Medical marijuana has come a long way. It was not too long ago that this term was an obscure one. Pot was just considered a bad drug. A Schedule I, lumped in with heroin, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Advancements have been made and it has been found to be very effective at treating a variety of ailments from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to epilepsy and chronic pain. At least 66% of all doctors in the United States now approve of its use. Of the patients who have been treated, over 90% report that it helps. As a consequence, medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. More states are considering doing the same. If you are considering getting a marijuana business license and opening your own dispensary, there are a number of things you will need to do.
How to Start a Medical Marijuana Business:
- Check the local laws and regulations. Each of the 23 states and District of Columbia have their own laws, rules and regulations for running a medical marijuana dispensary. You will need to find out what the requirements are in your area. There may be different kinds of licenses and permits you will need and different procedures for getting them. Before you invest any money in this new venture, you need to know that you can get the right permissions to open your business.
- Get your marijuana business license. Once you know what you need to do to get this, you should start the process. These can be lengthy and the earlier you begin, the better. If you need help with this process, there are marijuana business consulting services that can help you navigate the waters and get the marijuana business license. Even if you think you do not need the help of a medical marijuana consulting company, it may be worth your while to sit down with at least one. Whenever you are dealing with any kind of business license, it is worth getting some input from a professional who has experience in this area.
- Find a space. When you talk to local officials about getting a marijuana business license, ask them about the zoning laws in the area as well. When you are looking at spaces, you will want to keep them in mind as there are a number of rules that are applicable. Many involve the proximity of children to your business. You will not be allowed to open your medical marijuana dispensary too close to a school, park where kids play and other areas.
- Develop a business plan. Like any other business, you need a solid business plan. Nothing is different with this kind of business than if you wanted to open a bakery or a bar. You will need to show potential investors that you have a handle on how to run a business and make it successful. Having a marijuana business license is not enough.
- Get outside funding. Starting a new business is expensive. Unless you are independently wealthy, you will need outside funding or at least a partner. This is why that business plan is so important. It would behoove you to talk to a medical marijuana consulting company to get you ideas about how to get that funding you will need to open your medical marijuana business. They may be able to connect you with potential investors or help with loans.
- Market your brand. Like other kinds of businesses, you will need a marketing plan. You need to develop your brand. This is not a slogan or a catch phrase but is really who you are and why you are opening this kind of business. It is also a promise you are making to your clients and customers. Really think about this and work with marijuana consultants on this. Next, you need to develop a plan to get the word out about your business. This should include both traditional and social media channels. Make sure everything you put out has the same message.
When you open a medical marijuana dispensary, you have the potential to help a lot of people. If you take these steps, you can make your business successful.