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How Your Cannabis Business Can Benefit from Fractional Executives

Fractional Executives in Cannabis Industry

In any industry, you’ll often hear about something that’s game-changing. However, that word isn’t always used correctly or even truthfully. With fractional executives in the cannabis industry, the word is appropriate. The game-changing power of fractional executives in cannabis is real. And more people are starting to turn to using fractional leadership.   

With many startups and new businesses in cannabis, there are many gaps to fill. There are also many issues and hurdles in the way of success. Two of the many are a lack of expert leadership and being tight on funds. You can elevate your cannabis business with expertise as an a la carte service. Find out how your cannabis business can benefit from fractional executives right now. 

What is a Fractional Executive? 

Fractional executives are experts who have positions at the VP level or higher within companies. They work a few hours per week for a variety of businesses on a continuous basis. If you’re launching a cannabis business and/or lack the financial resources for a full-time executive, they are essential. Also, if you are trying to take your company to the next level and do not have adequate resources to create an optimized strategy, they can help lead the way. Here are some of the experts that companies seek out: 

  • Chief Financial Officer 
  • Chief Marketing Officer 
  • Vice President of Retail 
  • Director of Cultivation   


Fractional Executive vs. Consultant 

Fractional executives and consultants can each bring unique value to your cannabis business. They are seasoned C-suite leaders who join your team part-time, offering strategic guidance and building in-house capabilities. They’re like captains steering your ship who teach you how to do so along the way.  

In contrast, consultants are specialist navigators. They provide targeted advice and tactical solutions, ideal for typically short-term projects or troubleshooting specific challenges. Your choice depends on the scope and duration of your journey. Do you need a fractional executive to help you with big-picture plans and mentorship? Or do you need a consultant to help you run a specific part of your cannabis business efficiently? 

benefits of fractional executives in cannabis

Benefits of a Fractional Executive in the Cannabis Industry 

There are plenty of benefits to having a fractional executive on your team. Here are some of the most significant ones:

Serious Savings for the Expertise – The average salary for a C-suite executive is between $150,000 to $250,000. And that’s not including office space, PTO, bonuses and so forth. This is not an option for small-to-mid-sized businesses or even larger ones. With a fractional executive, you’ll be hiring a results-oriented expert only when you need them. And as your company’s system is refined, you can reduce their hours and save more.

Gain a Competitive Edge – Fractional executives have at least a decade of experience (often more) under their belt. Also, by working with various companies, they upgrade their understanding of finding the right solutions for the most unique business challenges. Therefore, they have deeper, more diverse experience than a full-time executive. With their combination of skills, education, expertise, cross-industry knowledge, and objectivity, they can give your cannabis business a serious competitive edge.

Flexibility as Your Business Grows – With a fractional executive, you can gain the leadership and knowledge of an expert when you need it. You may only need a fractional executive to create an actionable plan your internal team can carry out. Or you may need them a few hours a week for the year to help your cannabis business streamline systems and improve processes. You choose their schedule.   

Mentorship – Find the Michael Jordan to your Scottie Pippen. The right fractional executive for your company can provide invaluable guidance. They will show you and teach you how to navigate complex challenges and identify the best solutions for growth. With enough time and mentorship from a fractional executive, your team will be more well-equipped to plan, execute, lead, and adapt.  

types of fractional executives in cannabis industry

What are the Types of Fractional Executives in the Cannabis Industry? 

From cultivation to retail, there are fractional executives across all sectors of the cannabis industry. Find out what sector of your business needs support and guidance to ensure you are pursuing the right type of fraction executive. Here are just some of the experts available to you in the cannabis industry: 

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – The CFO is responsible for overseeing financial planning and analysis, monitoring financial performance, managing activities such as budgeting, forecasting, risk management, and reporting, and ensuring transparent and efficient financial governance. 

Chief Operating Officer (COO) – The COO plays a pivotal role in shaping strategic plans and ensuring their effective implementation, while also overseeing financial aspects and budgeting. They are dedicated to enhancing operational efficiency, minimizing risks, providing support for team management, and aligning all operational activities with the company’s overarching objectives. 

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – The CMO is responsible for devising and executing strategies aimed at enhancing brand awareness and positioning. They conduct thorough market analysis, manage marketing initiatives and assess their impact, and collaborate closely with other departments to ensure that marketing strategies align seamlessly with the broader business objectives. 

The Chief Product Officer (CPO) – The CPO is at the helm of product strategy and development, guaranteeing the successful delivery of products. They synchronize product development with customer needs, market trends, and corporate objectives while also overseeing the entire product lifecycle. 

cost of fractional executives in cannabis


How Much Does a Fractional Executive Cost?  

The cost of hiring a fractional executive can vary widely depending on several factors. This includes the executive’s level of expertise, the specific role they will be filling, the industry, the location, and the duration of their engagement. Fractional executives are typically hired on a part-time or interim basis to provide specialized leadership or expertise in areas like finance, marketing, operations, or technology. 

Here are some factors that can influence the cost of a fractional executive in the cannabis industry: 

  • Experience and Expertise 
  • Role and Responsibilities 
  • Duration 

How to Use Fractional Executives in the Cannabis Industry (examples) 

Fractional executives can bring specialized expertise and leadership to various aspects of the cannabis industry without the full-time commitment. Here are some examples of how they can be used: 

  • A cannabis startup may hire a fractional CFO to handle financial planning, budgeting, and fundraising efforts. This expert can guide the company through complex financial regulations and help secure funding rounds, all without the expense of a full-time CFO. 
  • A cannabis brand looking to expand its market presence might bring in a fractional CMO to develop and execute marketing strategies. This expert can lead campaigns, build brand awareness, and oversee digital marketing efforts, saving costs compared to a full-time CMO. 
  • A cannabis cultivation facility may require technology upgrades or automation solutions. Therefore, a fractional CTO with expertise in agricultural technology can be engaged to assess, recommend, and oversee the implementation of such systems. 
  • A cannabis company dealing with rapid growth might hire a fractional HR Director to manage recruitment, employee onboarding, and compliance with labor regulations. 
  • Given the complex and evolving regulatory landscape in the cannabis industry, a company can engage a fractional compliance officer to ensure strict adherence to state and federal laws. 


Why would a company hire a fractional executive? 

Cannabis businesses often hire fractional executives to access specialized skills and experience without the cost of a full-time executive. They can also provide a fresh perspective, help with specific projects, or fill leadership gaps during transitions. 

What types of roles can fractional executives fill? 

Fractional executives can fill various roles, including CEO, CFO, CMO, CTO, HR Director, and more. They typically specialize in areas such as finance, marketing, operations, and technology. 

How do fractional executives charge for their services? 

Fractional executives usually charge on an hourly, daily, or project-based fee structure. Some may also work for equity or a combination of equity and fees. 

What are the advantages of hiring a fractional executive in the cannabis industry? 

Advantages include cost savings, access to specialized skills, flexibility, and the ability to scale up or down as needed. Fractional executives can also bring objectivity and new perspectives to the organization. 

Are fractional executives beneficial for cannabis startups? 

Yes, fractional executives are often a great fit for startups. They can provide critical expertise and guidance to early-stage companies without the financial commitment of hiring a full-time executive team. 

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