Legal Marijuana Presents Challenges for Dispensaries

Posted by Patrick Vedder on

Dispensary owners need to plan ahead and keep up with new laws and rules to help protect their stores and overall business.

Cannabis now being legal in California has changed the way customers and dispensary owners will act moving forward.


More Security

With new laws come many changes, and dispensaries need to have more security.

Many of the major security companies have ignored (or just said no) California dispensaries simply because they don't want to deal with the "red tape" and drama that still exists within the marijuana dispensary industry.

Meeting the new security guidelines is not only for retail storefronts, but it includes the transportation of product and currency (which is dangerous and complicated).

This demand has allowed some companies to create a niche for themselves, such as Cannaguard and Omni Security, who soley work for medical marijuana dispensaries.

They provide both surveillance and transportation solutions.


Point Of Sale System

With more customers and more business, dispensary owners need to use a POS that will offer a solution to their individual needs.

These are some of the things you need your POS to do:

  1. creating customer profiles
  2. tracking inventory
  3. marketing campaigns
  4. compliance
  5. managing staff and overall marijuana sales


Dispensary Renovations

State and city regulations always change, and of course new laws brings change.

Of course some dispensaries are already designed to meet the new mandates, a lot of dispensaries are old and are not up to the new standard.

Obviously having to shut down for a few days or weeks to renovate can hurt your business and cost you a lot of lost revenue, but it could be your only choice.

Renovating your dispensary interior could be the only way to satisfy the state regulations, so do your homework and follow the laws.

Many dispensaries will now be required to be handicap accessible.


 Licensing and Permits

Applying for a commercial cannabis business license requires a lot of planning and headaches among other things.

In addition you will need an ample amount of documentation regarding your dispensary business, the owners, and operational procedures that will be implemented.

Running a busy dispensary is a full time job in itself, but you can't overlook how important it is to secure the proper license and permits.

Although it's very pricey to get a business license/city permit (with application fees) you have no choice but to get this stuff done, and On Time.

Recently the BCC launched their online application portal for cannabis retailers. This will be very helpful when applying for a business license and helping to get organized from day one.


Financial Institutions (Banks)

As you probably know by now, banking has always been an issue for those involved with owning and operating a cannabis business.

Cannabis businesses are usually all about cash, and that makes it tough to use revenue to pay expenses.

A lot of weed dispensaries have to use armored trucks to move their cash to federal reserve banks, ideally then deposited into local credit unions.

But just setting up these type of accounts is time consuming, confusing, and expensive - prices could range from $10,000 and up (criminal backgrounds, hiring a consultant, financial audits).

California dispensaries are charged monthly fees up to $7500 for due diligence.

These fees are what cause many dispensaries to setup fictitious LLC companies to open an account in FDIC insured banks, thus allowing them to basically "wash" their money from the dispensary.


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