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How three startups want to make money from cannabis clubs

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How three startups want to make money from cannabis clubs

Partial legalization opens up further business areas with social clubs in the cannabis industry. Getty Images/Jena Ardell; Collage Dominik Schmitt

Cannabis social clubs have creative names similar to barbershops: High Society, Hanf im Glück, Broccoli Buddies, Starbuds. The puns seem endless. However, social clubs don’t have much more room for creativity than when it comes to naming. The Cannabis Act (CanG) has been in force since April 1st and thus partial legalization. This requires strict regulations. Bubatz yes, but bureaucratic.

Cannabis Social Club Rules

In principle, anyone can start a club. Cannabis social clubs are considered clubs. However, the clubs are not allowed to grow or distribute cannabis near schools, playgrounds and youth centers. You must keep a minimum distance of 200 meters. In addition, club founders are only allowed to accept 500 members. Anyone 18 years of age or older may apply for membership. The club then decides: take or toss. Members who are younger than 21 are allowed to consume a maximum of 30 grams per month. All other members a maximum of 50 grams of cannabis per month, but a maximum of 25 grams per day.

The clubs themselves set prices per gram and membership. According to the Cannabis Price Index 2024, memberships can range from 60 euros to 160 euros. In Berlin, however, they start from just twelve euros. A gram of cannabis is expected to cost around seven euros in clubs.

Club founders face major challenges: managing members and data, finding cultivation areas and, above all, planning smartly. Because the clubs are not allowed to make a profit from cannabis. They have to cover their costs through annual membership fees and gram prices for the cannabis. The end result is a zero-sum game.

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It is precisely in these challenges that startups see opportunities to penetrate markets. Three examples, three business models:

Manage it: Das Startup 420Cloud

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