Through the years that passed, marijuana is considered to be bad, just like other drugs such as cocaine, meth, and opium. This has been the stereotype that is still clouding the cannabis community. This is the fact that mainstream media has created an image for cannabis that is being carried out from generation to generation. This is a problem that cannabis dispensary owners face day in and day out. So, in line with this, there is an underlying question; how to open a medical marijuana dispensary?
As mentioned above, there is a need for a massive revamp regarding the image of cannabis; a lot of clouds have to be cleared out. As of this time, the rehabilitation of the cannabis image is still being done, and a lot of good results have been produced. A few of those are the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana, which is two of the greatest achievement of the cannabis community. Another two achievements worth noting are the legalization of dispensaries and also the recognition of medical marijuana in the medical field.
Education and awareness regarding cannabis and its benefits have been made easy. As a result, many business-minded people are starting to take advantage of this by racing their way to be the first dispensary in each state they are in. Read on to find out all the things you should know on how to open a medical marijuana dispensary.
Guide on How to Open a Medical cannabis Dispensary
Step # 1: Eligibility and Promise
The majority of the medical marijuana dispensaries that are well known to the public started with the same story. They all began a quest to challenge society and to change the norm. The challenge is finding out the thin line between earning money and educating the society that medical marijuana is safe, and it is not bad. With money being the only reason why you are opening a dispensary, it’s sad to say, but it simply will not work. You have to make a statement and promise to the society that your dispensary will not be a source of negativity and illegal activities.
You have to make sure that you are legally eligible as well by following specific requirements that the state implements. You must have enough capital, and you must have a clean background to run a dispensary. Knowledge and education specifically about the products and their effects are also needed.
Step # 2: Research!
Running a dispensary is not an easy task, so you have to gain all the necessary knowledge needed before planning to open. Since weed is a sensitive issue, a lot of laws, rules, and regulations must be met; you have to know them by heart. The payment system must also be taken into account as it is a very sensitive matter as well. As an owner, you have the responsibility of knowing the existing laws and the upcoming laws. You must also make sure any of your staff are well informed about the laws and regulations. Also, knowing the laws is not enough; they must be applied at all times.
Step # 3: Selecting a Rental Property to Operate
The facility where you can operate is also tricky as it will undergo specific inspections, and the exact location must be strategically planned following the law requires. The specific instructions for the location must abide by the following:
- 1000 feet away from residential areas
- 1000 feet away from the church
- 1000 feet away from a school
- 1000 feet away from another dispensary
With listed parameters, you have to make sure you keep a safe distance. The key is looking for a place before investing in products and registration.
Step # 4: Business Planning
To be honest with you, due to the legalization and freedom to open a dispensary, many people have already saturated the market. A lot of dispensaries are already operational in many states, which is why you need to set your dispensary apart. You must create a concrete business plan that will shock any investor and also an effective business plan that will make your dispensary stand out.
A business plan must consider the following:
Owning a cannabis dispensary is costly; the products and registration take up a lot of money to be established, which is why you must have a steady capital that must not tilt. Any business needs capital, but for cannabis dispensaries, you need a lot of capital to keep it at bay.
Once you have established your capital, the next step is properly distributing it to different parts that will ensure your business to run properly. A good budget plan must always be implemented to prevent any unnecessary losses.
These are the things you need to consider for your budget.
- Cost of rent
- Licensing cost
- Application fee
- Employee compensation
- Logistics and storage fees
- Security costs
- Maintenance costs
An effective business plan must have countermeasures that will allow the business to compete with the competition. A good thing to do is research the competition; you must know the strength and weaknesses of your competitor and use it to your advantage.
Do not forget that one of your competitors is illegal sellers, which is why you need the assistance of the local authorities in keeping illegal activities to a minimum.
Another technique in finding out how your competitor operates is by looking at advertisements and the services they offer. Find out what platforms they use and also the delivery service they acquire. In this way, you can adjust your budget as well as your product prices. Always think of ways on how to counter and also how to be on the offensive.
An effective business plan must contain customer data; you must know your customer. Know what they like and dislike, know what they love, and hate about your products and services. This will enable you to adjust what needs to be adjusted.
Step # 5: Licensing
Obtaining a license to operate is a tiring task, be extra patient in completing it. Make sure you bring all the requirements that they need for your dispensary to be approved. Prepare at least $16,000 or more to pay all the fees needed. It’s better if you ask the local government in your state regarding all the requirements before jumping in.
Step # 6: Product Acquisition
Having good products is key to your success. You have to obtain all of your cannabis products in a legal matter. Do not be tempted with low priced illegal products; it will cost you a lot more when caught by the authorities. You can acquire products from local growers if there’s any. But it is strongly advised if you grow your products just like other reputable dispensaries across the country.
Step # 7: Marketing
Once you have accomplished step 1 to step 6, you have to face the hardest challenge yet. You have to know how to sell your products and how your dispensary looks like. Think of ways on how you can stand out, choose the correct platform to advertise and sell your products.
This is your complete guide on how to open a medical marijuana dispensary. All you need to do is to know the risks and have the courage to face them. Opening a dispensary is not an easy task as do all business startups, but if you won’t do it now, when?