4 Important Steps in Opening a Marijuana Dispensary


Although marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug, there are now many states that have opened their hearts and minds to commercial marijuana sales both for medical and recreational use.

If you’re eager to open your very own marijuana dispensary, then you should be prepared because this is not an easy road for you. To help you out, here is a simple guide that can walk you through on the most important steps to take when opening a Marijuana Dispensary in California.

Understanding the Marijuana Law

Marijuana laws will differ in each state. This is why recreational cannabis, CBD products, medicinal marijuana, and all the other types will be subject to different laws as well. You will find yourself having to deal with different regulations. In California, your customers should be 21 years old and above to be able to purchase or use recreational cannabis. This would include smoking and vaping, as well as eating cannabis-infused products.

With that being said, it’s illegal to sell or give cannabis to minors. It may be legal under the California law, but consuming or possessing cannabis in national parks is strictly prohibited. You should also understand that it’s illegal to take cannabis across state lines even if you’re trying to travel to another state where this is legal.

Check First For Retailer License Availability

Once you have already decided to venture out and give marijuana dispensary a shot, the next part is finding your state’s regulatory agency. This is so you can see if the licenses for the marijuana dispensary are an issue. Remember that a state might have a limited number of dispensaries available. If you don’t know this, it might be difficult to enter this industry once it’s already established because licenses are getting snapped up too quickly.

You need to be prepared to get a retailer license because your state regulatory agency might require you to get one. This is usually in addition to your other business licenses. Most states view marijuana retailers as huge moneymakers, so licenses will not be cheap. Also, expect for annual assessments and fees that can also be even higher.

Know What Your State Requires

For you to learn more about the requirements in starting a marijuana dispensary in California, your state’s regulatory agency is the best place to go. But remember that the requirements, as well as all of the information that you need to know, can be overwhelming. So which of the areas of regulation do you need to consider? Here are the most important ones:

  • Know The Right Location. In most states, they don’t want marijuana retailers to be close to schools, playgrounds, and other similar areas. They would require retailers to be at a certain distance away from these places. You also have to remember that the state might permit operation, but that doesn’t mean that every county and municipality will do too.
  • Advertising Options. There may be stringent regulations when it comes to your signage, as well as any local advertising that you need for your business.


  • Inventory and Cash. There will be limits as to just how much inventory and cash you can keep onsite. Your business will also have to follow strict procedures to make sure that you can account for the products that enter your store.

Source of Funds

In order to start your business, you have to make sure that you know the start-up cost when retailing marijuana. When it comes to funding for this type of business, it can be tricky. Because of the federal banking restrictions, it might be difficult to get a loan. What you can do is to seek investors. Some business owners also have to undergo criminal and financial background checks. You might also need to provide tax return copies. There are also some states that will require you to submit residency documents.

Are You Ready To Start Your Marijuana Dispensary?

Now that you have everything that you need to know to start your marijuana dispensary in California, do you think you’re ready? It can be challenging at first, but you have to remember that starting and maintaining a business of any kind requires hard work. If you’re in doubt, never be afraid to ask questions. Do your research so that you’re up-to-date with what’s trending in the retail cannabis industry.

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