Now that you’ve made the business decision to enter the cannabis industry, your first objective is not only determining if you have your financials in order but most importantly is getting your cannabis license.
Cities and states have created regulations and processes that can either become a roadblock or a safe passage to your new business venture. And sometimes, those regulations go through changes at a moment’s notice, as some license applicants in Maryland discovered. The plain fact is that all of this is new, and none of the regulators have experienced working in an industry where the main product to be sold is federally illegal.
Think of it this way: Getting a cannabis license is not as easy as when you get a driver’s license. When you go to get your driver’s license, there are a few things you can expect. A long line, some state employees who are indifferent, and an objective test which requires no interpretation. You are almost assured you will be walking out of there with a driver’s license, provided you can read and drive.
Getting a cannabis license, although similar, is not as simple. The process is long, technical, and your application is subject to the interpretation of the person or panel that is scoring it. Not only that, but there are a limited number of licenses awarded, and the competition is extreme. For instance, Pennsylvania received around 500 applications, and is only awarding licenses for no more than 25 growers and 50 dispensaries.
Putting together a winning application is not only the most critical part of the process, but it is also the genesis of establishing a business in the cannabis industry. In my experience writing, reviewing, and editing cannabis applications, I suggest you consider the following as they may be three keys to a winning application.
Begin With the End in Mind
Like a fine wine cellar or whiskey barrel, cannabis is best when aged in a cool, dark place. Heat can dry out essential oils and too much moisture can cause dangerous bacteria and mold to grow.
Cannabis and Heat
Organic matter thrives in temperatures between 77° and 86° F, so keep your product stored below this temperature to prevent mildew and other molds from growing. Additionally, extra heat can dry out the cannabinoids and terpenes that take months to develop. When the plant material and essential oils get too dry from extra heat, it can result in a harsh and unpleasant smoke. Furthermore, warm air facilitates more moisture than cool air, which leads us to our next consideration…
Cannabis and Humidity
Keep your cannabis stored in a controlled environment with the proper relative humidity (RH) ranges. Humidity control is key to keeping mildew and other mold impurities away from your cannabis. Generally, in order to keep cannabis product at its freshest, store product between 59% and 63% RH to maintain and enhance color, consistency, aroma, and flavor. Mold occurs when medicine is exposed to humidity of 65% and above.
Worried your product may already have mold? To check, break the product under a bright light and look for webbing similar to moldy bread. If mold is present, the product should be discarded