The Basics of Starting Your Own Dispensaries

cannabis business

Starting your own cannabis business is not as difficult as you might think. Many cities across the United States have liberal marijuana laws. However, there are still many hurdles to clear before anyone can start a cannabis business from a home or apartment. It would be wise to seek help from a local attorney and/or city official to navigate the rules and regulations of specific cities in your state.


Every city, county, and even state in the country has its unique set of rules and regulations. Take California as an example. While you probably know the State as the nation’s weed capital, only less than 30% of all California cities (142 of 482) currently allow medical-care cannabis business within their borders, and even fewer (perhaps a third) have laws permitting adult-use cannabis shops. As with any new industry, starting a cannabis business will require hiring the right employees, and if you are just getting started, you may need to spend some money getting your shop up and running.

Although it may seem like a good idea to buy wholesale amounts of equipment and grow your plants yourself, most states do not allow you to do this under any circumstances, whether you are legally allowed to sell cannabis or not. Instead, most startup cannabis businesses purchase products from licensed distributors and distribute them on-site. You should never buy large quantities of cannabis for your personal use or sell it to friends and family who cannot legally consume it. If you do sell it to minors, there is a chance that they could get arrested and spend time in jail. It is far better to start small and grow slowly as a long-term cannabis business.


A cannabis business also needs a viable distributor strategy in place in order to function properly. There are many ways to distribute your product, but the two most popular are delivery systems and storefronts. Delivery methods depend on local laws and the nature of your customers. While storefronts offer more freedom to display your product and customize your storefront to match your product line and style, delivery systems include everything from courier services to truck deliveries.

Before you begin anything related to your cannabis business, you need to come up with a solid business plan. A business plan gives your business an official direction, listing every task you plan to accomplish, the costs involved, potential customers, risks you face, and your plans for future growth. Without a business plan, you are simply flying blind. Plan ahead so you know exactly what you want to do and how to get there.


The final leg in the journey towards becoming a professional cannabis business owner is the application process for your cannabis license application. There are many steps involved, including preparing the application, collecting the appropriate forms, submitting it to the appropriate departments, processing it, getting inspected, paying fees, waiting for approval, and then waiting for the certificate. Some states allow individual municipalities to handle the licensing process themselves, but most require that licensed distributors work under the purview of a governing board. Licensed distributors can operate up to six cannabis stores in their area, although some states have limits as to how many may be operated at any given time. The more outlets you have operating, the more chance you’ll have to score contracts with distributors, resellers, personal accounts, lounges, or any number of other customers.

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