The Internet's Best Guide on Running a Cannabis Dispensary

February 7, 2022
credit card payments marijuana

It's challenging to figure out how to run a dispensary, especially your first time. When it comes to operating a cannabis dispensary, there are numerous factors to consider, ranging from license and finances to day-to-day operations and business growth. In the developing and competitive cannabis market, knowing each step and how to thrive is critical. Your enthusiasm for the cannabis sector has gotten you this far; now, Sprout Processing will help you get the rest of the way.

Managing a marijuana dispensary

It isn't an exaggeration to state that opening a cannabis dispensary is one of the most challenging aspects of the process. There's a lot to do to get your firm up and operating, particularly in terms of legal issues. Your dispensary's laws and requirements will vary based on your state, but there are some things you can expect.


using It costs much money to get ready to open and run a dispensary. Most states demand that you have a large sum of cash on hand before granting you a license. There are also significant licensing fees to pay (which we'll discuss later). Finally, there are all of the standard company expenses to consider. These include finding a venue, stocking up on supplies, hiring and training employees, and marketing. These costs will be around half a million dollars at the very least and will most likely be in the millions.

You'll need a few things to raise funds needed to operate a dispensary. To open a business account, you'll need some cash. Following that, you'll need to find investors to help you contribute. This can provide you with a significant financial boost as well as, ideally, partners or mentors who can assist you in getting to the starting line. Finally, you'll need to locate a bank or credit union where you can deposit your funds. Finding a bank willing to engage with the cannabis industry can be difficult, so do your research. You're now ready to start dealing with licensing.

Your dispensary's licenses and requirements

Getting into the cannabis market isn't accessible by design. States have tight regulations on who can and cannot start a dispensary in their jurisdiction. What it takes to create a cannabis dispensary in California isn't the same as what it takes to open a dispensary in Colorado. While rules and regulations differ from state to state, you can expect a few things. There will be an application process and a charge associated with it. Your financials and business details will be submitted. If accepted, you must apply for licenses and pay the required costs.

Many states only provide a limited number of licenses, so double-check before beginning the dispensary application and licensing procedure. Occasionally, additional permits are required. This is especially true if you plan to open a medical marijuana business or produce your marijuana plants. After completing all of this, you'll need to assess your startup expenditures.

It is obtaining funding for a cannabis dispensary.

It's time to get the launch costs in line after taking care of the finance and license. The first significant outlay will be the location. The price may vary significantly depending on your region. Look for a place with a lot of foot traffic and easy to get there. It's also worth noting that not all landlords welcome cannabis stores. Finding a good location for your dispensary may take some time. Don't give up.

Following that, it's an investment to hire and train your team. You get what you pay for, especially for your employees. Investing in your staff and providing them a fair and competitive salary will increase employee loyalty and help you to hire exceptional individuals.

Then there are the marketing expenses. There are nearly infinite ways to market your company. The most crucial thing you need to do is sell it. To their peril, many businesses cut corners on marketing. Does it matter if you have the best cannabis dispensary in the world if no one knows about it? Make marketing a part of your monthly budget, and increase it as your company expands.

Recruitment and training

We discussed hiring and training for your dispensary in the last section. Now we'll look at what it looks like in practice and how to get your squad up to speed.

Recruiting the best candidates

Hiring the right employees should be the first step in developing a team for your dispensary. It appears to be more straightforward than it is. To begin, you must provide a competitive wage and benefits package. The top budtenders and cannabis specialists can work from any location they wish. Check if your dispensary has what it takes to draw them in. Next, think about how they work with others and want to advance in their profession, not just their talents and experience. The candidate does not need to be flawless (there is none), but they must be ready and able to learn and progress.

Training is essential for the success of your marijuana shop.

Cannabis Team Preparation

The following step is to begin training. Your team should be familiar with your procedures, software, and systems. Investing time in teaching these concepts to your staff will pay off handsomely when you launch your company. Buddlers that are skilled and knowledgeable have a crucial role in repeat business. It would help if you also taught compliance to your employees. Learn about the state-mandated compliance processes and make sure your personnel know them. This will improve the efficiency of your cannabis dispensary while also alleviating some of the tension. Noncompliance with legislation can result in legal and criminal consequences for you and your company.


You already know how essential marketing is and how many different ways to sell your company, but what about the specifics? Don't worry; we're not going to skip this critical stage.

Marketing on social media

Cannabis dispensary advertisements on social media.

Social networking is a fantastic tool to have in your marketing arsenal. You may engage with your clients on social media and learn what they like and dislike. You can also promote new items and special offers. What's more, social media is entirely unrestricted. With some high-quality images/products, frequent participation, and appealing deals, you'll quickly acquire a following. You can employ social media ads for your cannabis dispensary if you want to take your social media marketing to the next level. Your social media ads as a cannabis dispensary are very likely to be approved. When it comes to advertising marijuana on social media platforms like Facebook, the restrictions are exceedingly severe. However, just in case anything changes, we'll throw in some tips on conducting social media ads.

Advertisements on social media.

These adverts are simple to set up and run. Although each platform is unique, they all follow the same basic procedures. You'll need to find a suitable image or video. You should ideally use one of your most popular goods, your fantastic store, or even your entire crew. The next step is to set a budget. Begin with a bit of a project and work your way up. A better ad does not always imply more money. Finally, you'll need to identify your target demographic and track the effectiveness of your ad regularly. Is there any interest in it? If so, who is it? Make decisions based on this knowledge.

For your cannabis dispensary's print marketing,

Print marketing may appear a relic of the past, yet nothing could be further from the truth. People become interested in your company when you print flyers, book ad space in periodicals, and find other ways to get your name out there. Print media is generally inexpensive and provides a physical marketing tool. Because there is so much stuff on the internet, standing out can be nearly impossible. Brochures and advertising space in cannabis periodicals might help you break through the clutter.

billboards for cannabis dispensaries billboards for cannabis dispensaries billboards for cannabis dispensaries billboards for cannabis

One of the most underrated and efficient ways to market your dispensary is billboards. Purchasing a billboard is significantly less expensive than you may imagine, and it can create tens of thousands of impressions. Even minor billboards fall within this category. You don't have to limit yourself to enormous billboards along highways. Many billboards near freeway exits, streets, and other businesses attract much attention.

Expanding your company

With all we've discussed, your company should be expanding every day. It's critical to maintain this momentum. There are a few options for accomplishing this.


Promotions for cannabis sales

Promotions are an essential part of keeping your clients returning. Customers will have a reason to not only produce and buy more of your products but to prefer your store above others if you offer exciting promotions, prizes, and events. At least once a month, run a promotion. It's also a good idea to pick specific days of the week when certain items are on sale (for example, Taco Tuesday). You might also hold a month-end promotion. While holiday promotions such as 4/20, 4th of July, and Memorial Day are important, don't underestimate the impact of a one-time discount.

Open several dispensaries

When your cannabis dispensary becomes successful, it may be time to explore expanding. A second location can help you serve more people while enhancing your brand recognition and personality. Check with your state, county, and city to discover any restrictions on opening another location. Also, only do it if you're confident you'll be able to handle it.

Dashboard reviewing compliant credit card processing for dispensaries.

Ready to take your dispensary to the next level?

Book a demo to see our solution in real-time!
Book a Demo

You Might Also Like