How to open a Dispensary

Are you interested in opening a dispensary? Not sure where to start? This blog is for you!

Opening a Cannabis Dispensary takes much time, hard work, and capital before it becomes profitable. However, it’s an opportunity that could result in significant success if you’re dedicated. 

Opening a dispensary takes commitment; not only is it costly, but it’s heavily regulated as well.  

Background checks are often required for the owners of a dispensary and investors and employees. If you have a criminal background, you may not be eligible to open a dispensary. However, marijuana-related offenses may be an exception. 

To be successful as a dispensary owner, you must understand the existing laws around marijuana cultivation and sales and the proposed laws and changes that will go into effect in the coming years. 

A few sources that are helpful in this area include:

The property where you set up your dispensary must comply with local laws and regulations. For example, in California, the property must be more than 1000 feet from a church, school, residential zone, and another complaint property.

Some landlords may also not want a dispensary on their property, so finding someone who is supportive is essential. 

Furthermore, when looking for a place to open a dispensary, convenience for clients must be kept in mind. Location is the most important thing for the retail side. Identifying a target market can help you choose a good location for your store. 

Creating a business plan is an essential step in opening a new dispensary. The business plan should include:

How to Access Capital

This is considered one of the most challenging aspects of the marijuana industry because a large amount of capital is necessary to open a dispensary.

Determine Budget

A clear, concise budget is another crucial aspect of a business plan. Consult wholesalers in your area to find out the cost of products. Rent cost, license cost, licensing application fee, licensing consultant fee, employee salary, transportation and storage of development, and security are other considerations for your budget.

Research the Competition

Understand the unlicensed competition landscape in the area. Look in local publications for dispensary advertisements, both brick-and-mortar and delivery.  

Conduct Market Research

This is a significant opportunity to identify customers. It will help inform the marketing and pricing strategy for the dispensary. Knowing the demographic and psychographics—will also dictate some pricing.

The License Application Process can be long and tedious. However, some consultants can be hired to take most of the process out of your hands or templates can be purchased to simplify the process further. 

Obtaining a good product for your marijuana dispensary, and ensuring you do it legally, will be a central part of opening a successful dispensary. Many dispensaries grow their marijuana, and in some states, this is mandatory. Marijuana doesn’t have to be sold just in its typical form; many patients prefer edibles, oils, dabs, and concentrates.

Decide what makes your dispensary competitive and sell it.

Your target market will inform some of your marketing choices, but some must-haves include Weed Maps and Leafly. These apps allow patients to search for dispensaries in their area. Magazine advertisements and billboards can be helpful too. Social Media Marketing also plays a role, with Instagram being the most important.

Getting customers to give Google reviews and keeping your website updated with proper SEO strategies is essential. 

Check regulations surrounding cannabis marketing, as some states have more restrictions than others. 

With cannabis legislation changing often, it is essential to stay up to date with new information even after opening a dispensary to ensure that it operates safely and legally. 

Interested in opening a dispensary? Sign up for our course or browse our templates to get started!