How to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Getting a medical marijuana card for a lot of people is the best thing that’s happened to them. Many of these people have been suffering with pain for years, going through treatment after treatment and having nothing work out in their favor. If you are wanting to help these kinds of people and are wanting to start a medical marijuana dispensary, you will need to have several things in place.
Obtain a Marijuana Business License
Without a medical marijuana business license, you aren’t getting very far. It is completely illegal to sell marijuana without one. If you are starting a medical marijuana business, this is the first step to success. However, it’s a long and sometimes complicated process. You aren’t always going to get approved for a marijuana business license either, which can be frustrating. If that happens, you can appeal the process as many times as you like. Keep in mind that without the marijuana business license it is a federal offense to start a medical marijuana business, no matter how small. If you are selling any kind of cannabis without a license or even acting as a cannabis consultant, it is considered illegal.
Pay the Taxes
Don’t forget the taxes. Generally speaking, for every ounce of marijuana that you sell, tax stamps are 10 dollars. All of these fees need to be paid to the department of revenue. Don’t try to avoid this or you will be permanently shut down. Don’t worry about not making money because of paying taxes, you will definitely still make a profit. If you don’t, it will be because of other reasons, but definitely not because of the amount you are paying in taxes. If you are unsure of your specific state’s tax requirements, contact the Department of Revenue to find out exactly what you need to do. It’s better to find out early and plan for it then to have the IRS conduct an audit on you and your business after you open up simply because you were misinformed.
Legalize the Incorporation
You’ll want to incorporate your business. It’s recommended to form a collective rather than a cooperative. In order to know what exactly is involved in this it would probably be a good idea to hire a lawyer who has been involved in a case like this before. They can draw up or look over any kind of paperwork to make sure that everything is in place and legal and there are no questions or unsure procedures on your part. If you like the lawyer, you may want to keep them on retainer, at least for a little while in case something goes awry. Then at least they will already have been involved in the process from the beginning.
Get the Building Licenses and Permits
Once you find a building for your dispensary, you’ll need to make sure that it is up to standards and codes for what you want to do. Once everything is set and fixed, apply for the correct licenses and permits so that the building is legal. You will probably need to renew these licenses every year, just like your business license.
Open Up Shop
There are more details involved but these are the main steps and then you can open your doors for business. It’s a great thing to help people out and you should be proud of yourself if you are doing this for the right reasons. However, once you open up shop you may find then less than legal characters tend to use dispensary parking lots and areas to sell their own versions of the drug, using your place of business as a cover. Installing security cameras and even hiring security officers will help you to avoid risk and liability.
You may have to answer a lot of questions in the beginning to ensure that you are wanting to open a dispensary for the right reasons and that your intentions are legal and ethical but once you get through all of that, the amount of people that you will be able to help will be worth it all. Do not get frustrated with the process, just remember your end goal and that will be enough to get you through.