The cannabis industry is rapidly expanding. Public opinion has never been higher. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 93% of Americans support the legal use of medical cannabis when prescribed by a doctor. With analysts projecting $20 billion of annual sales by 2021, excitement from entrepreneurs and investors is higher than ever before.
In the past three years, I’ve educated thousands of people about cannabis, even giving a TEDx Talk on the subject. Some have become leaders of promising entrepreneurial ventures while others have already been weeded out of the industry. It’s impossible to sustain a successful cannabis business just for fun. The industry is becoming more competitive every day.
Collaborating with the industry’s leading experts and coaching hundreds of entrepreneurs has revealed to me five fundamental prerequisites for success in the cannabis industry.
Passion For The Plant And The Cause
Lifesaving medicine. Superfood. Biofuel. Textile. Construction material. C02 absorber. Soil detoxifier. Nutritional supplement. Party favor. Commodity. However you think about it, the plant itself is the lifeblood of the industry. While ancillary businesses (grow lights, nutrients, security) may seem less risky, they, too, ultimately depend on the plant.
The most accomplished and ambitious cannabis entrepreneurs I’ve encountered practically worship the plant on a metaphysical level. They view it as a vehicle for global transformation and healing. Passion for the plant is what drives them to endure the hard work and many challenges of cannabis entrepreneurship.
Without a clear and authentic passion, you will be fighting an uphill battle. Not only will industry veterans be skeptical of you, but your competitors will be driven by a higher purpose and will likely out-hustle you.