There has been an explosion of franchise and private dispensary options across the U.S. since recreational marijuana has been legalized by nearly half the states nationwide. In places like Denver, Seattle, and Detroit, you can find legal weed stores in almost every neighborhood. Many entrepreneurs may be looking to get in on the action.
While the retail format of most legal cannabis stores follows traditional models, the regulations, taxation, and legal aspects can be overwhelming for interested investors. Opening a retail cannabis shop will take a lot of research and education on behalf of owners and future staff.
In this article, we will explore beyond the need to know the difference between Sativa and Delta 9 carts. We will look at a few significant aspects that interested dispensary investors need to consider.
Legal and Regulatory Concerns
It should be noted that every state that has legalized recreational marijuana has different regulatory standards and laws regarding its use. The events occurring in the state next door may not apply to you, depending on where you live. It’s imperative to take the time to understand the legal and regulatory concerns before deciding if you want to invest in a dispensary.
Many people find that the level of regulation and taxation requirements to comply with the laws is overwhelming. If you have previous business experience and knowledge, you may be more confident with the required paperwork and reporting expected. Talking to your local municipality about the current laws should be a priority. Each municipality will have a different set of laws that regulate the sale of all cannabis products.
It may seem like everyone has taken to smoking weed since the products became legalized for recreational use. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need market research. Dispensaries are not as successful in some areas as others. Make a list of possible locations and run the numbers on them. Find out if there are any proposed or existing stores in the area, calculate the demand based on the local population, and evaluate the risk for each possible location.
The costs associated with opening a retail establishment are considerable. Dispensaries require specialized features to stay in compliance with all regulations. Be prepared to spend millions on licensing fees, inventory, display cases with additional security, and a hefty insurance premium. Your operating costs include location costs, inventory sources, vendor contracts, taxes, and staffing. Look realistically at your profit projections and return on this investment.
If you have no experience with the cannabis industry, you may be surprised about the amount of vital information you will need to learn to succeed in a dispensary business. Thousands of potential customers, from lifelong users to newbies, want to try something for the first time. Knowing the product you are selling should be your priority.
This emerging commercial industry requires you to learn continuously to succeed. For owners and employees to be able to serve their customers effectively, they should constantly be educating themselves about the industry they are involved in.
As the number of dispensaries multiplies, standing apart from the competition will take a lot of work. Studying your potential competition’s marketing strategies will help you develop your strategy. Understanding your target and local customer base is invaluable to cater to their needs. The base customer may pay the bills, but you must attract new users to your store to build profits. Marketing to the community’s needs will help you create a reputation as a reputable dealer.
The street value of your inventory in a cannabis dispensary could create numerous security concerns. From staffing to alarm services, deciding whether to take on such a responsibility and risk is crucial. A cannabis dispensary may be more of a criminal target than other retail businesses, so it’s essential to do a security assessment.
Depending on your dispensary’s licensing and insurance requirements, you might be required to take particular security measures. The premiums on your liability and theft policies could be substantial. In light of this, it is imperative to have visible security in your dispensary to reduce the risks involved.
You must include necessary security costs, including video surveillance, CCTV cameras, background checks, inventory storage, and quality control. You must adopt a strict onboarding process to ensure your company remains compliant and secure. Finding a team that you can trust will be crucial to your success.
Get to know the cannabis industry and pay attention to the latest news. With rapidly expanding markets and the possibility of federal legalization, considering the possibility of expansion into new products should be part of your long-term plan. On the flip side, you also need to consider how future regulations may restrict your business in ways that could affect your future business.
As far as your supply chain is concerned, each state will have a different set of regulations. To remain compliant, you must establish the right connections with certified suppliers. Research local suppliers and request a tour of their facilities to grow your network.
Before choosing a supplier, you need to consider the risks associated with the industry, including poor crops and interruptions in the supply chain. It’s crucial to your future to make connections with suppliers and vendors that can meet your needs consistently. Finding a supplier with an exceptional product, a solid reputation, and growing with industry expansion should be your goal for a dispensary with growth potential.
Any type of business that you invest in has its own set of possibilities. For potential dispensary owners, it’s essential to recognize that you will face some unique challenges. Before jumping in on the back of the cannabis trend, consider these factors: security, supply chain, marketing, and regulatory concerns; you must investigate the industry.