BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – It’s pretty safe to assume that every one of the 600 people who came to the Mississippi Cannabis Expo – and the Cannabis Meets Healthcare Expo – believes in medical cannabis.
But what’s not so clear is how to make a living in the fledgling industry.
“It’s a gold rush, you know,” said Brian Bricker, owner of The Happy Cultivation Company. “Some people are going to make it and some people aren’t. I’m hoping to be one of the ones to make it.”
Bricker is ready to begin his Harrison County business growing medical cannabis. He’s learned that even with the best intentions, you can get caught off guard.
“Anything new like this is going to have issues, and one thing we did not count on is possible zoning changes,” he said.
And when the Harrison County Office of Zoning meets July 21 to discuss medical cannabis rules, Bricker will be there. He encourages others as well.
“If you’re not there, if you don’t say anything, then you’ve got nothing to go on.”
In the meantime, he’s finding a long list of new responsibilities.
“There is the standard formation of a company,” he said. “Make sure you check with every agency, register with the state, register with the taxes – all that jazz – and business licenses.”
Vendors from all across the country came to the expo – organized by the Georgia-based company CannaOne – to promote their services, but also to provide valuable guidance.
Dreamz Dispensary is promoting ownership and support through franchising.
“It takes a lot of help and support,” said CEO John Fisher. “It’s not an easy industry to navigate. There are a lot of rules and regulations and compliance. So, we can help with those situations, plus, helping to locate real estate and help them build a successful plan and put a good model together.”
Southern Sky brands out of Canton, will be making the products sold at local dispensaries.
COO Steve Merritt has this advice.
“Don’t look for just the money,” he said. “If you’re in it just for the money, don’t get into this business. Be here to serve the patients, because this is medicine. We’ve got really good medicine. … It’s not hard to grow weed. It’s hard to grow really good medical marijuana.”
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