MJBizMag September 2022 - 8

FROM THE EDITOR Kate Lavin
Shot in the Arm
Bring back the early pandemic motivation to save small businesses
W
hen the COVID-19
pandemic first hit
the United States in
winter 2020, Americans rallied to
support small businesses such as
restaurants by ordering food and
other items to go. At the same time,
droves of consumers turned to the
internet to complete shopping that
was once done in person.
Two and a half years later, home
deliveries are as numerous as ever,
but attention to supporting and
retaining small businesses has
waned.
In the cannabis industry, the
situation is more complicated:
Delivery isn't an option in all
markets, and online orders can
still require a trip to the store,
cash in hand.
But the marijuana supply
chain extends beyond retail.
And, according to the 2022 MJBiz
Factbook, the wholesale cannabis
cultivation and manufacturing
sectors are dominated by small
businesses, with about 50% of
cultivators employing six or fewer
full-time workers.
Even in the marijuana retail sector,
the average number of stores
per operator did not increase in
2021 or 2022, indicating the race
to expand has started to ebb in
mature markets.
Enter the Microbusinesses
A growing number of states with
regulated marijuana are offering
incentives for entrepreneurs to
launch small and microbusinesses
in the form of lower licensing fees
and, in some cases, state-funded
grants and loans.
8 September 2022 | MJBizMagazine
While at least two states have
While some states
established funds
to provide marijuana
companies with
loans, entrepreneurs
unable to access
traditional banking
services need more
assistance
to succeed.
On page 42 of this issue, smalland
microbusiness license holders
share the pros and cons of
these permits. As Eric Parkhurst,
CEO of Ann Arbor, Michiganbased
Winewood Organics, told
MJBizMagazine: Such licenses
don't position small-business
owners to compete against large
multistate operators.
" Instead of leveling the playing
field, it gives us a whole different
field to play on, " he said.
More Help Needed
Regulators in states with legal
marijuana markets can do better:
Application fees for microbusiness
licenses often are the same as
those charged for large, vertically
integrated operators. And the
requirements that applicants have
real estate purchases pre-arranged
still apply.
established funds to provide loans
to marijuana companies, aspiring
entrepreneurs unable to access
traditional banking services need
more assistance if they are going
to succeed.
That underscores the importance
of federal legislation such as the
SAFE Banking Act, which would
allow financial institutions to serve
marijuana companies without fear
of federal reprisal.
Demanding Accountability
One of the biggest selling points
for a regulated marijuana industry
is the tax money that can be
recycled back into communities
in the form of infrastructure
improvements and schools.
But for too long, cannabis
businesses-especially small
ones-have been patching over
operational problems that should
be simple, such as opening a
checking account.
If state governments want to
reap the benefits of a regulated
marijuana industry, then lawmakers
need to meet business owners
halfway to ensure they can operate
safely and efficiently.
Kate Lavin is the editor
of MJBizMagazine. Reach
her at kate.lavin@
mjbizdaily.com.

MJBizMag September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag September 2022

MJBizMag September 2022 - 1
MJBizMag September 2022 - 2
MJBizMag September 2022 - 3
MJBizMag September 2022 - 4
MJBizMag September 2022 - 5
MJBizMag September 2022 - 6
MJBizMag September 2022 - 7
MJBizMag September 2022 - 8
MJBizMag September 2022 - 9
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MJBizMag September 2022 - 12
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