How to open a Dispensary

The cannabis industry grows larger and larger every year, with more competition. Dispensary customers are placing value on brand loyalty now more than ever. This means it’s necessary to communicate and build relationships to retain clients and get new customers into the dispensary. So what are the steps that need to be taken?


  1. Discover your audience

Not every customer who comes in is going to be looking for the same experience. It’s important to be able to market to a range of different types of clients. Some examples of customers that may come into the dispensary include:

  • Deal-Getters: these are clients who need an incentive to purchase—they’re looking for promotions and benefits. Marketing sales and discounts is beneficial.
  • Locals: these are clients who live or work nearby. Marketing happy hours or neighborhood discounts is a great way to get them to stop in!
  • New customers: these are clients that are new to cannabis, and as many states have recently legalized it, likely make up a large portion of customers. Having information for these customers readily available will make them more likely to be drawn towards the dispensary.
  • Groups: these clients are the most prevelant in the cannabis industry. They include seniors, veterans, and students. To market to these customers, try to include special discount codes geared towards specific groups.


  1. Develop your brand

Branding helps a dispensary stand out from the competition. The dispensary should have a specific aesthetic that matches the website, social media, and marketing material. Customers should be able to get up-to-date information, and recognize the branding. Ensuring that the website has a good mobile platform is important, as many customers browse online menus on their cellphones.


  1. Offer Discounts and Promotions

Many customers choose dispensaries by who has the best deal. 2 out of three people on Weedmaps are there looking for a deal. To capture these customers dispensaries need to make sure there’s a variety of deals to get them through the door. Some examples of deals that can be offered include:

  • Birthday discounts
  • Referral discounts
  • Themed-discount days
  • Loyalty program discounts


  1. Invest in digital marketing

Online marketing can be difficult due to regulations, however, there are still a number of ways to increase web presence in order to get new dispensary customers. Social media marketing gives dispensaries a platform to communicate with current and new customers. Due to laws, cannabis companies cannot advertise the sale of cannabis, but can create brand awareness.


Blogs are also an effective strategy for generating new customers. Ranking high in SEO leads to the website being found more often through search engines such as Google, and will increase traffic to the dispensary’s site.


Email and text message marketing is another way to reach out to customers and inform them of deals and promotions happening at the dispensary. With strict regulations surrounding the industry, text message and email marketing allows dispensaries to interact directly with customers who have signed up for it, and legally engaging with target customers.



Are you interested in marketing help for your cannabis business? Set up an operational consultation with Sara Gullickson.

Looking to get a license? Not sure where to start? Call us at 602-290-9424 or email us at

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