The GOOD Guide to Cannabis
Welcome to the golden age of marijuana. Indeed, the future is dope.
- Most Read
Royal Wedding Insiders Say Tennis Great Serena Williams Ran The Beer Pong Table At The After-Partyby Tod Perry
Michael Jordan’s Legacy May Be In Peril In The Era Of Wokenessby Matthew J. Cooper
HBO’s New Film ‘The Tale’ Documents A Survivor’s Storyby Anya Alvarez
Exhausted Mom Posts A Letter Begging Husband For Help, And It’s Going Viralby Tod Perry
An NFL QB Went 'Undercover' As A Transfer Student To Prank A College Football Teamby Penn Collins
28 Of Barack Obama’s Greatest Achievements As President Of The United Statesby Tod Perry
Mother Texts Her Deceased Son and Receives an Unbelievable Responseby Tod Perry
A New Project In San Antonio May Become the ‘Latino Highline’by Araceli Cruz
Trump Looks To Overturn A Ban On ‘Extreme’ Hunting Practices In Alaskaby Tod Perry
So You Wanna Sell Weed?
by Tosten Burks
As impending legalization inspires entrepreneurs to dream in green, a little caution is in order—launching a reefer retail business is harder than it sounds. Here are some tips for navigating regulatory hoops:
Most state marijuana agencies refuse to award retail licenses to citizens with felony convictions—a policy that, after decades of racially biased drug law enforcement, disproportionately excludes people of color, often for simple cannabis possession. The good news: In Oregon, it’s now possible to get records of decades-old marijuana offenses expunged. Other states that allow recreational use are considering similar legislation.
Raise the Cash
The application fee for a state marijuana license ranges from $250 to $10,000—and that’s just the beginning. Oakland-based Green Rush Consulting recommends having at least $250,000 of starting capital.
Find a Space
Even in states where cannabis is legal, counties can ban dispensaries altogether. Most states also prevent retailers from setting up near schools and other youth-oriented facilities. Scour government sites and resources like cannazoning.com for zoning policies.
Stock the Shelves
Retailers can only offer products from in-state licensees, so network with local growers, confectioners, and manufacturers’ sites like ganjapreneur.com. For in-store packaging, try sustainable options like WoodStalk’s reusable bamboo containers.
Dispensaries require “budtenders” to serve clients, as well as security guards to monitor entry. Specialized recruiting agencies like Ms. Mary Staffing can connect you with qualified employees. You’ll also need an accountant to handle complex tax codes—there are cannabis-focused bookkeeping firms in most legal states—as well as a lawyer to ensure you’re compliant with regional regulations.
Illustrations by Janice Chang and Emily Lin