Marijuana is a booming industry. And as countries and states continue to move towards full-on legalization, marijuana sales show no signs of stopping. In fact, some experts estimate that the industry will be $75 billion by 2030

If you’re interested in getting in on this budding market, there’s no time like right now. Due to the many legal complications, and taboo nature of the drug, it can be hard to figure out how to start a marijuana dispensary.

But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting started in this lucrative market.

Review Your Eligibility and Commitment

First, you should take a look at why you want to get involved in the marijuana industry. If you want to open a dispensary simply for the financial gain, you may want to think twice. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and states that have legalized the drug have been cracking down on “illegitimate” dispensaries.

Opening a dispensary also isn’t a sure-fire get rich quick scheme. It’s much more of a long game type of deal. You need to see it as an investment and something that’s going to take a lot of time and work.

You should also realize that to legally open a dispensary, you’re going to have to undergo a background check. All of your employees and investors might also have to get background checks. If you have a criminal record, you may not be able to open a marijuana dispensary.

You should be knowledgable and passionate about marijuana growing and distribution.

Do the Research

Nobody said opening a marijuana dispensary was simple and easy. There is a lot of regulations and legislation between you and your grand opening. Even determining how you’ll accept payment from customers can be a complicated topic. 

To be a successful dispensary operator, you need to be forward-thinking. Not only must you be aware of all of the laws that are currently on the books but you also need to know about all of the proposed legislation and try to determine where the legal landscape is heading.

Consider reading the Cole Memorandum. This document is used by state attorneys on how to prioritize their enforcement of laws with regard to marijuana. 

There are many online databases that aim to clearly describe the laws for different municipalities across the countries. From the start, you should retain the services of both a CPA and a lawyer to make sure that you’re always on the right side of the law.

One of the justifications for legalizing marijuana is that it can be taxed. And states have been taxing the drug heavily. You’re going to want an accountant who can help you save as much money while still paying all of your taxes.

Find the Right Rental Property

More than anything, you need to find a property that is compliant. That typically means it needs to be 1000 feet from a school, 1000 feet from another compliant property, 1000 feet from a church, and 1000 feet from a residential zone. 

Keep in mind that a property that’s compliant today may not be compliant three years from now. And when you find a property, you have to be honest with the landlord about what kind of business you’ll be opening up. Some landlords might be opposed to a dispensary on their property.

You also have to think about the location from a business perspective. Is this property in an area where you’ll attract a lot of customers? You should also check if the community will be supportive of your business.

See if the state recently had any votes on marijuana legalization. Try to access the ballot results and see which counties were the most supportive and the most against. The more supportive the community is, the better chances you have at succeeding.

Get a License

It’s usually not easy or cheap to get a license for a marijuana dispensary. But it’s often necessary. It often costs thousands of dollars for the licensing application and then another few thousand every year.

Look up the fees in your state and make sure that you have the funds to cover those and more.

Obtain Your Product

Getting a quality product, and obtaining it legally, is key to having a successful marijuana dispensary. Many dispensaries choose to grow the plant themselves and in some states, this is a legal requirement. Nowadays, marijuana doesn’t just come in plant form.

There are all types of oils, edibles, juices, dabs, and more. There are plenty of companies that sell these kinds of products too. Really, all you have to do is just reach out to them and see if you can set up some kind of agreement.

Market Your Company

Try to figure out what makes your business special and then market that as best you can. Whether it’s cheap prices, great customer service, or special perks for customers, you need to find something that separates you from the crowd.

Even the role of packaging design can help your company stand out.

The Importance of Knowing How to Start a Marijuana Dispensary

By knowing the ins and outs of how to start a marijuana dispensary, you’ll have a much easier time actually getting your business off the ground. Remember that this is a business and it requires a lot of persistence and work. But if you stick to it, you can end up with huge gains down the line.

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