Cannabis brand veterans know that expanding into new states is an ordeal fraught with difficulties that conventional companies don’t even have to consider. For at least five years, companies have been trying to execute these moves and there’s still no playbook on how to do it right.
Federal reform, which appears to be gaining support in Washington, could quickly normalize the industry’s growth. And there have been discussions between states about allowing interstate trade on a limited basis. But for now, brands with national ambitions have two options, both of them fraught with risk: They can either reproduce their operations and apply for licensure in each new target state or they can partner with a company which is already established in the new market.