While this would have been considered impossible just a few years ago, medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. At least 16 states, and the District of Columbia have not legalized its use for other purposes but have decriminalized its use. Some experts say that the sales of medical marijuana could reach $6 billion by the end of 2016. As more and more states make medical marijuana, the opportunities for making money in this new industry are only going to grow. If you are interested in starting your own medical marijuana dispensary, it is a complicated process. From writing a business plan to consulting a cannabis attorney, there are a lot of steps to take and hoops to jump through.
Make sure you cross your legal t’s and dot your legal i’s. Every state has its own approach to cannabis law. That means that each has its own rules and regulations that medical marijuana dispensaries have to deal with. Each of the 12 states and the District of Columbia require people obtain a license to sell medical marijuana but the process is different in each. Your best bet is to hire a marijuana business lawyer to help you navigate the waters. Be patient with this process as it can take a long time. In fact, you should definitely start here to get the proverbial ball rolling. Your cannabis attorney can help you through it.
Draft up a business plan. You need to show potential investors and business partners that you have a a viable business and a plan for making it successful. There are marijuana business lawyers who can help you do this. You will have to show where you plan to get your medical marijuana, how you plan to publicize your business, how much you plan to make from it, etc. You can get help from a variety of sources. In a lot of ways this is a lot like opening any kind of new business. You will have to hire staff and find a property to rent. You will need a place to store your inventory. Get help and do some research before you share your business plan with potential investors or business partners.
Consider a partner. Going into business for yourself is hard. Maybe you know someone who would be interested in partnering with you on this new venture. A lot of people see the opportunities in medical marijuana. Your cannabis attorney may be able to point you in the right direction of people who would be interested in either becoming a partner or just investing in your medical marijuana business. Either way, it is good to get some help. Because medical marijuana is legal at the state level does not mean anything has changed at the federal level. All pot is illegal at the federal level and as a consequence, there is no bankruptcy protection for medical marijuana dispensaries that go out of business.
Find a location. There are a lot of rules and regulations governing where medical marijuana dispensaries can be located. You cannot open one within a certain distance of a school, preschool or any place children are taught or gather. This is different from state to state and even city to city. Check with your cannabis law group to find out what the specific rules are in your area. It would be really bad to sign a lease for a place only to find out later from your cannabis attorney that your new store front is not eligible to be a medical marijuana dispensary.
Medical marijuana has done a lot of good for a lot of people. Soldiers returning from Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere have had their post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treated with it. Almost 70% of physicians in the United States approve of its use for a wide array of illnesses, injuries and ailments ranging from chronic pain conditions to insomnia. Give the recent problems with opiate addiction, treatment with medical marijuana may be a safer way for people to manage their pain. Opening a medical marijuana dispensary is not just a good way to make money but to help people.