How to Launch a Medical Marijuana Dispensary

How to Launch a Medical Marijuana Dispensary

A medical marijuana dispensary makes for a lucrative business proposition. However, the entrepreneur has to jump through many hoops – some new, some old – to get the business off the ground.

The Marijuana Business Daily estimates that cannabis dispensaries and retail stores generated revenue between $6.5 and $8 billion in 2019. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic increasing the focus on health and well-being, the time is perfect for starting a medical marijuana dispensary.

However, even a layperson will know that the going will not be easy considering the legal requirements, the licensing and other regulations. Following is a look at what it takes to get such a venture going:

 1. Understand the risk and eligibility factors – Start with ascertaining whether medical marijuana is legal in the particular state where the business will be located. Be prepared for intensive background checks – not just the owners, but even the investors and employees. What’s more, the regulations are changing regularly; the taxes can get complicated; getting a loan or even opening a bank account can become a challenge at times. There are other legal parameters in store as well.
 2. Obtain licenses and permits – The marijuana business entails varied licenses and permits, without which the business will face hefty fines and may even have to be shut down. The licensing varies from state to state and will also differ based on the type of marijuana business – cultivation, processing, dispensing, etc. Get the paper trail right from the word go.
 3. Get the business plan right – The need for a clear, convincing and comprehensive medical marijuana dispensary business plan cannot be overlooked. It should define the goals and mission of the business before describing the products/services, the target market and the potential competition. The operational, marketing and financial plans are crucial along with instituting benchmarks and contingency planning for the future.
 4. Secure a location – Like any retail business, the marijuana dispensary needs an ideal location. There will be regulations along with the traditional considerations of choosing a location. An online dispensary – through e-commerce platforms or a company website – can be quite lucrative as well.
 5. Technicalities – The entrepreneur has to choose a name, register the business, obtain insurance, start a bank account and set up taxes.
 6. Build a team – Every business needs a team, be it partners, managers or employees. Get the required professional support and also look for advisors if needed.
 7. Branding and marketing – Look for a catchy brand name and focus on how to get it in front of the public. Create a marketing hook that will draw them in and keep them coming. However, keep in mind that marijuana advertizing is another minefield of strict regulations.
 8. Open the doors – Everything is ready for the grand launch and it is time to throw open the doors – physical or virtual – and launch the business with a grand opening and some juicy offers in store!

The best resource for getting a winning medical marijuana business plan is The Plan Writers ( Plan it right and reap the profits very soon!