How to open a Dispensary

Equity acknowledges the systematic inequalities that exist in society and seeks to remove them. In cannabis, social equity processes help minority business owners or those who were adversely affected by the war on drugs, participate in the industry.

More and more states throughout the country are incorporating social equity into their marijuana programs in efforts to build a more inclusive and diverse cannabis market.

Social equity and DEI initiatives offer positive transformation and greater representation across the market with the added community benefit of elevating marginalized groups.

Ultimately, these programs help reduce barriers of entry for those who qualify and who want to be a part of a global industry with widespread economic opportunities.

These programs can look different depending on the state. For example, in New York in order to qualify an applicant has to meet a different set of parameters than in New Jersey.

States with Social Equity Programs:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington (pending development)

The Cannabis Business Advisors offers a comprehensive suite of services, including application and licensing preparation, operational analysis, merger and acquisition support, policy and procedures, exit strategy guidance, and business development planning.

In addition, the firm assists social equity applicants with raising capital, building license applications, and creating ownership structures that allow license holders to scale or sell by choice.

Interested in a cannabis business license? Visit and email us at

Looking for more of a DIY option? Browse our templates!

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