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How to Win an Operator License, Advertising Platforms That Work, and More Cannabis Pro Questions for Fall

Your cannabis questions answered.





I’m in a U.S. state with limited operator licenses available. How can I compete with the big MSOs to get approved for one?

Here are seven key steps you can take to improve your chances of winning a license:

  1. Know state and local laws and regulations. Learn the mechanics of making the application (hard copy or online) and the exact documentation and fees you must submit.
  2. Have your intended business location under contract. Whether it’s lease, option or purchase, make sure the location can easily be zoned for your intended use.
  3. Have a business plan. Make sure it identifies: your company’s name (the “applicant”) and addresses; its mission; projected financial statements and sources and uses of funds; products and services in cultivating, manufacturing and/or selling; and all SOPs and good manufacturing practices governing employees, contractors and customers.
  4. Have proof of insurance. You’ll need workman’s comp, general liability, auto, product liability, disability and family leave benefit plans.
  5. Prepare formation and ownership documents. These include the applicant’s governing documents for incorporation or forming an LLC.
  6. Build a team. Choose your partners and management team selectively. Avoid litigants, pessimists and energy drainers.
  7. Foster a strong community connection. Focus on how your business would serve the community if the license is granted. Some ideas: Bake social equity considerations into board appointments and management and staff hiring. Dedicate a portion of net income to local charities.


We are in an industry with lots of restrictions on advertising. But what are some ad platforms we can use that are worth the price?

Although many marketing challenges exist for cannabis, programmatic advertising is a great way to overcome these issues and remain compliant.

Programmatic advertising uses data to identify customers through similar interests and geography. Algorithms decide when and where to run ads to connected devices.

Display ads, mobile ads, native ads, CTV and digital audio are some of the formats supported by these ad platforms. Luckily, more mainstream websites and publications are beginning to accept programmatic cannabis advertising. Mantis is probably the most well-known cannabis-specific programmatic advertising platform. Other platforms such as Vana and Traffic Roots are making headway in the space.

Also, look into audio streaming platforms such as Spotify and Pandora.

Global Cannabis Times is a joint venture of SmartWork Media, Zuber Lawler and Global Go. Drop us a line at



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