How to Start a Medical Marijuana Business in 2020

How to Start a Medical Marijuana Business
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One way to get involved in the lucrative cannabis industry is by starting a medical marijuana dispensary.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 33 U.S. states (plus Washington D.C.) with more likely to come. What’s more, patient numbers are growing along with sales.

Medical marijuana statistics show that the industry is growing rapidly with a projected worth of US $13.5 Billion by 2023.

However, while opening a medical marijuana dispensary is a great idea if you’re looking to start a business and help people at the same time, it’s not all that easy. The marijuana industry comes with many restrictions and strict laws to comply with, not to mention you’re going to need to invest a lot of money before you can even start. Here’s a quick guide on how to start a medical marijuana dispensary business in 2020.

Do Your Research And Know The Rules

Before you consider getting into the medical marijuana industry, make sure you do your research. Although the marijuana industry is promising and many people are interested in helping people with the benefits of cannabis, opening a dispensary requires expert knowledge and strict compliance with cannabis laws.

Cannabis laws vary from state-to-state and it’s crucial to brush up on your legal knowledge before you start thinking about opening a dispensary. What’s more, you’re going to need to spend time and money getting licensing as well as background checks. Make sure you have the commitment needed to go ahead with starting a dispensary.

You can usually find out about your local cannabis laws through your state government’s website. Along with learning about local laws, you should also do some research into your local cannabis industry. Find out about the demand for medical cannabis, what patients want, how you can stand out ahead of competitors, and decide whether you’re ready to take on the challenge.

Write A Business Plan

Having a detailed business plan is crucial for starting a medical marijuana dispensary business. Starting a dispensary can be challenging and you’re going to need to carefully consider how you’re going to appeal to patients and how you’re going to profit.

One of the most important things you must include in your business plan is finances. Include how you’re going to access capital, how you’re going to spend your startup funds, and how you plan to make a profit. Having a detailed business plan will help significantly when it comes to getting funding.

There are various other crucial aspects you must include. Consider your brand name, what your business offers, your target market, competition, staffing plan, how you plan to get stock, and whether there’s a need for your business where you plan to operate. You might want to talk to an experienced cannabis business consultant before you plan your business.

Acquire Funding

Getting funding is one of the most important obstacles you’ll face before opening a dispensary. Since cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, getting a bank loan is out of the question for most cannabis businesses. However, there are still various approaches to getting funding for your dispensary.

Equity funding is a particularly popular way to gain funding for cannabis dispensaries. This involves selling shares of ownership in your business in exchange for the capital you need to get running. You can do this via Venture Capital firms or Angel Investors who take an interest in the cannabis industry. You might even want to reach out to investors via LinkedIn groups and industry events.

There are alternative methods if you don’t want to give up shares in your business. For instance, you might want to try crowdfunding or even reach out to friends, family, and business associates for personal loans. You could rely on credit cards and personal savings, but this is often a risky approach as you’ll need a lot of money to get started.

Get Licensing And A Location

To open a medical marijuana dispensary legally, you’ll need to obtain a license. Getting a license can be tricky depending on what state you’re from. Many states require extensive information on your dispensary along with a hefty licensing fee. Some owners might have to spend three to four thousand dollars just to get their license.

You’ll also need to find a suitable location for your dispensary. While you’ll want to consider the size of your storefront, your location is just as important. For instance, if you’re targeting elderly patients, you might want to find a property within easy driving distance of elderly communities.

What’s more, you’ll need to ensure you get a property that’s compliant with local cannabis laws. Some states have rules on where dispensaries can be located- for instance, you might have to ensure your property is a certain distance away from schools and churches. Both of these tasks can be challenging and you might want to contact cannabis licensing and real estate experts for help.

Build Your Team

To operate a successful dispensary, you’re going to need a strong team. You need to choose the right people to ensure your business runs smoothly and leaves patients with a stellar impression.

While budtenders are important for running your store, you’ll also need to consider all the roles that need to be filled in the backend. Proper accounting is crucial for cannabis businesses so you’ll need someone to help you with finances. Not to mention IT, HR, and other daily operations.

Fortunately, many tasks can be outsourced. For instance, you can outsource your accounting, IT, marketing, and various other operations to experts who are experienced in the industry. You can also enlist the help of cannabis business recruitment experts. You can find all the professional help you need at Bakedlink.


Starting a medical marijuana dispensary can be costly and challenging, but it’s also a challenge worth taking on. Not only can you help patients get the treatment you need, but the marijuana industry is growing each year and it’s a fantastic way to get involved in the industry.

You’re going to need to put a lot of work in when it comes to planning, obtaining licensing and funding, and setting your business up. However, you don’t have to do everything alone. Whether you’re looking for help with planning, licensing or daily operations, Bakedlink can connect you with experienced professionals who know the cannabis industry inside out.

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