Since this blog is focused on cannabis business ventures, I have decided to do a series on how to start a marijuana dispensary. This will cover the basics on dispensaries and go into significant detail about the business process. I want to approach it as if someone who has never been involved in cannabis can read this series and understand how things work in the world of weed. Even those with knowledge on the plant (anyone who went to a state school) should benefits from an a-z guide and outline. Cannabis business is complicated because of all the regulations, and the fact that this is a brand new industry that is changing everyday at a rapid pace. The stoner identity of marijuana is gradually being changed into something more serious, as big business starts to notice the opportunity this plant has to offer. So if you are looking to open a dispensary, let’s start with defining the business you want to enter.
What Is A Dispensary?
A cannabis dispensary is a physical location where those who are legally able can come purchase cannabis products. These products range from a variety of things including cannabis flower, CBD, Concentrates, Oils, Joints, Edibles, and the list goes on. Dispensaries are only allowed where marijuana is legal either medically, or both medically and recreationally. The word dispensary has been used for hundreds of years because medicine is “dispensed” from the location and given to those in need, much like the function of modern pharmacies today. Dispensaries also can go by names such as collectives, co-ops, and compassion clubs.
However, because of federal and state regulation, doctors and traditional pharmacies are not allowed to dispense or prescribe cannabis to their patients using these mainstream platforms. Cannabis is still under debate in the medical realm as a way to treat medical conditions and ailments. In recent years however, the momentum is shifting as patients are seeing positive results when using cannabis as alternative medicine. Because of these positive results, states are now legitimizing marijuana as medicine, allowing cannabis dispensaries to be available for those in need.
If you live in a state where cannabis is medically legal, you may receive a prescription from the doctor to use cannabis to treat your condition. In order to receive cannabis as a treatment, one must undergo an evaluation to confirm that they are qualified. Qualified patients receive a card that gives them access to cannabis products, much like an ID card. This card states that they are legally (State) able to obtain cannabis for their condition(s).
There are currently 4 states allowing anyone over 21 to come in and buy cannabis for recreational use, without being sick or needing a doctor’s prescription. The trend to end prohibition on marijuana is gaining speed and many expect in the next 10 years cannabis could be legal in some respects in all 50 states of the U.S.
As for now, dispensaries are safe places to get cannabis without fearing poor quality or it being laced with some other type of drug or chemical. The cannabis black market has been the only means for some to get the drug, making it very dangerous when compared to a regulated and licensed dispensary. The underground marijuana drug trade can be severed significantly with the ending of cannabis prohibition; one of the major reasons politicians and civilians are starting to shift their minds and attitudes about legal cannabis. Patients and users of cannabis are also finding dispensaries to be a safe place to get the plant without having to fear getting an unsafe product or landing jail time for buying drugs off the black market.