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How to Open a Dispensary in California

by Vende Posted in Legal

As a Californian business enthusiast, it won’t be news to you that opening a dispensary can be extremely lucrative. However, keep in mind that these businesses are governed by rules that you have to follow, and the best way to begin is by studying exactly what has to be done to open a dispensary in California.

How do you open a dispensary in California?

To open a dispensary in California, you'll need a license from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. California has licensed over 10,000 cannabis enterprises, including cultivators, manufacturers, merchants, distributors, microbusinesses, and testing labs.

To receive a license, you must first complete an application, which you can find here. But before you do that, make sure you're familiar with the protocols and what you'll need to do to ensure a smooth registration and licensing process. Keep reading to learn more about how to open a dispensary in California.

What licenses do I need to open a dispensary in California?

Before you can legally sell marijuana in California, you'll need to get a retail license from the state. You must also finish some cannabis dispensary training to be eligible for dispensary ownership.

There are two types of retailer licenses available. A Type 9 retailer does not have a physical location. It sells and delivers marijuana products to customers. The company also has a licensed facility, although it is not open to the general public. A dispensary that dispenses cannabis to customers over the counter is classified as a Type 10 store.

The state of California requires a $5,000 bond, and your retail site must be at least 600 feet away from a school. You'll need permission from the local jurisdiction (city or town) where the retail enterprise is located before you can receive a license. How to get a dispensary license in California.

To get a dispensary license in California, you will need the following:

  • Documented business strategy
  • A facility 
  • Application package to be submitted to the licensing commission

The first step in obtaining a dispensary license is to make your business strategy available. Your ability to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and resources to run a successful cannabis business will determine whether or not you are granted a license. Your business strategy should be flexible and have the elements necessary to be profitable while adhering to tight restrictions.

Long before you apply for your license, you should establish a business plan. Following the preparation of your business objectives, it's time to look for a facility that complies with California’s cannabis regulations. According to the law, a dispensary cannot be located near schools, parks, churches, daycares, or other places where children may be present.

Because of these laws and regulations, acquiring land and securing a Conditional Use Permit may be difficult. However, you must obtain it because it is one of the factors that will be taken into account when you submit your application.

What are the steps to getting a dispensary license in California?

The next important step for getting a dispensary license is to prepare an application package that contains the following:

  • How you will be carrying out your operations
  • How you plan on managing cannabis odor
  • Your safety and security tips
  • How you will be relating with the community and your tracking and tracing techniques
  • Measures your dispensary will follow to remain compliant