niche for your cannabusiness and why it’s a smart move.

What Is a Niche?

Many startups don’t understand the difference between a market and a niche. Your market represents a broad customer base that may or may not purchase your products and services. But your niche is an area of specialization that attracts a specific segment of customers who are interested in your products and will willingly buy them.

A niche is like a starting point. It’s where you start to build a base of loyal customers. And in the end, it marks the difference between success and failure. Once you’ve found your niche, you can innovate from there. You shouldn’t, however, go too narrow with your niche. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to attract a customer base altogether.

Finding a Cannabis Niche

If you’re still having difficulties finding your niche, here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction:

Establish Your Interests and Passion

You can use your passion and interests to help you decide which part of the cannabis supply chain you want to work in. For example, a passion for farming may inform your decision to become a cannabis cultivator or grower. Or your passion for chemistry may inspire you to create a hand lotion or spray that eliminates the scent of cannabis from the skin or air around you. And if your passion is for retail sales, you may consider becoming a cannabis dispensary owner.

But even within your niche area, you need to find your unique selling point (USP). What is that unique thing that you can offer that will keep your clients sticking with your business for years to come?

For example, if you want to stock delta-8 oil tinctures in your dispensary, you shouldn’t just stock any tinctures you can find because there are many standard tinctures out there already. You can choose to stock delta-8 tinctures with a variety of strain-specific flavors. In other words, you have to do something different and think outside the box.

Establish Your Interests and Passion

Problem and Solution Approach

Look for a problem and provide a solution with your marijuana product or service. This is a great starting point when thinking about a cannabis startup.

One problem, for example, that cannabis users encounter is keeping their buds fresh. You can solve this problem by packing your flowers in humidity control packs. Another problem encountered by cannabis users is how their hands smell after smoking flower. To address this issue, you can create topical products like creams and lotions that get rid of the cannabis scent.

After you’ve built your brand on that unique solution and you’ve attracted a sizeable customer base, you can diversify by providing solutions to other problems later on. The trick here is to provide the best solution to the problem, better than what your competitors have to offer.

Remember, many other startups are creating solutions to that specific problem you’ve identified. Some have already created smart solutions. So, pick a problem that you can effectively solve better than your industry competitors.

Analyze Your Competition

Another way to find your niche in the weed industry is to assess the competition carefully. Keep in mind that competition isn’t necessarily something that should put you off. In fact, it points to a profitable market

So, how do you conduct research on your competitors? Well, start by looking at those competitors with the highest marijuana sales or customer base. Evaluate their brand identity as well. Apart from retailing weed products and services, what else sets them apart? Check their e-commerce store, social media pages, and LinkedIn profiles and see what pain points they deal with, the solutions they offer, and the voices of their brands.

You can also go a little further and evaluate their SEO. See which keywords your competitors rank for and whether they have any paid keywords or promotions. All this research is meant to give you a hint of the level of competition you’re up against. This enables you to distinguish yourself from the rest of your cannabis competitors and ascend to the top. 

Types of Niches in the Cannabis Market

Cultivation

The cultivation niche is highly regulated, and you have to prove you have knowledge of horticultural farming to get a license. You can experiment by using a variety of strains and also assigning them names based on their taste, smell, attributes, and many more.

Manufacturing of Cannabis-infused Products

Not all cannabis users love smoking. You can take advantage of this and create cannabis-infused products like edibles, tinctures, and topicals. Some of the potential challenges in this niche include controlling the dosage of cannabis in foods, oils, or creams and masking the cannabis scent, making it difficult to detect straight away.

Manufacturing of Cannabis-infused Products

Distribution

This is another niche that you can specialize in, though it’s highly regulated. You can’t, for example, transport cannabis across state lines. And some states impose a certain limit on the amount of cannabis you can transport. 

Retail Sales

Retail stores that sell marijuana are commonly known as dispensaries. Not everyone can purchase cannabis in these dispensaries, and customers must be of a certain age and have a medical marijuana card in some states. From a business perspective, this is a very profitable niche to venture into.

Auxiliary Business

Perhaps you don’t grow, manufacture, distribute, or sell cannabis. In this case, you can launch a business that indirectly works with players already in the marijuana marketplace. For example, you can develop cannabis apps, create point-of-sale software, or provide legal services as a cannabis attorney.

The Bottom Line

Finding a niche in the cannabis marketplace doesn’t limit your potential for success. Instead, it allows you to establish yourself as the go-to person or industry expert for your unique area of specialization in the industry. You get to build a loyal customer base that you can grow with for years to come.