With the number of medical marijuana centers on the rise, you might be considering opening up one yourself. It is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Its efficacy has been touted by doctors and patients alike. At least 76% of practicing physicians have said they approve of using medical marijuana for certain conditions. In terms of patient satisfaction, more than 90% of the people who have tried it, say it works. If you are looking for a business with a real market and growth potential, this may be it. Medical marijuana consulting firms are popping up all over the country to help entrepreneurs open new medical marijuana businesses.
Tips for Starting a Medical Marijuana Business:
- Draft a business plan. Like any other kind of business, you need to show the world you know what you are doing. It is important to draft a plan for investors but this can also serve as your road map to open your medical marijuana dispensary. You may want to talk to at least one medical marijuana consulting company who can help you develop your business plan. While this is something all small business owners do, developing a medical marijuana cultivation business plan has some parts that are unique to this business. Having some experts by your side can help a lot.
- Look into the laws in your city and state. While you may know that you are starting your business in a place where it is legal to do so, you need to find what your area requires for getting your medical marijuana business license. This is a lot like getting other business licenses but each area has its own rules and regulations for opening a medical marijuana dispensary. You need to be really careful and make sure all of your t’s are crossed and i’s dotted. Again, talking to a medical marijuana consulting firm can help you navigate this process.
- Find a space. You will need to check the zoning laws in your area. Many places that allow medical marijuana to be sold have strict rules on where it can be located. Most have some distance requirements for areas around schools. In California, medical marijuana centers need to stay at least 1,000 feet from any schools with small children or park. They need to stay at least 500 feet from residences and 250 from certain kinds of retail shops such as stores that sell bongs and other items. Your medical marijuana consulting company can help with this.
- Consider your security arrangements. Most of the transactions at medical marijuana dispensaries is done with cash. Add to that the fact that your product is one that people may want to steal and you have a recipe for a high crime zone. You will have to work out a plan to keep your staff, clients, inventory and cash safe. You should keep this in mind as you design your facility and consider hiring security personnel to work at your business.
- There are funding opportunities available. You may have people you know who are interested in investing in a medical marijuana business. The Small Business Administration has grants and loans to help people open new companies around the country. There may be funding available on a more local level from your state and county. You can talk to your representatives in Congress and your local government. You can also get information on funding from medical marijuana consulting companies. They should be able to steer you in the right direction to get funding for your dispensary.
- Develop a branding strategy. Your message should be repeated as often as possible. It should be used on all of your materials. Use social and traditional media to spread the word about your new business and interact with customers. People do get customer service on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Respond to questions and comments from your customer base.
Like other businesses, you need to let people know where you are and what you do. The product you sell has been shown to be useful and people do want to buy it. Working with medical marijuana consulting companies can help you set your business apart from the others.