How to Make Money in SA’s Cannabis Industry – Without Selling Weed

By |Published On: April 7th, 2021|
Cannabis Can Help South Africa

Cannabis support industries are where many of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, investors and business owners are carving their own unique solutions to the puzzle of making money from Cannabis, without actually selling weed (which is still illegal). With Cannabis use becoming destigmatised amongst a large and varied demographic, more and more Cannabis support businesses are setting down their roots and beginning to blossom into the public perception of what could be the new norm.

Whilst there are distinctive challenges to be tackled when it comes to working with Cannabis brands and businesses, such as marketing using popular social tools (e.g. Facebook and Instagram); there are also many large scale opportunities, as well as niche spaces to fill.

What Are Cannabis Support Industries?

From lawyers to accountants; electricians to social media marketers – there are many businesses in the Cannabis space that provide support to Cannabis users and companies in South Africa.

The products and services these businesses provide are often needed to foster the actual growth and processing of Cannabis. Obvious examples such as grow shops spring to mind, directly related to the fact that many South African’s have jumped at the chance to legally grow their favourite plant in the privacy of their own home. From selling craft Cannabis specific soil, to luxury lighting for the perfect flower, grow shops are already sprouting up in your local neighborhoods, filled mostly with great advice, and horticultural tools & supplies.

As with any emerging industry, educating the customer goes with the territory. Businesses that establish trust and authority with their clients will stand out and succeed in what could become an easily saturated market. Cannabis companies want to be treated professionally, and should evaluate and present themselves as such too. This creates opportunities for support industries such as branding and marketing. Many Cannabis companies are SMEs and adopt an “I can do it all myself” approach, maybe out of necessity; but it pays to have professional help. The marketing world is rapidly changing and the digital realm can be overwhelming to handle or manage properly. When it comes to SMEs, as with most owner run businesses, Cannabis specific company owners are not exempt from having to decide where best to spend their capital vs their time – and where they decide to invest in this outsourcing could be swayed by having Cannabis friendly offerings.

There are also many opportunities for local Cannabis community connections, which can be monetised. Purely being a 420 friendly private hotel could bring in a new demographic of customers. Cannabis companies need logos and branding. Small scale home-growers need electricians sometimes when they’re too stoned to realise their timer isn’t working because the power had been off with load shedding and just needed to be reset 🤦‍♀️.

Here are some other examples of products and services that support the Cannabis industry:

  • Design, Branding, Merchandising & Packaging

  • Marketing – SEO and Social; Content creation – writers etc; Print and Digital Strategy

  • Grow Security Setups

  • Educational Courses & Content

  • Photography

  • Music – musicians for Cannabis events to music production for Cannabis company promo videos

  • Animation – related to marketing

  • Video Production – marketing; education

  • Video Editing – marketing; education

  • Plumbing & Irrigation

  • Electricians – for indoor grow setups and even greenhouse/ outdoor ones

  • Accounting and Administration

  • Legal Services

  • Accommodation

  • 420 Friendly Hotdesk Spots & Coffee Shops

  • Event Management & Production

  • Entertainment & Media

  • Extraction & processing of raw matter

Are you in one of these above mentioned industries? Tell us your experiences and thoughts in the comments!

Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!

Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!


About the Author: Robyn Cameron

Entrepreneur | Web Dev & Design | UX | E-Commerce | Digital Brand Management & Strategy | Business Management | Musician | Flow Artist | Director @FieldsofGreenforALL.

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  1. Matlhodi March 8, 2023 at 12:09 am - Reply

    Hi, please help,Where to start when I want to plant cannabis for commercial purposes ?is there any funding , training available for cannabis farmers

  2. Trevor Johnson April 29, 2021 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Hi I am very much interested in exstration of cannabis. I have a solvent exstrating machine. I have exstrated some product for some friends and are looking at formalizing this business opportunity. Where do I start? Can some pls point me in the right direction. Thanks

    • Robyn Cameron May 10, 2021 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Trevor, you have already started :) Friends, family and your current network is the best place to start – word of mouth referrals, especially in this industry are great channels to develop a customer base! That is really what the start of a business is – your first actual sales/ successful services provided. In a service such as this, happy clients make the business, so your focus should be centered around that, and then from there, you can start formalising your internal procedures – think about how you send invoices, package the end products etc.

      We had a great example of people on a similar journey with this kind of service on The Hotbox Show this week – (in the “Shit or Lit” segment)

  3. Nkosinathi Innocent Mayekiso April 8, 2021 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Legalise it and ill advertise it that’s the best thing Government can do

  4. Andrew April 8, 2021 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Nice write up, there is opportunity for all in the industry!

    If anyone is interested in some relatively inexpensive marketing automation solutions which can help with contacting large amounts of people at a time, that is also POPIA compliant, I can help!

    • Robyn Cameron April 23, 2021 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Thanks for the comment! Any Mailchimp alternatives with automated RSS feed by chance? 🙃 That’s definitely something Cannabis businesses need – reliable, affordable software to communicate effectively with their customers.

  5. Gavin April 8, 2021 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Lovely article Robyn! Thank you!

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