How to Open a Retail Marijuana Dispensary in Canada?


Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana on 17 October 2018. This allowed Canadian residents to legally use recreational cannabis and open retail marijuana dispensaries in the state. There’s no denying that cannabis has huge business potential. Studies report that cannabis sales are projected to instill CAD$9.2 billion by the year 2025. This has surged the entry of more and more marijuana dispensaries in the state. Here’s how one can open a retail marijuana dispensary in Canada.

Where Can I Open a Retail Dispensary?

Before you finalize a place to open your dispensary, make sure to look for places that allow cannabis retail business. At present, only provinces, such as Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia, allow potential businesses to open cannabis stores. The demand has reached a point where these provinces get hundreds of requests concerning the cannabis business. Despite receiving over 100 applications to create a retail dispensary, Manitoba chose only four companies.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to open a retail dispensary in Canada:

1. Start off by selecting your company’s corporate structure. This would include working with an attorney to work on the following things:

  • select a name for your business
  • Think about the best funding choices
  • Obtain a federal tax ID number
  • Discuss co-founder and partner agreements
  • Select qualified directors and officers
  • Draught Corporate Bylaws
  • Open your company’s bank account

2.  Choose a location that allows cannabis retail business. Once you’ve completed your business plan, it’s time to look for a province and municipality that will support your goal of starting a dispensary. Keep in mind that the licensing process will be different in each province.

As mentioned earlier, some cities will welcome cannabis businesses, while others will not. It is critical that you open your business in a properly designated area. And, before you commit financially to any area, you will need the municipality’s approval.

3.  Get in touch with product manufacturers and choose products that you want to sell. Experts at wonder buds suggest businesses make delivery and product standards with their potential vendors. It ensures the safety of the products and saves you from any legal consequences.

4. Obtain the necessary licenses to start your business off the ground. Once you’ve selected the ideal location, you’ll need to speak with the local cannabis business municipal officials to get your business permits. The application process takes roughly six to eight months from the time of filing. Your municipality can also request you to show your business plan, so make sure you have one.

5. Talk to contractors for building construction plans. Once you have received all the permits, it’s time to construct the building of your store. For this, you would need construction permits from the local municipality.

6. Train your staff. The next step involves hiring potential employees to handle the operational tasks of your retail store. This also includes providing them with proper training to deal with clients and customers. Since you will be running a cannabis store, make sure the workers have enough knowledge about different cannabis products.

These are some basic steps that you need to follow to kick start your cannabis retail business.