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Network Like a Pro To Skyrocket Your Cannabis Business

We are living in the 21st century, and networking has become vital for business’s success! There is extreme value in connecting with industry professionals; we are social beings, after all.

Building a solid community can help your cannabis business grow in ways you didn’t think possible! Even if you don’t directly sell or buy from someone you connect with, sharing ideas is often a great way to think outside the box.

These multiple perspectives that other members of the industry can offer you, are a one-way ticket to constant innovation and self-improvement! Who wouldn’t want that?

Networking is actually easier than you may think. Just adopt a little kid’s mentality when making friends on the playground: smile, be nice, be confident, and BE YOURSELF.

People will feel more inclined towards establishing a long-term relationship with you if your confidence doesn’t waver. Remember, if you buy your story, they will buy it.

Saying hello to a stranger in a coffee shop could be the difference between success and failure. So don’t take networking for granted. And network as much as possible.

Remember to have a pocket full of business cards to give out when meeting people for your network. You never know when an opportunity might strike, so always have some on you.

Lastly, think of a few great conversation starters and have them ready to go. Don’t be afraid to be unique, outgoing, funny, or creative. The more you stand out, the better chance you’ll have at forming a lasting relationship.

Networking is like dating for your business. And you wouldn’t show up to a date with anything less than your 100%. Keep this in mind when going to networking events.

In this article we will show you everything you need to know about networking and all the best places to get those relationships that will make your business soar to new heights!

Cannabis Expo Networking Event

What is networking?

Networking is basically creating professional relationships through conversing with other members of the cannabis industry. It can help you find job opportunities, help you learn more about the industry, and help you build friendships with like-minded people.

What are the benefits of networking?

There are tons of benefits that networking can bring to your cannabis brand. Here are a few reasons to seriously consider upping your networking game!

  • It can help you find a job.
  • You can get great advice from industry professionals that specialize in a plethora of  different areas.
  • It can help you advance your career exponentially.
  • It can help you get in front of industry leaders.
  • It can help you grow your client database and find new groups of loyal customers.
  • It can help you grow your sphere of influence (SOI). Or simply put, enlarge your contact list.
  • It can help you close more sales.
  • It can do wonders for your business’s brand recognition and reputation.

The best places to network for your cannabis brand

There are tons of places where you can network for your cannabis business. Here at Hurcann, we have put together a list of the best places to get those contacts and make your business grow!

Cannabis Associations

Cannabis associations are one of the best places to network for your business. You can get access to tons of conferences and symposiums, gather more knowledge about cannabis businesses, and get the opportunity to network with industry leaders.

That is why we have compiled a list of the best cannabis associations later on in this article, with everything you need to know about them so you can make an informed decision.

One thing to keep in mind is that memberships do come with a fee. They normally charge an annual sum for operational costs. But, believe us when we tell you that being a part of a cannabis association could mean a massive ROI on that fee. So, consider it

Cannabis Cups and fairs

Cannabis cups and fairs are particularly great places to network because you have both industry professionals and cannabis consumers all in one convenient location. This means you can form alliances and grow your customer base at the same time.

So, if you have limited time to attend events, consider going to one of these events. The cannabis cups and fairs that are held on 4/20 are normally the ideal places to network.

You can also find possible employees amongst the crowd, given that there are also some people that attend these events looking for work. So, these events are really a one-stop-shop situation when it comes to networking.


Cannabis Association Norml’s Conference

Public speaking events for the cannabis industry

Conferences, symposiums, and advocacy events are all great examples of public speaking events. Attending these types of events will help you learn more about the industry and give you the chance to connect with the speakers, who will likely be very good allies for you in the future.

Pay attention and take notes when attending these types of events. When speaking to the presenters, engage with them about what they talked about. Ask insightful questions and show interest. This will very likely be the key to a lasting relationship with that industry professional.

Remember to give them your card, or if you can, set up a coffee with them so you can discuss business further.

Alumni events at Cannabis Education Institutes

One great thing about students is their hunger and passion for what they are learning. Helping them out in this process with a conference or talk can be very beneficial for your network in the future.

If you let the students know about you, they will remember your company when graduating. This will help you find new employees very easily. And the best part about this networking strategy is that you know that your future employees are qualified!

Networking Events

Check out your local Chamber of Commerce. They host networking events periodically, and it could be a great place to meet new people and learn about how you can help each other out.

They may even have events that are catered specifically towards the cannabis industry. But if they don’t, it might still be a good idea to attend the general networking events.

Cannabis brands also need marketing teams, advertisements, suppliers, etc. These are the events to go to when looking for relationships outside the cannabis industry that help your business grow.

Professional Development Classes

Taking a course to learn more about the cannabis industry is also a great way to network. Sharing a learning experience with others helps you bond on a more intimate level.

The ice is broken! You both share an interest in whatever class you’re taking, and that could be the starting point of a business partnership that will help both parties flourish.

Let alone that, with the knowledge from the course, you can come up with new strategies for your business’s growth. Take a class you feel could bring you a lot of value to your company.

Civic Organizations

Being an active member of your community is essential if you want to network your business into growing. Look up local civic organizations that already exist and offer to sponsor or help out.

Try and think of organizations that have ties to the cannabis industry. For example, offer health clinics alternative care options at a low cost. You can also donate a percent of your earnings to the cause of your choosing. This will incentivize your customers to spread the word.

This will also help you become a community leader, and help get your business values across to your customers and investors.

Cultural events

Another great networking idea is to attend or host a cultural event. Hosting or sponsoring music festivals or concerts, for example, can do wonders for your business.

Look for cultural events that match your target customer’s interests. We highly doubt a cannabis company will have much success at a catholic event.

However, a picnic event, play, or beach party, might be another story. Get to know where your audience hangs out and what they like to do in their freetime by engaging with them through social media.


Weed-friendly cultural event

The business journal events

The Business Journal organizes several networking events throughout the year. If you are ready to play in the big leagues, get into one of these events.

These are the places you will find all of the people that simply make things happen. We recommend you go to these meetings when you want to take it to the high-level playing field.

If you are just starting your cannabis business, it might be a good idea to stick to one of the other places on our list while you gain more experience

Cannabis industry trade shows

These are some of the best events to be at when networking. They are, however, a little pricey, with booths costing up to $35,000 dollars.

Although most are not that expensive, you also need to think about transportation, your team’s expenses throughout the trip, booth stands and furniture, printed ads, samples and products to take. And those expenses can add up fast.

However, the reward for attending trade shows to network can also be massive. You are put in front of 10,000 to 40,000 people in just a few days. So, yeah, exponential potential.

Sports Events

Attending a few sports events might also be a good idea. Athletes are normally great potential clients for topicals that help repair their muscles after a game.

However, when attending sports events, you may only promote your CBD-based products and topical cannabis products, given that sports regulations prohibit the use of cannabis by their athletes.

Still, this will help shine a new light on your industry and potentially bank customers you hadn’t thought of considering. The number one key to marketing is to try everything. Why not this?

Online

As people of the modern world, we couldn’t leave the internet off the list. It is only the gateway to everyone in the world.

Again, get to know your target audience and start interacting with them about the things that they enjoy. You can also find new customers on Reddit chats, forums, creative landing pages, etc.

Another great thing about networking online is that you can really get to know a person or business before establishing contact. This will allow you to make better decisions on who to network with, and better your engagement strategy with them.

Networking in cannabis organizations

Here is a run down of the best cannabis organizations to network with. We made it into a table of information for you, so you can make an informed and comparative decision.

Cannabis OrganizationWhat They DoWhat You Can GetMembership Fee
Compilation of Cannabis Organizations by Hurcann
National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)The NCIA is the most effective trade association representing legal cannabis businesses.
They are leading the charge to protect the legal cannabis industry, defend our state laws, and advance federal policy reforms.
Access to tens of thousands cannabis professionals.Their dues go from $1,000 to $25,000 US dollars a year.
Check out their website for more information about their organization.
Defense for your business against federal laws.
Access to hundreds of cannabis
businesses
National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB)The NACB identifies, creates, and implements the best practices for the cannabis industry.
They make your business responsible, sustainable, compliant, and inclusive.
Access to research on industry tendencies.The NACB charges an annual fee that can go from $1,000 to $5,000 US dollars.
Check out their website for more information.
Operational procedures to get your company in shape.
Access to industry leaders
Access to diverse stakeholders and investors
Impactful solutions for industry problems
Cannabis Cultural AssociationThe CCA is a non-profit that hosts panels, community workshops, and other events that educate minorities on the legal cannabis and hemp industries.
They focus on sharing information related to accessing medical marijuana and criminal justice reform.
Access to industry leadersThere is no fee to become a member of this association.
But they do only accept people with minority backgrounds.
Great resources about the cannabis industry
Access to events where you can network
NORMLNORML is a non-profit advocacy group that looks to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana.
They also want to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.
Access to their nation-wide network of advocatesTo become a member of NORML you can choose a monthly fee to donate.
These donations can be from $35 to $1,000 US dollars.
Check out their website for more information.
An invitation to their events and yearly conference
A plethora of resources that can serve as counter points to the anti-weed movement.
Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA)The MCBA is the largest national trade association dedicated to the minority cannabis businesses and communities.
They represent minority and allied cannabis companies and help them build their business model.
Assistance and structuring for your cannabis businessThe annual fee to join MCBA is $2,5000 US dollars annually.
Check out their website for more information.
Classes and courses that will help your business grow.
Access to industry leaders
Access to medical and legal
Access to thousands of advocates and community leaders
Cannabis Marketing AssociationThe CMA mainly focuses on hosting networking events oriented towards marketing for weed.
They also offer tons of marketing solutions for your business.
Access to all CMA eventsThe CMA charges a yearly fee of $1,500 US dollars to join.
Check out their website for more information.
Prefered pricing for booths at the conference (normally $3,500)
Access to innovative marketing solutions for your cannabis business.

Partnerships that could help you grow

When networking, also remember to think outside of the cannabis industry for potential allies. The more outside the box you think, the better results you’ll have.

But, if you find yourself stuck on possible allies that could help your cannabis business flourish, here a few ideas:

  •  Restaurants: Think about possible munchies strategies and get to know what food your clients love. Then seek out restaurants and propose strategic marketing alliances.
  • Yoga/Wellness Studios: These might be great allies given that they share something important with the cannabis industry, we both want to make people feel good and relieve stress.
  • Social Media Personalities: If you are having a hard time engaging with your customers, hire a pro. One well-done Tik Tok can mean massive traffic for your e-commerce. When choosing an influencer, make sure they engage with your target audience.
  • Health clinics: Some health clinics are actually very interested in providing alternative care solutions for their patients. As we all know, weed can be a god-send for patients with certain diseases. Make sure you do your homework before networking with a health clinic.
  • Vet clinics: This may seem like a weird option on our list, but a ton of vets actually use CBD to treat pets that suffer from various illnesses like separation anxiety or epilepsy.
  • Music Festivals: We all know that cannabis and music share deep ties with one another. Make sure you get to know what music your customers listen to and make informed decisions about which festivals to attend.
  • Artisanal Bazaars: These places can be a great way of finding new clients and possible partnerships. Make sure that you choose the right bazaar and read up on regulations first on what you can sell.
  • Gyms: Lifting weights can be painful and harmful for your muscles. Both are problems that are easily solved with weed. Talk to local gyms to see if they would be interested in collaborating with you so you can reach new clients.
  • Eating Disorder Rehab Clinics: Cannabis can be a powerful weapon against a lack of appetite. And there are tons of studies that have proven cannabis as an extremely helpful resource for those who struggle to eat. Do your homework and propose a possible alliance with your local ED Clinic.
  • Sleep Clinics: CBD is one of the most effective solutions to insomnia. Go to a local sleep clinic and talk to them about the possible benefits of recommending CBD to clients.
  • Hotels and Resorts: Let’s be honest, since states have begun to legalize weed all over the US, America is getting a massive weed-tourism income. Find out about local boutique hotels, hostels, Airbnbs, or resorts and give them some business cards. This will guarantee you get a massive tourist following.

Conclusion

Networking is basically constantly boasting about your business and forming long-lasting and profitable alliances in and out of the cannabis industry. Always remember to be engaging, friendly, and attentive. And never go outside without your business cards!

We hope you take our advice and go to one of the events we suggested. We are positive it will help your business soar to heights you never thought possible.

And just remember, be creative and remember why you got into the business in the first place. We wish you the best of luck and if you have any networking tips, please feel free to comment them in the section below.