How To Start A Medical Marijuana Dispensary

First I would ask why you want to open a dispensary?  If part of your answer is the reward of helping people then go ahead.  The day to day operations with customers will be the most rewarding, then the money. If you do it solely for the money, Karma will come back and kick you. Now let’s talk about the deets.

There are currently thirteen states who have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. Each one of these thirteen states has different laws surrounding the purchase and distribution of marijuana. First you want to do all of your own research, but here is a quick break down of most states’ processes. Second you want to follow all state laws and don’t antagonize the feds who might still want to bust you, even though it is legal under state law.

  1. Get legal!This is just common sense plain and simple.
    • Business Acumen. This can be a long process, for example, Marijuana dealers in Arizona and New Mexico must go through the state to obtain a license. They must also acquire tax stamps showing that they have paid the state tax requirements on all sales of marijuana. Enjoy the Process :-).
    • Become a Patient. If you’re going to be in this field, your going to be around it so get yourself covered by Visiting a doctor, it’s easy. If you can, call around first to find one that will write you a script that will cover you for possessing more then the generally accepted legal limit if it’s possible. For example, if you live in California, you’re allowed to possess up to 6 mature and 12 immature plants in general but if a doctor recommends more then you’re allowed to possess more but never have more then 99 plants or 5 pounds because it brings federal charges.
  2. Incorporate. There’s a specific order of steps you need to follow. You need to create a collective as a non-profit corporation first, before you can get your licenses and permits. It’s recommended you form a collective and not a cooperative. or hire a lawyer to make sure the paper work is right so their are no questions on liability.
  3. Sign a lease. You need to do this one last step before you can file for any licenses and permits. Why? The sellers permit and business license requires an address for your location; it’s no good anywhere else.
  4. Obtain a License. Ok, your finally ready to file for licenses and permits. Don’t skip this step, medical marijuana transactions are taxable by law. Usually, An annual fee of $100 is required to become licensed to sell marijuana.
  5. Pay Taxes. Tax stamps are $10 per every ounce you sell, don’t cut corners on this, pay your taxes, you will still be making money. All fees are payable to the Department of Revenue
  6. Open up for business!Don’t skimp out on security, it’s improtant. At least one security camera is required. Follow the law and keep a low profile, no matter what you do it’s still a risk in this business, but it is good to know that you are helping people. Good luck!
    • Security. Watch your parking lot. Not enough people do and it leads to trouble. People loiter, roll up and sell bud to their friends and it makes you a target


For more information check out our Business Plans for Dispensaries at

{ 662 comments… add one }
  • Ricky Bello October 8, 2017, 3:23 pm

    Investor looking into invest into an start up marijuana dispensary , I’m always willing to listen to any ideas or proposals any one may have to offer.
    Please make sure to include as much of a cannabis business plan/proposal. This will help me better understand your wants, needs and goals pertaining to this business. Feel free to cantare me a the the email provided

    • Jatone January 21, 2018, 2:39 am

      Hey Mr. I’m Jay. I’m 24 Yrs Old I live in the District of Columbia and I’m looking to open a Legal Weed Dispensary. I am In need of mentor, Please contact me. Thank you

    • Wednesday Mayer January 24, 2018, 4:58 pm

      NJ is about to open up legality. I am a graphic artist with some serious vision about where and how this is going to work in NJ. I am forming business plans now and will have 2 separate plans ready to go when licensing is available. If you are serious about getting in on the green rush I will email you when the plans have been formulated and developed with a experienced business and development partner within the next 6 weeks. I can be reached at the website below or email listed in the reply.

    • Heidi Styke January 28, 2018, 1:47 am

      Hi Ricky,

      I am a resident of North Dakota where Medical Marijuana has been legal since Nov 2016 and unfortunately, to this date, there is not even 1 dispensary open in the state. The application process has been posted to the state public website and it reads that initially only 8 dispensaries and 2 producers will be chosen to service 8 regions of the state. I want to be the one chosen to open a dispensary in my region! I am located in Jamestown with a population of approx. 15k. Majority of the residents are 50+ years of age and we have several rural communities I hope to serve as well, within a 50 mile radius as defined by the ND Dept. of Health. The applications will be scored by a panel of people that apparently haven’t been chosen yet, from what I can tell. North Dakota Legislative Council have proposed some new rules to be considered by the legislative Administrative Rules Committee presented at the upcoming March 2018 meeting. If the legislative committee approves the proposed rules, (I am not sure of the changes proposed) the earliest they could be effective is April 1, It’s disappointing they keep dragging their feet and seem to be making this whole process most difficult with constant changes and disorganization. I am eager, ambitious and in the early stages of gathering as much information, resources and partnerships as I can to begin this fantastic and rewarding journey of helping to finally provide and educate our community about this wonderful, natural, alternative remedy. I realize you requested a business plan, that is what I am working on currently and how I found this website, actually. If this sounds like a journey you, (or anyone else who reads this) would be interested in, then please let me know what other details I can provide to assist you in making your decision. Thank you for your time Sincerely, Heidi Styke

  • Jim September 24, 2017, 11:19 am

    Looking to start a dispensary in Texas for when it becomes legal to sell weed in Texas. I already have a partner and have quick access to a place to lease. Any information would be appreciated.

    • Jatone January 21, 2018, 2:40 am

      Hey Mr. John I’m Jay. I’m 24 Yrs Old I live in the District of Columbia and I’m looking to open a Legal Weed Dispensary. I am In need of mentor, Please contact me. Thank you

  • John September 7, 2017, 10:18 am


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    • Andrea Green January 13, 2018, 9:05 pm

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