How to Run a Successful Marijuana Dispensary in California

Updated on December 23, 2020

In several ways, running a successful marijuana dispensary is like running any other business. But success in one business translates to success in another as every business has its secrets and intricacies. You’ll likely struggle without adequate knowledge because California dispensary for marijuana is a business that is heavily regulated. 

However, building and running a successful hemp dispensary business is not as hard as Google and other people make it seem. Success in business doesn’t come from cutting corners, you need to roll up your sleeves and get off your high chair at times. Running a successful marijuana dispensary particularly requires a considerable amount of effort. But we are here to help.

In this article, we have prepared 5 time-tested ironclad keys on how to run a successful marijuana dispensary. 

Set Realistic Goals 

Don’t expect to be Bill Gate-rich in the first few weeks of setting up your dispensary. Many people fall into the trap of overestimating revenues and underestimating expenses. Besides license fees being considerably high and setting up a dispensary being quite expensive, approval may take months. But if you get the basics right, the rewards are potentially huge. 


Do you want to be a retailer, cultivator, manufacturer, or distributor? How much capital do you have access to? Do you want to provide medicinal or recreational marijuana to consumers? Who are your competitors? Currently, competition from the black market is the biggest threat facing the business. These and more are the questions you should find answers to before putting your money where your mouth is. Plus, you need to research the city and county marijuana regulations; that leads us to our next point.

Know the Laws 

You need to keep yourself abreast of the laws. For starters, two primary laws govern the sales of marijuana in California, which are; the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). Cannabis tax laws! Sometimes these laws can seem a bit like rocket science, which explains why you may require the help of a marijuana business lawyer who is on top of the law. Or you can simply visit the dispensehemp website to get yourself well-informed on the nitty-gritty of starting a hemp dispensary in California. 

Build a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is an exciting stage in setting up your dispensary. You need to establish a budget; every successful business requires that. This will help you figure out how much money you have and how much money you need to spend. You need to consider the cost of the license, cost of operations, taxes, security, cost, and rent cost. To plan your financials very well, you may need to consult an experienced marijuana business accountant; again, dispensehemp can help you out with this. 

Sometimes finding the right rental property can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Your shop must be at least 600 feet away from school. You need to keep this in mind too when creating your business plan. 

Strict Compliance 

The weed business is not like other businesses. Continual compliance with strict laws, rules, and regulations of the business is VERY important. You’ll need to provide the necessary details and information to acquire a retail license from the state before you can legally sell marijuana. A little bad news is that you may be denied a license if you’ve had a violent felony conviction. 


This is where you spread the message about your marijuana dispensary business! You need to create brand awareness and showcase your business in a positive light. And, social media is one of the best platforms to do this. You can create articles, short videos, or even build a website to provide insights about your business. Plus, marketing is one way to overcome the stigma clouding the sales of this crop. 

Service delivery: Your customer service needs to be top-notch because most customers are uncertain about the whole thing when they walk into your shop. You and your employees should have a friendly attitude and be willing to educate potential customers. Remember, customers’ needs must come first before the unholy dollar. 

Final Thoughts

Most banks do not offer financial assistance to dispensaries that’s why you may need to stack up sufficient funding before starting your dispensary business. You need to acquaint yourself with as much hemp knowledge as possible and know the market before you can run a marijuana dispensary in California. Don’t fret; remember you’ve got all of dispense hemp’s resources at your disposal in your quest of starting a California dispensary. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.