In 2017, a group of nine friends living around the Italian city of Forli, with a common love of cannabis decided to start a comapny engaged in the production of legal cannabis and its subsequent processing into products such as CBD oils, hemp cosmetics, CBD capsules, hemp food, beverages and more. Their mission is to dispel any established myths and negative ideas about cannabis and show their wide range of positive effects (not just for humans either).
In the space of 4 short years, their products are now sold all over the European Union. To date (Spring 2021) they have 38 franchises open throughout the EU. While most of their stores are based in Italy, Cbweed stores can also be found in the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Spain and Portugal.
We spoke to Riccardo Ghibellini from Cbweed to get his take on the companies standing coming into 2022.
What interest do you currently see in franchise licenses?
The interest is relatively large. We have opened over 20 stores this year. We have seen steady growth in our newly opened stores and believe that these successes will only further convince new applicants. The biggest demand for franchisee licensees currently comes from Prague. However, countries like the Czech Republic which are still affected by the situation around COVID-19 seem like they are waiting for a "better time".
How promising do you see the cannabis market at present?
The world's largest analytics companies agree and predict the cannabis product market will multiply in the next decade. Based on data from recent years and the trend we follow in the sale of our products on the domestic and foreign markets, it seems they are not mistaken.
Who does you see as an ideal franchisee for Cbweed? What are the prerequisites and experience of a candidate?
Anyone who is interested in developing and learning new things, has a business spirit, and is friendly.
What's the time frame between a contract signing and the opening of a Cbweed store?
Our concept is relatively simple. The applicant must first choose the right location. After that, we will take care of most things. Our designers will prepare a 3D design of the store. Then, the team in Italy will then prepare the furniture and send everything directly to the store. It also depends on the condition of the premises, but usually the franchisee only needs to take care of minimal tasks, such as, preparing the cash register or other minor bureaucratic requirements, in which we can also assist. We also help with the assembly of the store when delivering the furniture. So, to answer the question, once the franchisee has the space and the contract is signed, the preparation of the store takes 1 to 2 months. After this time, the store is ready to operate.
What exactly is the franchisee responsible for?
Whether the franchisee operates solo, or employs staff, they are responsible for communicating the best product information with the customers. We will cover this in detail during the training. They must also monitor the warehouse and keep the store in good condition.
What are your next expansion plans?
Most of our current franchise inquiries are mainly from Prague. We are also interested in people from larger or smaller cities as we plan to exand throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We might not be able to open the doors of another store by Christmas, but we firmly believe that at the beginning of 2022, some of the interested parties will join us and thus expand our operations in the Czech and possibly the Slovak market with our range of cannabis products.
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