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If you’re selling a cannabis license in BC (which usually means selling the license, store assets and sometimes a municipal development permit), a little housekeeping goes a long way to ensuring your operation is attractive to potential buyers. As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”. If you don’t prepare before putting the store up for sale, you may miss opportunities for a quick sale, or any sale.
Because owners of retail cannabis operations are often too busy or lack the expertise, there are times when bringing in an expert consultant to help prior to putting your cannabis license up for sale makes more sense than managing the sale yourself.
The cannabis store consultants at Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors understand the intricacies of provincial rules and municipal regulations when contemplating an ownership change. We’ve worked with many retail cannabis and liquor operations in BC and are often brought in after busy owners have thrown up their hands in frustration. Usually, it’s not that store owners don’t have the ability to prepare for sale and shepherd it through to completion; it’s that they don’t have the time to give it the attention required. Preparing for a sale includes a laundry list of things to address.
Below, are the most important pre-sale preparation steps that should be completed before advertising your operating cannabis license and store for sale.
Clean Your Cannabis Store
Cleaning and organizing your store are the easiest ways to impress potential buyers. Clean the following:
- Outside entrance and landscaping
The entrance is the first thing a buyer or their agent will see of your cannabis store. Make sure it’s tidy. Consider hiring a landscaper to pull weeds, trim and prune and/or plant appropriate entranceway plants. Fix anything outside that is in disrepair (dirty bricks or siding, stained or dirty signage, stained or cracked entrance walkways). These little touches go a long way!
- Store windows inside and out
- Display cases and standalone displays
- Cash register counter
- Floors, walls, corridors and ceiling tiles
Wash floors and walls and remove clutter from corridors. Replace or fix broken, cracked or stained ceiling tiles.
- Indoor and outdoor lighting
Replace burned out lightbulbs and/or repair broken fixtures.
- Stock rooms, staff lounges or lunch areas
Cannabis Store License Compliance Audit
Not only can being out of compliance cost you your cannabis license, potential buyers or their agents will look for compliance issues that need to be addressed before the sale is made. Retail cannabis licensing is still a hot-button topic, and the BC government has a huge stake in ensuring public safety. Because of this, the newly legal cannabis industry is heavily scrutinized. Consider a cannabis store compliance audit conducted by an experienced consultant that knows what cannabis licensing compliance inspectors are looking for.
Policy & Procedures Manuals
Retail cannabis store policy and procedures manuals show potential buyers that you run a tight ship, that staff are aware of their duties and responsibilities, and, you have taken steps to codify procedures. Remember that when you’re selling a cannabis license, you’ll also be “selling” the experience of your staff. Because manuals can form the basis of training, they show the buyer that a mechanism is in place to not only ensure good practices are being followed by current staff, but also that new staff can get up to speed quickly.
Prepare Financials Statements
Buyers will want to see your retail cannabis operation’s financial statements. Buyers or their agents may ask for the following:
- Balance Sheet
- Income Statement (also called a “profit and loss statement” or “P&L”.
- Cash Flow Statement
- Quarterly Budget Projections vs. Actuals
- Inventory on Hand
Buying or Selling a Cannabis Store in BC? Thrive Advisors Makes it Easy
If you’re considering buying or selling a cannabis license, contact the retail cannabis consultants at Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors. We have industry contacts and know what makes a cannabis store sell. We facilitate the sale and provide pre-sale consultation, so you know exactly what to do before you buy or sell.