How To Start a Marijuana Dispensary: A Startup Checklist

The acceptance for and rising use of medicinal and recreational marijuana presents an opportunity if you are thinking about opening a dispensary. Keep up with trends in the industry, and follow a checklist for opening a cannabis business to give yourself the best chance to succeed.

Marijuana Trends

As of 2022, 37 states and Washington, DC have legalized medicinal marijuana. So far, 18 states and DC have legalized marijuana for personal use, with others on the horizon.

Marijuana sales are also growing. By 2018 the market reached $51 billion, and it is projected to reach $100 billion by 2030.

This growth has spurred the growth of marijuana dispensaries. States that have legalized medical and/or recreational use of marijuana issued more than 5,000 licenses to growers in 2020.

How To Start a Marijuana Dispensary

Having everything in order saves you both time and money if you are considering opening a marijuana dispensary.

Check the Laws, Regulations, and Licenses Required

Each state has different laws regarding marijuana businesses, which can be very complex. You must be prepared to do the work required to open a marijuana business or start a CBD dispensary and follow all regulations.

Plan Out Your Product Offering and UVP

In an increasingly competitive market, you have to find ways to make your dispensary stand out from others in your area. This starts with identifying your audience by determining who is most likely to benefit from and purchase your products.

You should also develop a unique value proposition (UVP) that tells people how you are different from other marijuana businesses. If you are eco-friendly, for example, plan how to get this message out to potential customers.

Determine Required Finances and Strategies To Secure Funding

Most banks won’t deal with marijuana businesses due to federal laws and regulations, so you have to be creative to meet your financing needs. Once you have a budget, look into financing options such as:

  • Listing your company in cannabis business directories, so potential investors know your name
  • Finding venture capital firms that specialize in investing in cannabis companies
  • Going to cannabis trade shows, conventions, and other events to network in person
  • Joining social media and online platforms to expand your network
  • Exploring crowdfunding platforms
  • Finding alternative solutions such as lines of credit, purchase money financing, and inventory or invoice financing

Draft Your Business and Marketing Plans

Your business plan should include staffing, location, and financing, and it should set out your business goals. 

Your marketing plan must outline how you plan to reach those goals, such as identifying your customer base, advertising, and setting yourself apart from your competition. 

There are several strategies you can use to help you get and retain customers when you start a marijuana dispensary or a CBD dispensary, such as:

  • Investing in your website
  • Blogging
  • Building a social media presence
  • Taking out digital ads
  • Using more conventional marketing strategies such as speaking at networking events or using print ads

Learn More About Funding Your Marijuana Dispensary

If you need financing to start or expand your marijuana or CBD dispensary, explore the options offered by Bespoke Financial. Companies across the cannabis industry depend on Bespoke when traditional banking options are unavailable.

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