Cannabis Industry Networking: Establishing Connections in a New Industry

Posted on May 31st, 2022 to Education

Connecting Cannabis Cultivators with Retailers & Vice Versa

Stepping into the cannabis business? Whether you’re opening a new dispensary, starting a grow operation, or manufacturing products, stable supply chain connections mean everything. Retailers need cultivators and cannabis product manufacturers, and cultivators need reliable manufacturers and retailers.

Making Connections in Cannabis: Why Networking in Cannabis is Key

The cannabis industry is a complicated network of different entities working together to create a cohesive market. Building connections in that market—no matter what rung of the ladder you are on—means you have a sustainable business model. Make no mistake, however, finding reliable, consistent connections can be tough.

Cultivators can face challenges with connecting to consistent buyers just as retailers and manufacturers can have a difficult time connecting to cultivators. Consistency and quality also play a huge factor in these relationships. Retailers don’t just want the best products, what they need is a lasting relationship with partners who they know will produce consistent quality products that their customer base can count on.

How To Establish a Network

Working with an industry middleman, such as a cannabis transport company with connections to all parts of the supply chain, can be valuable. According to Cannabis Business Times, working with someone who already has a positive relationship with area retailers, cultivators, and manufacturers may be the most functional way to connect.

We work with a massive network of cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers as a cannabis transport company. Therefore, we are an excellent resource for canna-business owners looking for new connections. Need help getting connected? Reach out to Plymouth Armor Group to find out how we can offer tangible insights into the MA cannabis supply chain.

Below is a closer look at the different parts of the cannabis supply chain, how these entities find connections, and why working with a middleman is valuable:

Understanding the Cannabis Supply Chain

Vertically integrated cannabis businesses, or businesses that handle everything from seed to sale, are not the norm in Massachusetts. Most cannabis businesses focus on one specific aspect of the industry? Why? In some states, vertical integration is not allowed, while others feel declaring a specific category, niche, or business type can be more economical. Massachusetts initially mandated vertical integration for medical cannabis but has since ended those mandates. With that being said, the supply chain has a lot of working parts. No matter which area of cannabis you are in, your connections set the stage for your profit potential.

The full cannabis supply chain consists of several unique entities that make commercial cannabis possible. The primary three include cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers. Take a closer look at the three primary areas of the modern cannabis supply chain.

Cultivator

Cannabis cultivators are basically farmers with indoor or outdoor grow operations. Cultivators source seeds and plants, grow the plants, and then handle harvesting and curing. The cured cannabis flower is then passed on to manufacturers to create products. However, some cultivators package their own flower so it is prepared for retail distribution. Cultivators usually connect with buyers that work for either manufacturers or retailers to get their cannabis sold after harvest.

Manufacturer

Cannabis product manufacturers (sometimes referred to as processors) manufacture products from cannabis flower. Manufacturers may focus on one product, a line of products, or even multiple lines of products with different brand names. Processors manufacture everything from cannabis extracts and concentrates to infused edibles and topical products. Most manufacturers start out with a relationship with a cultivator or series of cultivators, even though those suppliers can change over time. Manufacturers often take their products directly to dispensaries and hope they will include them in their inventory.

Retailer

The cannabis retailer is the dispensary or retail location that sells the products to the end consumer. Most widely recognized as cannabis dispensaries, retailers that are not vertically integrated, and even some that are, rely on outside manufacturers and cultivators to fill their shelves. Most retailers have a designated product manager or cannabis buyer that dedicates their time to finding the best products from the most reliable manufacturers

Sources:

  • https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/how-to-get-your-products-on-retailers-shelf/
  • www.marijuanadoctors.com/blog/massachusetts-set-to-end-vertical-integration/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_dispensaries_in_the_United_States
  • https://weedmaps.com/learn/dictionary/cultivation
  • https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/cannabis-manufacturing

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