How to sell weed - The legal way

Published Nov 13, 2021 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Ivan-balvan

Learning how to sell weed was much simpler in the days of prohibition when all you had to do was find a supplier and customers that wanted some herb. Now that it’s legal, the process is much more official, which, of course, means that it’s going to be a lot more difficult than one might expect to get all of those ideas, dreams, and paperwork in order. Knowing where to start is only half the battle because if a step is missed along the way, the mistake could cost you dearly by prolonging the grand opening.

Have a rough business plan

The first thing you’ll need to do is have some idea of what you’d like to accomplish. Minor and even major details don’t have to be set in stone at such as early date, but if you want to make a profit selling cannabis, then you’ll need to take averages into account, and a plan can help you to do just that. You’ll want to know things like where you’d hope to set up shop, the products you’d hope to offer, and any other important details you can think of.

Seek professional help

Moving into the fast-paced retail world for the first time can be a lot to handle on your own, which is why we highly recommend finding a consultant or consulting firm that specializes in cannabis business and law to help. They can take you through every step of the process, from adding to your business plan to license applications, and stocking the shelves, so no matter what they might cost, it will be money well spent on this exciting endeavor.

Get your finances in order

Once you’ve made it this far, you should have some idea of how much it will cost you to open a dispensary, and it’s best to do everything you can to have the money upfront. Whether you take on a bank loan, borrow from family, or take on an extra job for a bit to make it work, you’re going to need this capital to get established because it’s still going to be a while yet before your dispensary opens to the public. For shelves, products, staff, rent, services and deposits, you’ll need that money now, which brings us to our next point.

Expect regular services to cost you more

One of the main reasons it’s so important to secure capital is because cannabis businesses cost so much more to conduct. Insurance companies, banking services, rent, employee's wages, and even things as common as the internet are likely to be more expensive, as these companies want a large sum of money to deal with such a taboo industry. There are so few willing to work with us that you’ve got to take what you can get, so it’s best to expect this right off the hop.

Obtain a license

Getting a license to open a weed dispensary varies depending on where you live, with some regions opting for lottery systems and others appointing agencies to process applications. If you hope to set up shop in an area that runs a lottery, then you’ll have to play by the rules of the game, whatever those might be. But if you’re lucky enough to be somewhere that runs a fair licensing system, then it’s time to figure out where and how to get the proper paperwork because there’s no way to move another step further without it.

Stock those shelves

If you want to sell cannabis, then you’re going to need a good selection of products to offer consumers. It’s time to get those shelves stocked with all kinds of cannabis goodies, and to do that, you’ll need to find a supplier. In Canada, this position is reserved for provincial governments, whereas each state boasts its own unique restrictions, so you’ll need to check the rules in your area to know where to go.

Be competitive

For a weed dispensary to be successful in this day and age when everyone wants in on the green industry, it will have to bring a competitive edge to the scene that stands out against the sea of options. Whether it’s a style, brand selection, or knowledge on the more medicinal aspects of the plant, it’s important to decide now who and what you want your company to be because it’s the only real way to stay competitive.

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