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3 things to consider before opening a dispensary

Opening a cannabis dispensary may seem like a lucrative investment. However, it’s not as simple as setting up a shop and selling your product.

Before deciding if this is a venture you should pursue, it’s important to understand some critical factors that will affect your business.

Understanding California laws and regulations

California is a progressive state, and its stance on cannabis reflects that. It was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, and in 2016, the recreational use of cannabis was also made legal. Still, the industry is heavily regulated.

To operate a dispensary in Santa Rosa, you will need the following:

  • A state license from the Department of Cannabis Control
  • Local authorization
  • County Health permit
  • Zoning clearance or conditional use permit
  • Business tax certificate

In addition to obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, dispensaries in Santa Rosa must comply with general operating requirements and specific regulations related to cannabis retail.

Securing funding

Cannabis dispensaries are expensive to start and operate. Startup costs range from $80,000 to $250,000. Traditional banking services are usually unavailable because marijuana is illegal under federal law. This means you will need to secure funding through private investors, personal savings or crowdfunding.

You will also need to have a plan for handling large amounts of cash, as many dispensaries may be unable to accept credit or debit cards.

Create a business strategy

The cannabis industry in California is highly competitive, with hundreds of dispensaries vying for customers. You’ll need a unique business plan that differentiates your dispensary from others to stand out.

A cannabis dispensary can be a profitable enterprise. However, it has multiple state, county and local regulations. It’s crucial that you work with someone who can guide you through the application process and ensure you are in legal compliance.