5 Tips for Opening a Dispensary in 2023

Emily Kho
February 1, 2023

If you’re interested in opening a dispensary in 2023, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re new to the cannabis industry or starting a business venture of your own for the first time, we’re here to help.

2023 is an excellent year for opening a dispensary. Global cannabis cultivation continues to be growing, up $18 billion year over year. In addition to increases in capital, M&A deals, R&D, and sales, legalization is looking more favorable than ever as we forge into a new year.

So, here’s your sign to get started. Here are 5 tips for opening a dispensary in 2023.

1. Be strategic when selecting the location and design of your dispensary

One of the most challenging tasks of setting up a cannabis dispensary is finding the right location to set up your business. The governing regulations of each jurisdiction can complicate where you can and cannot open a dispensary.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the best location for your dispensary in 2023:

  1. Check the legality of the location — for example, many states do not allow dispensaries within 500 - 1,000 feet of schools and similar institutions
  2. Learn about zoning codes and potential building restrictions
  3. Conduct market research
  4. Be upfront with landlords
  5. Research competing dispensaries nearby, and those that may be opening up
  6. Consider ease of access, especially if you do not plan on offering delivery

2. Recruit and select top candidates

Hire the right people. Period. In an industry that faces turmoil from a business perspective, you want to ensure you’re finding the top candidates to fill necessary positions when you are opening a dispensary.

Ensure that you are asking the right questions during the interview process. The interview questions should be a combination of testing their customer service and retail expertise, while testing their cannabis industry knowledge. A great budtender doesn't need to be a cannabis expert, but top employees are generally those who are passionate about what they are selling.

To attract top talent, you want to ensure that you have a smooth hiring and onboarding process. Thankfully, with the help of human capital management (HCM) software designed specifically for the cannabis industry, like KayaPush, recruiting and selecting quality employees is easier than ever. You can centralize and easily access employee data, while streamlining tedious onboarding tasks.

With KayaPush's HCM cannabis software, you get all of the HR services you need in one place, including: 

  • An applicant tracking system
  • Paperless self-serve onboarding
  • Performance management reports

If you are thinking about opening a dispensary, learn more about hiring tips here.

A diverse team of dispensary workers.

3. Establish your brand identity and company values

Manifesting and investing in brand identity and organizational culture is critical for anyone opening a dispensary in 2023. Your brand identity and values are what will ultimately lead your business to success, as you find a way to establish your dispensary as being unique from others.

Standard operating practices, or more commonly known as SOPs, are an excellent way to help build a brand identity and team culture. To learn more about how to set up dispensary standard operating procedures, check out our blog.

4. Select top products before opening a dispensary

Speaking of setting your business apart from the competition, it’s also important to make sure you’re selecting the top products to sell. Consumers are looking for quality these days, which means sourcing the top products from suppliers you trust.

Try to create lasting relationships with your favorite suppliers. This will help keep you at the forefront of the latest products they have available. And having top products keeps your budtenders excited about what they can offer their regulars, which will increase staff and customer retention.

You should also stay up to date on the latest products available on the market, and do your research on the benefits of each. Ensure that your team is knowledgeable, and encourage them to educate interested customers. Every dispensary sells CBD and cannabis products, but not every budtender is a cannabis educator. That is how you can stand out. 

A cart filled with cannabis products that will be sold at a new cannabis dispensary in 2023

5. Understand the cannabis laws and legislation

Lastly, it’s important to note that not following laws and legislation in the cannabis industry can potentially mean having products seized or getting shut down. After all, the cannabis industry has some big risks and challenges associated with it.

For example, even navigating the cannabis licensing landscape can be a challenging feat. Making even the smallest and most innocent mistake could cost you fines or even your business. That’s why it's critical to stay vigilant with compliance in order to avoid these issues.

To stay up to date on the latest Canadian laws and regulations, visit the Government of Canada website. As the US cannabis laws vary by state, please consult with an local expert or your state's official cannabis website.

Along with keeping records and reports, businesses in the cannabis industry need a compliant system that provides safeguards to ensure standards and regulations are met. Don’t even think about trying to breeze through compliance because the industry operates in a complex, regulatory environment with different laws at both the state and federal levels.

A new dispensary owner is reviewing licensing documents for the dispensary that is opening in 2023.

Final thoughts on opening a dispensary in 2023

Opening a dispensary is exciting, but it’s worth noting that it can be complicated. Hopefully, with these expert tips, you can grow a successful and compliant cannabis business in 2023. 

And what’s a business without its people? Don’t forget to take the time to make quality hires with the help of KayaPush. Not sure where to get started? Book a demo today to see how KayaPush can help get your dispensary off on the right foot.

Last, but not least, we wish you the best of luck with your new business!

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February 2023


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