Partner Matt VanDerbeck joined the Rensselaer Chamber webinar “Cannabis: An Economic Buzz” on the opportunities presented by the cannabis industry and how to prepare the business in advance of license applications. The panel spoke on how the state is approaching cannabis legalization, the potential opportunities, and considerations for business plans.
“The amount of activity has really ramped up since [the Governor] has come on board. I think that’s giving everyone a sense of urgency to start to act and move,” VanDerbeck said. “Where when I’ve talked to people over the last year, a lot of people have been on the side, as a ‘wait-and-see’. It seems there’s been an acceleration of the process.”
“A lot of it comes down to: do you understand enough about the industry itself? That’s where it seems a lot of time needs to be spent, to really get that knowledge and talk to people who have done it elsewhere and are doing it now. You’ve got to pull those people in to help you,” VanDerbeck said. “We find people approaching us just trying to make sure they can lock up who are the people they want to work with. They’re building teams of people to help support them move forward.”
His advice for people trying to enter the cannabis industry was to learn as much as possible regarding the industry, business plans, and the realistic opportunities and limitations to entering the market. This can be done by doing the industry research, talking to people familiar and active in the industry, and making a comprehensive plan that ties in connecting with the people and capital needed to support the business.