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Dispensaries are becoming more and more popular in the United States as marijuana legalization spreads across the country. You might be wanting to know how to start a dispensary and wondering what it takes to get it off the ground.

This post will teach entrepreneurs what steps they need to take in order to learn how to open a marijuana dispensary.

Research the Laws and Regulations

Law books on how to start a dispensary

If you're interested in opening a dispensary, you'll want to research the laws and regulations of the industry before getting started.

Even accepting payment at your store is going to take some research to understand which method would be best for your business.

The red tape and legal hassles can become overwhelming if you aren't dedicated to operating a dispensary. There is much more regulation to look into when learning how to open a marijuana dispensary than there is in some retail spaces.

Not only do you have to be prepared for all the current laws but you have to be up-to-date on all the future laws and regulations being proposed that might be implemented in the coming years. 

If you want to know how to start a dispensary, gathering as much information as you can will help you find success.

Without this information, you run the risk of operating illegally and being shut down. NORML is an organization that helps you learn how to open a marijuana business. You can find updated information using their website.

Rent Your Property

The key to getting property in your state is finding out all the rules around what makes a site location compliant.

You need to consider if there are schools, churches, or residential zones that will put your location in jeopardy of not being compliant.

Not only that but what may be compliant today is not always going to be compliant tomorrow. As new rules and regulations come out your location may become non-compliant, causing the need to move.

To save time and energy from constantly switching locations, stay ahead of any new statutes that could uproot all the momentum you cultivated in your current location.

The problems with finding the right location are layered when learning how to start a dispensary. Even if you do find a compliant location, you then have to deal with the landlord.

If the landlord doesn't have the same passion for learning how to open a marijuana dispensary as you do, they could deny your application to lease the building. Even if landlords are supportive they may not want to deal with the potential hassle from law enforcement.

Put Together a Business Plan

Creating business plan for dispensary

When legalization first began it didn't take much to get into the industry but the further it progresses the more investments you need to make.

As the market gets saturated you'll need to show how serious you are about your new business and getting a business plan together will put you in the right direction.

A business plan is a document that outlines the aims and strategies of the business. It includes details about your company's present condition, analysis of the competitive environment, proposed marketing and advertising strategies, along with a detailed fiscal forecast.

This document helps you define what kind of business you want to be and organize your thoughts on how to start a dispensary.

By showing potential investors or vendors you'll be able to secure more deals with a well-executed business plan.

Get Approved for a License

To officially open your doors as a dispensary you'll need to get approved for a license. Most business owners need to save a significant amount of money to apply for a license.

In some instances, licenses can be anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. If your license is denied for any reason you will need to work on becoming more compliant which will require more resources.

Consolidation between companies is becoming the new normal because smaller operations don't have the capital and resources to become compliant. You might want to learn how to start a dispensary but it might be easier to partner with an existing dispensary.

Look through the application process before you actually apply for your license. Try to recognize any potential problems and reach out to a consultant to get more information and your potential solutions.

Partner With Vendors

Obtaining your product, and doing so legally, will be your main focus when learning how to start a dispensary.

As the industry continues to grow, more and more dispensaries are finding themselves in the cultivation business.

Starting out in a retail store is only the first step to growing your dispensary empire. As you continue to grow you should look to possibilities of owning your own cultivation center where you grow your own product.

Controlling more of the pipeline will ensure higher margins and better chances of success when learning how to start a dispensary.

Since you probably won't be able to do this at first, creating great local relationships with reliable vendors is the key to keeping your stores stocked.

Companies that produce different forms of marijuana like edibles or concentrates are more readily available and even include their own sales teams you can contact.

Opening Your Own Dispensary

As the marijuana industry continues to grow there are more opportunities for business owners like yourself to learn how to start a dispensary. As long as you understand all the rules and regulations of the industry you'll be able to navigate renting a location, completing a business plan, and partnering with vendors.

Opening Your Own Dispensary