Whether you’re a marijuana enthusiast or not, you can’t deny that the cannabis industry is flourishing. With the growing medical and recreational legalization of cannabis, more and more people are interested in getting their weed from reliable sources instead of shady dealers.

Although cannabis legalization is reaching new heights every day, there still aren’t that many dispensaries around. It might be a perfect opportunity to learn something about opening and running your own cannabis business.

After all, it’s a business move many young and ambitious individuals are willing to take, so why shouldn’t you?

1.   Do your research
Research is a crucial step you can’t afford to skip since opening a cannabis business is nothing like opening a retail store. Because it’s such a sensitive industry with numerous regulations and laws, you need to do your research and find out everything about running such a business. For example, the cannabis dispensary and delivery company, KOLAS, needed to abide by state and federal regulations as a supplier in Sacramento, California. But a dispensary in say, Tucson, Arizona, might have to follow a different set of rules. 

This is because every country and state has its unique regulations related to cannabis sale, possession, and use. If your state doesn’t allow the sale of recreational cannabis, you can get into a lot of trouble and your business will get shut down.
Furthermore, each state has a different body or organization you must regularly report to. METRC (Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance) is a system many states in the USA use and all business owners must update their Metrc accounts daily.

In addition to this, a cannabis business requires considerably more paperwork than a traditional business, so make sure to get everything you need before the official launch.

2.   Create a business plan
Creating a detailed and strong business plan is a must if you want to prepare your business for every possible situation.
Some of the basic steps you need to implement into your business plan are:

●  Finances – accessing your capital and determining your budget are among the key factors when opening a business.
●  Staff – hiring your staff members is especially important in the cannabis industry because the employees can’t have a criminal record.
●  Brand details – coming up with a unique brand name, effective slogan, and eye-catching logo are crucial elements to creating a successful brand.
●  Market research – before you can launch your business, detailed and accurate research of the market is required.
●  Competition review – learn as much as you can about your competitors to find ways to make your company stand out from the crowd.

Essentially, the more in-depth your business plan is, the better. To show you just how detailed your plan has to be, you need to think about everything, including the viable cannabis payments solutions your company will accept, such as Paybotic payments.

3.   Get a license
If you want to launch a cannabis dispensary, you’ll need to get a special license that permits you to open up a shop. Licensing is a time-consuming and expensive process, which is yet another reason to calculate your finances carefully.
Expect to spend even a couple of months sending the applications and all the needed paperwork before even getting approved. You’ll pay around $1,000 just to apply for the cannabis business license. If you get approved, you’ll need to pay at least $4,000 more for all the further license fees. The costs can go up to $120,000, depending on the size and value of your business operation.

4.   Improve your digital presence
Today, having a strong digital presence is extremely important if you want to develop your business. The impact of social media has never been more powerful, which is why you must take advantage of it for your business.

Improve your digital presence by becoming present on various digital platforms. That way, not only are you going to increase the brand visibility, but your customers will know where to get information about your products and services.
Furthermore, social media platforms are perfect for promoting your business. From giveaways to paid advertisements, you can significantly improve the size of your business just with the help of digital platforms.

Don’t forget to update your social media profiles regularly and keep in touch with your loyal customers.

5.   Stay informed and up to date
Finally, updating your social media timeline isn’t the only kind of update you’ll need to do when running a cannabis business. Namely, there’s always something new happening in this industry. So, if you only sell or produce the same kind of products over and over again, your success will quickly fade away.

Instead, try to stay informed and up to date as much as possible. Keep up with the new brands, products, and technologies in the industry. Make sure your business evolves and grows together with the industry because that’s the only way to stay relevant and exciting to your customers.

Final thoughts
A lot goes into opening and running a cannabis dispensary. Nevertheless, if this is something you’re passionate about, you should do it. Remember to do thorough research and come up with a detailed business plan to get you started. After launching your dispensary, increase your brand visibility and stay up-to-date with digital platforms, and your success is guaranteed.