Starting and Running a Marijuana Business Book Review 

By  Cheri Sicard

This book has been needed for some time, and I am happy to say that I had a small hand in getting the right person, Debby Goldsberry, to write it. My agent came to me a couple of years back saying that the Idiot’s Guide people, who I had previously written the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Easy Freezer Meals for, wanted to do a book on running a marijuana business. While I know a lot about cannabis, starting and running a marijuana business is a whole different animal and definitely outside my area of expertise. But I knew that longtime activist and cannabis entrepreneur Debby Goldsberry would be perfect. I recommended her and she ended up penning this book, which is a very good thing for anyone considering entering this exciting new field.

I don’t say there was nobody better than Debby to write this lightly. She has decades of experience, from being in trenches as an activist in the early fight to legalize medical marijuana, to co-founding the Berkeley Patients Group, to serving as the executive director of one of the country’s most respected dispensaries, Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, California.

This extensive and diverse experience translates into a thoroughly researched, detailed guide that no would-be ganjapreneur should be without. In fact, if you are thinking about starting any kind of cannabis business, forget expensive seminars and business conferences. Save yourself a bundle and start with this book instead. I guarantee you will learn more and have a far stronger foundation on which to build.

This is an exciting and potentially lucrative industry, still in its infancy, and seminar salesmen with little to no actual experience paint rosy pictures.  Goldsberry is more realistic and in the complicated world of cannabis, that is worth the cover price of this book many times over. A cannabis business, because of its complicated and constantly evolving legal status, is unlike any other. With credible information, you will be able to make informed decisions and plan for your business to succeed. Without it, you may be doomed to fail before you even begin.

Comprehensive in scope, yet easy to digest, it’s amazing how much information is packed into the book’ s 316 pages. Like all “Idiot’s Guides,” however, the information is so well outlined and organized that you can always quickly put your finger on what you need.

Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Marijuana Business Chapters Include:

Part I: Introduction to the Green Rush

  • The History of Marijuana Commerce
  • Why Open a Marijuana Business?
  • The Types of Marijuana Businesses
  • Medical Marijuana Versus Adult Use
  • Marijuana Products

Part II Distilling Your Concept:

  • Federal, State, and Local Policies
  • Creating Your Company

Part III Building the Foundation of Your Marijuana Business:

  • Incorporation Logistics
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Securing Your Start-Up Funds
  • Negotiating Your Lease

Part IV Setting up Your Cultivation Facility:

  • Choosing Your Genetics and Growing Method
  • Designing Your Grow Space
  • Elements for Growth (water electricity, nutrients, etc.)

Part V Dispensary Operations and Management:

  • Designing Your Facility
  • Building Your Dispensary’s Menu
  • Supply Purchasing
  • Providing Medical Marijuana to Patients

Part VI Heavy Lifting - Accounting, Human Resources, and Marketing:

  • Recruiting and Hiring Employees
  • Managing, Training and Retaining Employees
  • Managing Your Accounting Plan
  • Create a Winning Marketing Plan

Appendices include a glossary, resource list for advocates, legalities checklist, and a sample standard operating procedures.

The Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Marijuana Business by Debby Goldsberry is the definitive guide to starting and successfully running a cannabis business. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

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