How to open a Dispensary

The legal cannabis market is rapidly growing. According to Grand View Research, the worldwide market will be worth $146.4 billion by 2025. The growth presents many opportunities for those with cannabis companies, such as dispensaries.


However, this growth also means more competition. According to a recent study, all legal markets in the U.S. are experiencing lower prices year to year. There are multiple ways a cannabis dispensary can be successful with the increase in competition and falling prices.


  1. Location

A good location means easy access to the dispensary. Customers are more likely to come into the dispensary if it’s easily accessible. Pick a site that is easy to walk to, near public transportation, has sufficient parking, and is wheelchair accessible. In other words, customers are more likely to come in if it’s convenient.


Local demographics play into where a good dispensary location would be as well. Knowing one’s customer base, what neighborhoods they live in, and what areas are popular with them will help to bring in more customers.


The dispensary’s location can also set it apart from the competition. Ensuring that the dispensary isn’t located too close to another makes it more likely that customers will come in, as they won’t have another choice nearby.


City zoning and regulation considerations must be considered as well. Keeping an eye on local laws and ordinances will help ensure that no rules are broken.


  1. Compliance

As cannabis is illegal under federal law, every state that has it legalized has its own set of rules and regulations regarding everything from store locations to quality controls. Understanding how state laws affect operations is vital and applies on federal, state, and local levels. Keeping an eye on any new regulations and laws that come out is essential.


  1. Community

Supporting the local community can also set a dispensary apart from the competition. Differentiating the dispensary by promoting initiatives to benefit potential customers raises brand awareness and helps overcome the industry’s negative stigmas. For example, the dispensary could sponsor fundraising events for a qualifying medical condition. By supporting the local community, the dispensary allows the community to establish positive associations with the business.


  1. Partnerships

The ability to have competitive pricing relies on the relationships formed with vendors. Partnering with local vendors and growers is essential and having a variety of vendors allows the dispensary to source new products. Furthermore, market research provides the knowledge necessary to stock up on customers’ preferences. Along with vendors, technology partnerships are also meaningful.


  1. Differentiating

Offering products the competition does not have allows the dispensary to stand out. This can be done by negotiating an exclusivity deal with vendors—though a premium may need to be paid. Developing partnered branding deals with vendors allows for an in-house brand, which competitors will not have access to.


Having a different in-store experience than other dispensaries also helps make the company stand out. From interactions with staff to the actual look of the dispensary to the display of products, all affect how customers view the dispensary. Figuring out how to make the store’s culture unique to the competition will allow for the proper adjustments to be completed and for staff to be trained to engage differently with different clientele.


Creating a welcoming atmosphere that feels inclusive to all customers is essential. This can be done by ensuring staff is friendly and knowledgable, providing bundles, and having smooth ordering procedures. Incentivizing customers to return is the goal. It can be accomplished by ensuring they have a pleasant in-store experience.


  1. Optimization

Optimizing operations creates the ability to run things smoothly and provide an excellent experience for customers. Ensuring that processes are in place for long lines and busy time windows are handled impacts the in-store experience.



By providing a hospitable environment for clients and differentiating the brand from the competition, the dispensary is more likely to succeed.


To learn how to get new customers into the dispensary read our blog post!

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