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5 Books On How To Start a Cannabis Business

This article was originally written for Viridian Sciences, developers of cannabis seed-to-sale and ERP software. The original article can be found here: 5 Books On How To Start a Cannabis Business

If you’re in the early stages of thinking about or planning to start a cannabis-related business, you’re probably looking for expert advice. We did some research on these five books available on Amazon.com and their authors to save you some time and give you some insight into each of them.

A Budding Success: The Ultimate Guide to Planning, Launching and Managing a Lucrative Legal Marijuana Business


Authors: Charles Restivo and Cory Cervantes

Author Charles Restivo has been a longtime medical marijuana advocate. Restivo’s bio says, “I was instrumental in obtaining Santa Barbara’s first medical marijuana dispensary permit. I come from a finance and accounting background and I think of myself as an entrepreneur. I have learnt first hand how to run a successful storefront dispensary which is often quite a controversial business.”

Restivo is also the co-author of  “California Medical Marijuana Dispensary and Grower’s Guidebook” as well as  co-authoring “A Budding Success: The Ultimate Guide to Planning, Launching and Managing a Lucrative Legal Marijuana Business.”

Restivo has first-hand experience with local policing, district attorneys, and the federal DEA including “numerous hours in court sessions and attorney briefings.” Mr. Restivo's prior experience includes auditing various 501(c)(3) non-profit corporations and has experience with business valuation, acquisitions, and consulting.

Contributor Cory Cervantes began his cannabis career in the early 2000s, as a hydroponics store operator. For the last decade, Cervantes has been involved in dispensary operations, employee training, patient interaction, and retention, city compliance, local licensing, oversight of large outdoor grows, extraction, and edibles manufacturing.

He has also managed multiple indoor and outdoor grow operations on the West Coast and was involved in the construction and operations of two cannabis dispensaries in Santa Barbara. He started a private consulting group to help clients to develop business plans, dispensary outlines and staffing, workflow structures, employee handbooks, product selection processes, and growing procedures.

He currently manages one of the longest-standing cannabis collectives and delivery services in the California Tri-Counties area.

According to the book’s description, it provides, “first-hand expert guidance that carries you through every angle of planning, launching, and running your business.”

This book has decent reviews with the biggest criticism being that it’s a very basic guide for newbies but does not go into great detail. However, many reviews claim that it was informative for beginners.

Starting & Running a Marijuana Business (Idiot's Guides)


Author: Debby Goldsberry

Author Debby Goldsberry claims to have 30 years of experience in the medical cannabis industry and in marijuana policy reform. Goldsberry co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) medical cannabis collective in 1999, “setting the gold standard for best practices and community involvement.” There, Goldsberry developed and implemented standard operating procedures for procurement, product safety, patient relations, and business management and operations that have been replicated by dispensaries around the nation.

Goldsberry co-founded and directed Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the Medical Cannabis Safety Council (MCSC), and Cannabis Action Network (CAN). She is a board member at California NORML, a former board member of the Marijuana Policy Project, and teaches Procurement and Patient Relations (Budtending) for Oaksterdam University.

Goldsberry is also currently the Ambassador at Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, CA, a model medical cannabis dispensary.

“Idiot's Guides: Starting & Running a Marijuana Business” is designed to help entrepreneurs “navigate this complex industry with careful planning and special considerations to make the most of your new venture.”

In it, Goldsberry attempts to provide information such as best practices for securing locations and permits, dealing with the financial restraints, and managing the day-to-day aspects of running a business. It also provides insights on the legal challenges from state-to-state, expert advice on locating cultivation/dispensary sites, creating a business plan, securing finances, training staff, dealing with security measures, paying taxes, and offering medical patient counseling, and marketing strategies. She includes checklists designed to “ensure all systems are covered.”

This book has overall good reviews (14) with a couple of dings. Most of the more comprehensive 5-star reviews were written by people who know the author.

Continue reading: 5 Books On How To Start a Cannabis Business

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