How to Write A Perfect Business Plan For Cannabis Dispensary

A cannabis dispensary business plan is a well-written document that explains in detail the objectives of the cannabis business and how the business intends to meet those objectives, taking into account every resource that will be needed and where it will be sourced from.

A cannabis dispensary business plan helps to keep a cannabis business on track to meet its objectives. The business plan ensures that all business resources are channeled towards meeting the set goals of the business towards growth and prosperity.

Cannabis dispensaries need to have a business plan for several reasons including:

  • Define the nature of their business
  • Define and target their potential clientele
  • Determine financial and other resource needs
  • Attract investors
  • Plan for growth

Business Types for a Cannabis Dispensary

Before you start a cannabis dispensary, you need to determine the nature of ownership that will work best for you. You can either choose to go solo or to involve other parties. As you will see below, each option has its pros and cons.

Sole proprietorship

In short, this is going solo where you shoulder every risk and take all the benefits when they come. The business is registered under your personal name and should there be any liabilities or losses, you are solely responsible for them. On the other hand, you are at liberty to make your own decisions and when the business makes profits they all belong to you.

Partnership

In this case, you have two or more business partners. There are two different kinds of business partnership: limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability partnerships (LLP).

In limited partnerships, one person has unlimited liability and hence has majority control over the business. The other partners have limited liability and their control over the company is also limited.

In limited liability partnerships all the partners have limited liability over the company. This model protects the business owners in case of debts and other liabilities that may be incurred by other partners or the business.

Once you have decided on the type of business that you want to operate, you will need to go out there and find funding for your cannabis dispensary.

cannabis plantation

Sources of Funding for the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, this is mostly because marijuana is under schedule 1. Consequently, getting funding from traditional financial institutions is not as straightforward as it should otherwise be. This has prompted most business owners to rely on personal savings and donations from well-wishers to finance their cannabis businesses.

Other funding options for a cannabis dispensary includes:

  • Angel investors
  • Venture capitalists
  • Cannabis-specific investment groups
  • Capital brokers
  • Crowdfunding

Defining Your Product Range

You will need to define the nature of products that you will sell at the dispensary. This should be inspired by the needs of your target clientele as well as the unique selling point of your business. Don’t make the product range too broad so that customers can’t tell exactly what you are offering. But also, don’t make it too limited that customers have nothing to choose from. Here are some cannabis products to consider:

  • Oils
  • Creams
  • Sprays
  • Patches
  • Tinctures
  • Vapes
  • Flowers
  • Edibles

Business Location

When choosing a location for your dispensary, you have to consider the state, county, and city zoning laws. These laws dictate how close a dispensary can be to daycare, school, playground, and addiction centers and even how many dispensaries can be in one city.

Apart from the zoning laws, you will also need to consider the demographics of the area, proximity to resources, and most importantly, security in the area.

States that Allow Cannabis Dispensaries

AlaskaYou can apply for an Alaska Marijuana Establishment License which can be used to open both a medical and recreational dispensary.
ArizonaThe state accepts medical dispensary registration applications periodically.
ArkansasThe state accepts medical dispensary registration applications periodically.
CaliforniaYou can get a state license to run a medical and recreational dispensary
ColoradoYou can get a state license to run a medical and recreational dispensary
ConnecticutIt is hard to get a medical dispensary license; a limited number are awarded at a time.
DelawareYou can’t get a dispensary license
FloridaYou can’t get a dispensary license
HawaiiSo far only 8 dispensary licenses have been issued
IllinoisApplications are closed so you can’t get a dispensary license
LouisianaYou can’t get a dispensary license
MaineDispensary licenses are rarely available
MarylandYou can get a medical dispensary license
MassachusettsThe state accepts medical and recreational dispensary applications
MichiganYou can get a medical dispensary license
MinnesotaYou can’t get a dispensary license
MontanaDispensary licenses are available periodically.
NevadaYou can’t get a dispensary license
New HampshireYou can’t get a dispensary license
New JerseyYou can’t get a dispensary license
New MexicoYou can’t get a dispensary license
New YorkYou can’t get a dispensary license; this is limited to registered organizations
North DakotaYou can’t get a dispensary license; the application is currently closed.
OhioYou can get a dispensary license
OregonThe state accepts medical and recreational dispensary applications
Rhode IslandApplications are accepted only during an open application period that is announced periodically.
VermontApplications are accepted periodically.
WashingtonCannabis dispensary licenses are currently not being accepted currently
Washington D.C.Cannabis dispensary licenses are currently not being accepted currently

Final Note

A well-drafted business plan is essential for the success of any business, including a cannabis dispensary. If you cannot write one yourself, it is advisable to engage the assistance of a professional who can articulate your vision and objectives into a business plan. To wrap this up, here are seven tips to bear in mind when writing the perfect business plan for your cannabis dispensary:

  1. Be concise but thorough
  2. Use simple language
  3. Use bars, charts, and other pictorials
  4. Provide supportive documents are reference all data
  5. Research extensively and be objective
  6. Set realistic objectives
  7. Add a personal touch

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