Are you interested in starting a marijuana dispensary? You’ll find that it can be a challenging, but very rewarding, industry. Read on to discover the 9 essential things you need before you open your doors.

A firm understanding of the industry

Is the cannabis industry right for you? It’s critical that you have a firm grasp on the market before you make any decisions regarding your business. Learn the ins and outs by conducting industry and competitor research and examining local laws and regulations. Speak to other marijuana business owners and learn about the pros and cons of being involved in the industry.

A business plan

A well-laid blueprint is key to the success of any business. Developing a formal business plan as a guide will keep you on track during the beginning stages of your venture, and it can be especially important if you are seeking investors.


Marijuana businesses are inherently risky, as they are prone to theft, vandalism and more. At a minimum, you’ll need dispensary insurance, but be sure to contact a trusted marijuana insurance agency that will lay out all of your coverage options and offer guidance.

A good image

Once you open your business, it will be a representation of you and vice versa. Maintain a positive and professional image at all times. While cannabis is often colloquially referred to as “dope” or “pot,” always use the appropriate terms in a business setting and when referring to your product to ensure you present the right image.

A lawyer

Because marijuana laws vary by state and are constantly changing, you’ll want to enlist the help of an experienced lawyer to ensure you comply with all local and national regulations. A lawyer can also be helpful when it comes to reviewing contacts, securing property and obtaining licenses.


License requirements for opening up your business will also vary by state. Some states restrict the number of dispensaries that can operate in a given area, so be sure to check with your local government before getting too far along in the process.


Due to high competition and some of the barriers to entry, opening a dispensary can be costly. Will you be getting a loan? Do you need investors? These are all questions you’ll need to work through before you can even start to think about opening your business. Carefully and realistically think through your expenses, ensuring you have enough money to cover all of them—and then some. Also keep in mind that, like all businesses, your dispensary probably won’t turn a profit right away. Be sure you have enough money saved to live comfortably for at least six months without an income.

An accountant

Speaking of money, it’s wise to work with an accountant from day one. A trusted CPA can help with everything from business plan creation and loan applications to record-keeping and filing your taxes.

Proper training

Before opening your dispensary, you should be trained in all things marijuana, or you should consider hiring someone who is. Some laws require you to grow your product on-site, so you must be well-versed in how to grow, cultivate and protect cannabis.

If you are thinking about starting a marijuana dispensary, fill out our application to obtain your free insurance quote from Cannasure today!