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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. legalzoom.com 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 http://theweedbusiness.com/business-plans

{ 395 comments… add one }
  • Felicia Moore July 17, 2016, 10:09 am

    Hello. My name is Felicia. My partners and I are looking for an investor. We are looking to set up in the New Tampa in Florida. We have a working business plan, possible location, and pending trademark. If you are interested, please email us. Thanks in advance.



  • Max July 15, 2016, 5:03 pm

    Need suppliers in an upcoming dispensarybin OC/IE area

  • Felicia Moore July 11, 2016, 2:11 pm


    My name is Felecia. My partners and I are looking to open a dispensary in the Tampa Bay area. We have a working business plan, potential location, and lawyer. Please contact us if you are interested. Thanks in advance!

  • Michael June 25, 2016, 3:36 pm

    I would like to start a dispensary in V.

  • Heryan June 21, 2016, 1:04 am

    Hi I am very interested in putting a dispensary i from el paso tx is there someone who want to start a business?
    I need a partner who know about about cannabis

  • chris guerra May 16, 2016, 3:50 pm

    ATTN: Hello, I build safes small, large or Giant rooms for dispensaries all over the nation…or vault door as well. Thank You – Chris 510.648.4544 Owner/Operator

  • KekoCasino May 10, 2016, 2:44 am

    I need a business partner and investors in the san diego area email me

    • jagdish chabra md June 20, 2016, 4:31 pm


    • Frank Mc Mullen July 6, 2016, 3:44 am

      Hey! Im in the SD area, and I have some great ideas for starting up our own location, or even improving one. If you’re interested please give a call or email.

    • Al July 20, 2016, 12:21 pm

      Are you still interested in getting a partner?

  • l April 17, 2016, 6:17 am

    Interested in opening a dispensary in Philadelphia, PA as soon as it becomes legal which should be today. Governor Woof is suppose to sign the bill today.

    • Tina Grassia June 17, 2016, 5:59 pm

      We actually have a spice co. in Philadelphia, PA. Selling spices and herbs. I’m thinking of getting licensed and possibly selling legal Marijuana. What do you think?

    • Jeff July 4, 2016, 10:26 pm

      Response to your email. Contact me and let’s talk about it I live in southern California also a cultivation and distribution licensed mmj dispenser

  • Cris April 12, 2016, 7:12 pm

    Will it be legal in louisiana anytime soon….if so what can i do now to prepare to be ahead of the game

  • S.dot March 16, 2016, 8:55 pm

    I’m just looking for someone who might wanna open up , or ? invest in my dispensary that I’m working on opening here in PA .!

    • TSpears March 29, 2016, 12:18 am

      Sure that’s what I was looking for myself

    • cj March 29, 2016, 4:01 pm

      lets talk. email me.. cederic21@gmail.com

    • Melissa May 3, 2016, 9:30 am

      I’m very interested! Melissafr24@gmail.com

      • eddie June 17, 2016, 1:46 pm

        I am opening in Philadelphia and accepting serious inquiries only. I bring a lot to the table, including the location which is at least half of the required investment.

    • Jeff July 4, 2016, 10:29 pm

      Hey boss I’m Jay I live in riverside ca I am a cultivation and distribution licensed mmj dispenser email sometime different types of strands and stativa

  • Dan Caryll March 8, 2016, 7:03 pm

    Is it a legal business to grow marijuana in Pennsylvania and either sell it in Pennsylvania or to dispensiries? Where can I find this information?
    Thank you

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  • Amy Lucas March 3, 2016, 8:00 pm

    I live in Washington State I got my license to growe medacail. I need investors to get on the green rush that is going on here… I have two growers that grower grate the best that I have ever came across these two men know everything there is to know about growing.. We are looking for investors… If you have money to invest send your full name and were your from to my e-mail address and your phone number so i can call to let you know were to send the paper work and the investment money here is my e-mail address amylucasj@gmail.com Thank You.. And Hope to be working with you very soon…

  • Ceeceecpa February 25, 2016, 10:31 pm

    I have lived in CA and CO and now PA. I was a medical card holder in both states and have seen state of the art dispensaries . I am very familiar with successful dispensary operations, including successful product mix. I am looking for investors to help in initial funding for licensing and set up. The return on investment is can be compared to no other investment vehicle. The time to start is now.

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    • Yvette January 31, 2016, 4:21 pm

      I am looking for Investors. Proposal available upon request. location Southwest Florida. Please contact me to set up meeting.

      • Rosa Triminio February 16, 2016, 7:23 pm

        I want to invest, but I live in Georgia.

        • Love March 1, 2016, 6:30 am

          I’m in GA but we cannot legally sell yet. I’m looking for investors for a school.

      • S Stukes February 24, 2016, 9:37 am

        Yes I am interested but must ensure operation is done correctly. Contact me at wodmsc@hotmail.com

        • Paige Alexander June 15, 2016, 11:35 pm

          I am very interested in opening a dispensary in GA. Trying to get my ducks on a row-have you ever tried to herd ducks?! I have worked in pharmacy settings for 25 years and am familiar with different compounding methods, etc. I’m also a cbd oil cardholder (GA is cbd state). My son takes the oil for seizures so I have had to become knowledgeable fast, thus I became aware of the need for knowledgeable, responsible resources. Please contact via email with any insight.

      • S stukes February 24, 2016, 9:42 am

        This is a personal matter with me in helping the cause. Definitely interested in getting into this business.

      • Joe March 3, 2016, 3:17 pm

        intrested live in tampa

      • Greg Thrower March 30, 2016, 3:20 pm

        My wife and I are interested in being marijuana caregivers and/or investing time and money in a medical dispensary. We’ll be visiting the Tampa Bay area the first week of May. I would like to take a look at your proposal.

    • Diamantino Dasilveira March 4, 2016, 5:58 pm

      Hey I would like to open up my own business in medical Marijuana here in Rhode Island can you give me some information about my state

  • Russell Hudson January 18, 2016, 1:54 pm

    Hello I reside in Texas and Michigan. I am looking into opening up my own dispensary in both locations. I’ve been doing research and I need a tad bit more inside help. I am also looking into invest into other people who are doing it legally. No matter the state. Contact me by email Russellhudson16@gmail.com

  • Barrett January 8, 2016, 12:19 pm

    Needing information on opening dispensary in Georgia and Florida. Please help, send any information to my email

  • Adrian January 2, 2016, 7:51 pm

    Want to open a dispensary in Houston tx.

    • Alan Harvey March 1, 2016, 4:03 am

      I am interested in doing the same in Houston. The legalization has passed the committee phase an on its way to the Houses for scheduling of debate and vote. Perhaps we can talk partnership???? once its legal

    • Linda Koelliker March 3, 2016, 6:55 pm

      I am interested in working for you.

      • Kathy June 12, 2016, 10:30 pm

        Looking to do the same in Houston lets get together on it

        • Matt June 22, 2016, 10:12 pm

          I would like to get one started here in south fort worth doing more research but definitely going to take some partnering up with some investors to get started..

  • Debby December 30, 2015, 12:36 pm

    I’m interested in opening a dispensary business in ct.

  • brandon November 24, 2015, 1:12 pm

    I want to start A dispensary once we havebackical cannabis available here in Pennsylvania which should be in the next week or two so I’m looking for investors on going in on a grow up or dispensary I’ve had almost 10 years of growing medical marijuana experience in Montana and more experienced underground If anyone interested please email me back at shortonetwo@hotmail.com thanks!!!

  • Trey Shepherd November 20, 2015, 6:49 am

    I’m Just trying the figure out the rule regulations to running an dispensary in Michigan and what are the step I need shoot me an email please

  • Sandra Daniel November 19, 2015, 7:55 pm

    I would like to now how to get money and licensed to open a business in AZ

    • cris May 23, 2016, 1:32 pm

      Don’t forget to obtain insurance for your indoor/greenhouse grows and dispensaries. Also know one person looking to invest in Texas and AZ can supply a name and number. I don’t know the arrangements just a referral.

      Let me know if you need insurance all 50 states!

      • Matt June 22, 2016, 10:14 pm

        I would like to get one started here in south fort worth doing more research but would like to find a person to invest to get started let me know thanks

  • shirleymarley November 19, 2015, 6:39 pm

    Hi i have land in fl to invest anyone have any ideas email me thanks

    • MajorTom December 2, 2015, 4:52 am

      Hi Shirley,
      I live inFlorida as well and would like open a dispensary. I posted on this website about 3 years ago. We should talk. Contact me by email freedog70@gnail.com

    • Laylow January 1, 2016, 11:14 pm

      Hey you said you have land In flordia have you thought about selling some of that land and investing in some land where its less illegal like California Colorado or organ and if so im am looking for a partner as well and am very knowledgeable on Raising and harvesting including the supply and demand key factors when opening a marijauna business. If you would like to talk more on this subject Please feal free to email me also I live in AZ and the green rush is coming soon! This if there anyone looking to invest but needs someone dedicated driven with the time to make this there life and knows the business inside and out Im your guy drop an email hurry the green Rush is coming that means AZ dispensaries open for recreational they will be pulling about 1 million a month look it up and lmk

      • shirley February 15, 2016, 8:07 am

        Hi Laylow, Lets talk you can email me your contact info.


      • Diamantino Dasilveira March 4, 2016, 5:55 pm

        I want to open a dispensarie in Rhode Island can you guide me step by step

    • MajorTom February 24, 2016, 4:36 am

      Hi Shirley,
      My email is freedog70@gmail.com pls contact me.

  • Brandon October 10, 2015, 11:46 pm

    Hi my name is Brandon. I live in Ohio. I’m very interested also very motivated in opening a medical marijuana dispensary here in Ohio! If it passes the vote in November 2015! However No matter how much research I do! I cannot seem to find any information on how to open a legal dispensary here in Ohio ! If anyone is interested in being partners! Or if you have any helpful information that I personally can’t seem to find please contact me. Thanks

    • John V July 6, 2016, 8:54 am

      I to am interested in becoming an investor in legal medical marijuania business

  • Oscar reyes October 3, 2015, 7:42 pm

    I live in Southern California and want to open up a dispensery if any one can email me the money I would need and steps into doing so thank you in advance

    • Javier January 3, 2016, 8:57 am

      Hi, I just read your post and I would like to know if you received any information on the money that you may need to start the business and if you have any additional information. I’m very interested on starting on this business. Hope you already started it.
      I will appreciate any information.
      Thank you

  • Hector September 17, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Hi, I’m interested in starting a medical marijuana delivery service in Southern California. Can you please give me a step by step advice on how to do so? Or direct me to where I can obtain information. Please email me back. Thank you very much.

  • christopher.pope August 4, 2015, 6:31 pm

    i want start a dispencery and my family has inheired land out in VA what to do need some suggestion

  • Matan Cohen July 20, 2015, 6:40 pm

    Hello I am highly interested in opening a dispensary when it becomes legalized , I live in Missouri and I need seriouse guidance.
    Please help me

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