Steps for Starting a Cannabis Dispensary

Steps for Starting a Cannabis Dispensary

For entrepreneurs who are willing to put in the work, opening medical dispensaries can be a great opportunity. The output revenue generated by dispensaries and retail stores is around $6.5-8 billion according to Marijuana Business Daily estimates for 2019.

Let’s explore what you need to know if this sounds like something you would want get into.

Set Up Your Financial Information

Opening a brand new cannabis shop is both expensive and extremely competitive. But if you know what to do, it can be both profitable and fun.

The first step in starting a cannabis dispensary is understanding the financial regulations that apply to your state or area. Even though marijuana was legalized, there are still many restrictions on how dispensaries operate from place to place.

Choose an accounting system and have it set up before opening your dispensary. If the dispensary is in a state that requires cash only for transactions, then you should consider setting up your own bank account with a banking institution.

It’s also important that you have liquid cash on hand and proof of capitalization as required by state laws. The liquid cash you have, the better.

Choose The Right Dispensary Location

Selecting the right location for a cannabis dispensary is crucial. To find your ideal spot, you will need to do some research on demographics of surrounding areas to know how many people are searching for dispensary near me and also where people are traveling from in order to purchase cannabis products. A good rule-of-thumb is that dispensaries shouldn’t be located at least 1000ft away from schools and churches. But this varies from state to state.

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Also, you need to decide whether you want to lease or own a building. Leasing a building can be quick and easy, but you’ll typically pay more rent each month than if you purchase the property.

Lastly, when selecting your retail shop location, it would be best to consider some traditional aspects such as competition, surrounding businesses, foot traffic, and parking. All of these factors will contribute to the success or failure of your dispensary.

Craft A Good Business Plan

A good business plan is crucial to the success of a cannabis dispensary. It’s essential that you have a well-thought out game plan for how your store will operate, and this includes everything from pricing both at the door and on wholesale orders, as well as marketing plans, staffing needs, security considerations, and more.

You’ll also need to predict your future prospects and more detailed information on your products.

Set Up Federal And State Taxes

To set up your federal and state taxes, you will need to contact a tax professional. If you are just starting out with your dispensary, it’s best to consult an accountant who is experienced in cannabis taxation so they can help establish the right accounting practices for your business.

Different states have different cannabis tax rates and structures. So it would be best to check with your state.


With marijuana legislation changing a lot, it’s important to stay up-to-date on new information even after you open your dispensary. With this info, you have good chances of opening an excellent and profitable marijuana dispensary.