Open A Dispensary | Checklist For Franchisees
Open a dispensary with White Rabbit Franchisors but consider these points first. Opening a retail store is difficult under the best circumstances, but a cannabis shop requires even more consideration. All too often, excitement and enthusiasm trumps planning and execution. No wonder so many businesses fail in their first year.
However, the good news is this, becoming a White Rabbit franchisee can seriously help avoid typical pitfalls. Still, there are things to keep in mind ahead of any final decision.
Thinking About Opening a Dispensary?
Before opening a retail marijuana shop, first keep in mind the current legal landscape. States have, and will continue to implement legalization measures. However, selling cannabis still doesn’t have full legal status federally speaking. Does this mean you will get arrested for selling pot in a state that allows it? No, as long as the laws of the state are followed, then federal prosecutions are not an issue. However, that doesn’t mean retailers can do whatever they want.
Follow the rules to a “T”. Know the rules inside and out. Get up to speed with local and state regulations. We highly recommend consulting with an attorney well versed in cannabis laws in your respective state first. The good news? More and more states continue to drive legalization and federal legalization appears to be getting closer and closer. White Rabbit Franchisers can help you get there, contact us for additional info.
With the number of recreationally and medically legal states today, the “tipping point” has already been reached. More states have favorable marijuana laws today than do not.
The Path To Recreational Marijuana Retailing
If you are ready to move forward, then here is a top level overview checklist for what comes next:
- Get to know your local municipal government and your cannabis regulatory administrators
- Find a location that meets local rules regarding cannabis retail.
- Will you be renting or owning your location?
- Have a business plan that helps get the license granted.- this is where being a White Rabbit Franchisor has its perks!
- Lock down investment to not only develop the location but also prepare for opening with inventory and staffing if necessary, as well as preparing for a modest advertising budget
- Contact vendors for products
- Train management and staff in preparation for opening.
Relationships build trust and helps open a dispensary
Get to know your local municipality administration since they play a part in granting a license as much as the state cannabis licensing and permitting entity. Build trust and instill confidence because these relationships make a world of difference. Sure, they all want the tax dollars your future marijuana retail store generates, but they need to trust you will succeed.
Location, location, location
Finding a location to operate the business needs your focus from day one. Typically, zoning restrictions related to operating a cannabis shop restrict options. And that drives prices up. It also means you may face increased competition depending on how many licenses get permitted in that area.
Also, it is usually critical to know where the store will exist in order to obtain the license. In fact, although it seems like “putting the cart before the horse”, local municipalities want to know where you will operate before granting a license to operate. So, sometimes that may require risking capital to secure the location – with no guarantee of obtaining a license.
To rent or to own your location to open a dispensary?
While ownership of the property offers advantages, sometimes renting is the only option. Making sure the landlord accepts cannabis business is critical. Get a commitment in writing. That way you can avoid a landlord getting cold feet. Ownership grants more security, but best to operate the property ownership separate from the retail operation by acting as your own landlord. That way you protect your property investment.
A smart plan for obtaining a license
Showing a comprehensive business plan makes a huge difference. Here is where franchising with White Rabbit Franchisors makes the most sense. Because tapping into the vast experience and deep industry knowledge of a successful retailer is invaluable. A business plan should comprehensively cover all the major concerns involved in this highly regulated industry. Showing a plan for security, compliance, training, everything, provides the licensing agency confidence.
Franchising with White Rabbit covers every single facet of running a marijuana retail location, both recreational and medical.
Capitalize to open a dispensary
Make sure the funding covers enough to open and operate. Opening a dispensary is not cheap, but it can be done on a budget with smart planning. However, plan on needing at least enough to cover the location, starting inventory, advertising, and staffing. Financing is possible, but traditional small business loan options do not exist. However, there are cannabis friendly options available, so don’t give up on the dream because funding seems like a bridge too far.
Finding quality vendors and having enough product to sell upon opening presents a challenge. There are supply issues and vetting concerns especially when legal cannabis first rolls out.
Training staff and management
An educated and well trained staff creates instant connection with the consumers. They must prepare for every type of customer. Experienced and brand new users. Young and old. White and blue collar. Turning them into lifetime loyal customers is the goal.
The long and short of it
Becoming a White Rabbit franchisee helps through the entire process. So, if you want to open a dispensary, and want a road map to avoid common pitfalls, then reach out to us. We welcome the opportunity to make your dream come true.