How to Open a Marijuana Dispensary

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How to Open a Marijuana Dispensary

If you want to take the marijuana industry by storm, the best way to do it is by opening up a marijuana dispensary. Opening up a marijuana dispensary might not be as easy as you think. With the widespread legalization and decriminalization of cannabis use, the potential to get the most out of Marijuana is rather enticing. So, if you want to know how to open a marijuana dispensary, you’ll have to continue reading.

Sometimes, you get all too excited about the potential of cannabis, from the widespread news of its medicinal values, and to the most polarizing part of cannabis, which is the psychoactive way. Either of the two, it can be catered by a marijuana dispensary.

What is a Marijuana Dispensary?

A dispensary is a type of store where specific products or items are sold. Marijuana dispensaries exist because federal law prohibits Marijuana from being prescribed through stores or pharmacies. To put it simply, a marijuana dispensary is a place where you get to buy marijuana products. Marijuana dispensaries specialize in only one thing, and one thing alone, and that is to provide Marijuana products, whether for recreational or medicinal use.

There are two types of Marijuana dispensaries, the medical and recreational dispensaries. Medical dispensaries require you to have legal documentation such as recommendation letters or medical marijuana card, and for the most part, medical marijuana dispensaries provide discounts for medical marijuana patients.

On the other hand, a recreational marijuana dispensary allows all walks of life to enter the premises without having a recommendation letter nor a medical marijuana card. As long as you are anywhere the age of 21 and above, you can legally purchase marijuana products. Depending on what state you live in, a medical or recreational marijuana dispensary can offer you similar or different marijuana products.

Things to Consider When Trying to Open up a Marijuana Dispensary

Before you dive directly into the thick of things on how to open a marijuana dispensary, there are some things you need to consider before opening up. These include:

  • Get training or Hire someone who knows about growing Marijuana. Unless you are already an expert in cannabis, hiring someone with substantial knowledge plays an essential role in your dispensary. Most dispensaries grow their cannabis strains right on the site, although this may vary from the state you live in. Opening up a marijuana dispensary is easy as long as you have the right people with the proper knowledge about everything in Marijuana.
  • Research about zonal laws. A dispensary is called a business, so you might have to put up a dispensary within a commercial zone. Before proceeding, you may need to acquire different documentation, such as permits and other documents.
  • Conclude whether putting up a marijuana dispensary is legal or not. Although most states legalize the operation of marijuana dispensaries, state law varies from state to state. Before opening, you should first seek a conversation with any person in authority from the Department of Health Services. After that, go to your municipal offices to check whether it is legal to operate a marijuana dispensary.
  • Decide whether you can put up with everything associated with Marijuana. There is an incredible risk involved whenever you put up a marijuana dispensary, from social stigmas to securing employees or even being targeted by thefts. Although you are the boss of your company, be aware of the stress and risks involved when putting up one. If you are prepared for any challenges that might arise, then go for it. The best asset you have when it comes to marijuana dispensaries is having mental fortitude.
  • Hire a lawyer. This plays an important role because of how dispensaries face legal repercussions. A lawyer can help you secure various permits, licenses, and they make sure that you comply with all the requirements from the state, county, and city levels.

Steps on How to Open a Marijuana Dispensary

Step 1

Prepare yourself with a concrete business plan. A business plan will help you find potential investors by providing them with your company’s main objective, projections, ideas, and goals. Whether you want to go solo and start small, and have business partners and go big.

Step 2

Provide the necessary funding. While the budget depends on the store’s location, starting up a good marijuana dispensary should cost you around $250,000, but it can even go up to $500,000 depending on the money you or your partners have. This figure will include various funding, from getting a license, securing a store, marijuana products, insurance, and other expenses.

Step 3

Hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This can help you navigate with the funding and the other financial side of the business. Hiring a CPA will help you know what the correct tax forms are, and help you manage with your finances and even payroll.

Step 4

If you don’t have a place, then the best option you have is to rent a place. Don’t buy a store or place directly. Remember that a marijuana dispensary is a high-risk investment, you should prefer renting the place to start things off. When looking for the right property, keep every local ordinance in check.

Step 5

Get the products ready. For this part, the best should be starting small if you are starting your business on your own. Try a few strains; be sure they are of high-quality. As long as you aren’t growing your Marijuana, try to look for strains that are popular among age groups.

Step 6

Have your dispensary maintain a reputable image. Marijuana dispensaries often receive backlash because of Marijuana itself. However, if you do cater to patients and users politely, it will likely give them a lasting impression, and in return, they will be back again. Just be sure that you are providing high-quality marijuana products.

Step 7

When it comes to this generation, the best platform you have is through social media or making a website. It will be the best way to market your products. Always build excellent customer service and quality products.


Regardless of what business you choose, opening up a business is not for the faint-hearted. You should be prepared for all the instances that may occur. Marijuana dispensaries are clouded with the social stigma surrounding cannabis; however – if you are up to the challenge, you must know how to open a marijuana dispensary.

Keep in mind the things you need to consider and the steps on how to open a dispensary. Always be a reliable company and provide excellent quality products and customer care. Above all, the secret to having a great business is having a great character, attitude towards customers and employees, and the right price and payroll.

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