A startup is already challenging. A cannabis startup faces even greater challenges than traditional industries. Besides securing funding and setting up shop, there are also legal matters to go through. But, if you are determined, working in the cannabis field can be rewarding and profitable.
Here is what you need to know about opening a medical marijuana dispensary.
Getting Started – Check Your State Laws
First things first. Start by checking the laws in your state and local area. Even if medical marijuana is legal in your state, each state varies on how much and who is granted medical marijuana privileges. Check laws regarding how much you can have on hand, and what types of patients are allowed to use it. Start with your local Department of Health to make sure you can legally operate a cannabis dispensary in your state.
Once you know the laws, you’re going to have find a way to finance your business. Costs can range greatly, so find a facilitator who will work with you. A great option is Simplified Capital. They are not a bank; they are a facilitator of different banking portfolios. And they don’t require business plans, upfront money or collateral to secure funding for you cannabis business. Contact them here.
Get Outside Help
Since cannabis is a medical field, you will want to get a physician on board with you. A doctor typically doesn’t deal with things on-site, but supports the business sort of like a board member. A licensed physician will help make sure patients are treated in accordance to medical protocol, helping keep your business legal.
You may also want to hire a lawyer, or have one on the sidelines. A medical marijuana dispensary is a unique business from a legal standpoint, so it pays to have someone who closes monitors the law on your team. During the start-up phase, a lawyer can make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and permits completed, as well as ensure your compliance with all state, city and county regulations regarding both business and medical marijuana.
Setting Up Shop
Because a cannabis dispensary is considered a legal business, you will need to secure a commercial location. Secure the appropriate zoning permits so you can secure a storefront for your business.
Then, start store shopping. Besides looking for a place you can afford, look at demographical data to help you find the best location in your area. In some states, medical marijuana dispensaries are still considered high-risk businesses, so you may want to start off renting a space rather than buying one. If you are going to rent, let the property owners know you are planning to use the location for a medical cannabis dispensary. You may have to provide backup that your business has gone through all the legal hoops so have all your paperwork available.
Stocking Your Business
Now that you have a location, you’re going to figure out how to stock your product. In some states, it’s required to grow your marijuana onsite. If you don’t know how to grow it yourself, get trained on how to do it, or hire an expert to do it for you.
Keep in mind that marijuana is still an agricultural crop, and is subject to things like seasonal changes, pests, mold and bad harvests. Research the risks and necessary techniques for growing marijuana in your state, keeping in mind your climate and other plant-growing conditions.
Marketing Your Business
Like any other business, a cannabis dispensary should be marketed. Since many social media sites don’t allow marijuana-based posts, you have to get a bit creative with your marketing. Reach out to local magazines, growers and accessory sellers to help you advertise your new business.
You may already have a physician on your team, but talk to other local doctors who are willing to give referrals for medical marijuana and leave them your information. Also, utilize any current customers you have. Word-of-mouth is often the best marketing method for any business.
Not interesting in starting a dispensary? There are many other legal opportunities in the medical marijuana industry. You could grow and supply the marijuana, become a quality tester, do medical research, sell marijuana accessories, etc. There are many ways to get started in the cannabis industry. Like with a dispensary, start by researching the laws in your state, contact Simplified Capital to help you finance the business, and go from there.
The medical marijuana business is booming. If you are interested in getting started in the cannabis industry, there are many legal ways to do it! Start by researching laws and regulations in your state and start planning your business.