How To Start A Weed Business

100 dollar bill surrounded by marijuana, how to start a weed business
Those looking for information on how to start a weed business should expand their opportunities. Sure, the traditional dispensary is always going to be a large driver of the cannabis industry. However, if you expand your horizons, you could learn how to start selling weed legally to dispensaries as a licensed grower, sell bakery items as edibles, open a processing business that dispensaries are always in need of, etc. The possibilities are quite endless!

How To Open A Marijuana Dispensary

Those first learning how to start a weed business typically look towards the marijuana dispensary business model. You could open a dispensary for medicinal, recreational, or both types of cannabis consumers. The first step when considering opening a marijuana shop is the legality of it in your state, county, and even city.

Beyond knowing the legal constraints of how to open a weed dispensary, you need a business plan to develop your budget, marketing strategy, local competition, and target market. Starting a business without the proper business plan in place is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure.

The cannabis market is no longer “build it and they will come”. What will your dispensary offer that others in the area with established consumer bases don’t? Maybe it is weed delivery? Or great marketing, or a rewards program. You need a unique selling proposition to have a chance against the big boys in this industry!

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Dispensary

This is dependant on local ordinances, taxes, fees, the cost of a building lease, licenses, insurance, and plenty of other variables. For example, giving you the cost of how to open a dispensary in Virginia is going to look quite different than the cost of how to open a dispensary in New York.

So, how much does it cost to open a dispensary? Here are the most costly expenses:

  • Licenses and fees
  • Building rent/mortgage
  • Insurance
  • Employee wages
  • Store equipment
  • Initial product investment
  • Marketing budget
  • A high-quality security system

As you can see, this is big business and looks a lot different than the illegal dealer down the street!

How To Sell To Dispensaries

The more weed shops open, the more product they need for their happy customers. Instead of direct marketing marijuana to consumers, you can go vertical in the industry and become a licensed grower to supply dispensaries in your area!

As with dispensaries, you’ll need to know the state, county, and city ordinances before embarking on this venture. For example, those looking to grow legal commercial weed in Michigan will need to look into acquiring a Michigan grow license.

One way to enhance this type of business is to forego the dispensary route and open up a cannabis delivery business to sell your products. There is far less overhead in delivery businesses than brick-and-mortar dispensaries!

It should go without saying, but selling weed to dispensaries and delivery services requires marijuana products that are:

  • Potent
  • Accurate genetically
  • Processed in a clean way
  • Have plenty of shelf-appeal
  • Uniform when it comes to flavor, aroma, and potency

Your everyday backyard grower isn’t suited for growing for dispensaries!

big business written in white with black background, how to start a weed business

Other Cannabusiness Ideas

Dispensaries and growing businesses are obviously going to be the most common, and feature the most competitive markets. So, if you are looking to succeed in the marijuana industry and aren’t sold on the idea of a shop or farm, you could look into other cannabis business ideas when learning how to start a weed business.

Cannabis Processing & Packaging

Dispensaries know that the shelf-appeal of a bud is typically a large factor in what strains sell the best. If buds look trimmed nicely, packaged cleanly, and show off the natural beauty of cannabis, dispensaries will sell that product more often than not.

This means that all of these new dispensaries will either be doing all of this in-house or outsource it. You can start the business that they outsource to!

Trimming businesses are quite common nowadays, but if you can combine this with packaging and branding for the growers and dispensaries you work with, you can corner a segment of the market that other cannabis processors in your area aren’t catering to.

Cannabis Bakery & Edibles

Not all marijuana users enjoy smoking. Some cannabis connoisseurs enjoy edibles and baked goods much more.

Opening a barkery that sells marijuana-infused baked goods and candies is a good way to reach the market of cannabis fans that don’t enjoy smoking. Obviously, you’ll need cooking/baking experience or the knowledge the hire someone with those skills to get into this business.

Become A Cannabis Critic

As funny as this may sound, critics are typically paid well across many industries. There is no reason that this can’t be true for cannabis critics as well!

The trick is to establish your presence in the industry and build up your reputation. Attend events, market online, etc.

Cannabis-Infused Health & Beauty Products

Cannabis offers plenty of holistic benefits beyond smoking it for the THC! Supplements, lifestyle products, cosmetics, and other household goods can be infused with cannabis extracts. If you can develop recipes for these products, you can get your products in dispensaries or even open your own health shop.

Cannabis Marketing Business

Do you have a knack for marketing and don’t want to compete against a saturated market where you live? You can turn all this competition to your advantage by starting a marketing agency for cannabis businesses!

Sure, this isn’t directly related to selling marijuana. But, you don’t have to worry about licenses, shifting laws, or anything that can hinder the growth of traditional marijuana businesses!

Now You Know How To Start A Weed Business

There is plenty of opportunity for success in this ever-expanding industry. More regions will legalize marijuana, more localities will turn towards the cannabis industry for economic growth, and more business owners will be needed to fill the voids. Choose your business idea, plan accordingly, and join the rewarding marijuana industry!


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