We frequently get asked how to find a quality consultant and cannabis attorney. This is a topic that is important to us, because we sometimes get clients who have started the process with a consulting firm that took their money and failed to perform. We’ve seen self-proclaimed “cannabis attorneys” and “cannabis application lawyers” who take equity in companies, charge astronomical rates, and hurt applicants by providing a poor work product or failing to prepare the application altogether.
To avoid falling into this trap, here are 6 questions that you can ask the cannabis consultant or cannabis attorney to better determine if they’re qualified to have your business.
- Does the price you are quoting me include everything that will get me from start through the submission of my application and any follow ups required by the state, such as a notice for more information?
- How many people are on your team? Exactly how many of those individuals are dedicated solely to my cannabis application project?
- What are the backgrounds of your application writing team?
- Do you outsource your writing team or are they part of your company? (Side note: We’re known as the “consultants to the consultants” because oftentimes consulting firms market themselves as cannabis application services, but actually outsource it to us…so you’re paying twice as much because you’re paying those firms to be the middleman. Yuck!)
- If they tell you their “win rate”, ask them specifics. What is your win rate in limited licensing states and what is your win rate in non-limited licensing states? This question is important because most companies blend their wins from all of the states they’ve worked in. Well, our win rate in Oklahoma, Colorado, California, New Mexico, and South Dakota is 100%. Why? Because these are unlimited licensing states where the hard work actually comes on the local municipal. The state licensing is glorified paperwork. This is very different than experience in the heavy hitter states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, New York (circa 2018 and 2019). These states were hyper-competitive, limited licensing. They were enormous projects and required precision in execution. Asking them to clarify those rates, can really showcase the quality of your consultant.
- Is this data based on full project management and preparing the entire application? If not, what does this encompass? Oftentimes, companies will blend a lot of items into that rate. If they sell templates, they may mark that as a “win”. If they’ve provided one hour of consulting, but did not help on an application, they may mark this as a “win.” Ask them to get granular with the types of work they’ve done in those states. Specifically, in what states have you worked in full project management and full application preparation services?
If you find yourself calling many cannabis attorneys and cannabis consultants and would like us to help you sort through their answers, feel free to give us a call or schedule a free 15 minute consultation and we’re happy to support you.