With the legalization of cannabis in most U.S. states and all of Canada, a new industry is growing fast in the country. In 2020, Canada’s legal adult-use cannabis market was valued at 2.6 billion Canadian dollars. This market is expected to reach 8.62 billion Canadian dollars by 2026.
However, as many of these businesses have discovered, great opportunities come with considerable competition. Opening a dispensary in Ontario and the rest of Canada, for that matter, is not easy, and with the rush of entrepreneurs going into the market, dispensaries are being forced to compete on lower margins. It’s also strictly regulated, so business owners must make sure they have all of the necessary permits and licenses.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your dispensary against increased competition and falling marijuana prices. Here are a few tips on how you can rise above the challenge and run a successful dispensary:
- Hire Your Dream Team
To staff their stores, all business owners search for people that are diligent, passionate, and relatable. This also rings true for cannabis dispensaries.
Members of the team must have a keen eye for detail, an in-depth understanding of each product, adherence to strict cannabis regulations, and the capacity to customize the shopping experience for each customer.
When it comes to hiring for a cannabis dispensary, you must consider your professional support, such as compliance officers and consultants, and your day-to-day employees, such as the store manager and budtenders. As some would say, a company’s success is determined more by its employees than by its products or services.
- Write a Business Plan
The business plan is the part that no one wants to deal with. It is, still, undoubtedly the most crucial phase in the process of starting and running a new dispensary. Begin by identifying your company’s goals and your dispensary’s mission statement. Do you want to focus on delivering high-quality medicinal marijuana or will your shop cater to recreational marijuana users? Do you want to help local citizens with steady jobs and income?
You must also establish your operational, marketing, and financial strategies. Your cannabis dispensary business plan shows that you have a good understanding of how your company will be structured, what employee remuneration and perks will be, how you’ll hire, and so on. This shows your initial strategy, as well as a contingency in case things don’t go as planned.
- Find the Right Location for Your Dispensary
It’s all about the location. Although it may sound like a cliché, it is true. You will have a difficult time attracting people to come in if you choose a site that does not provide easy access to your business. Additionally, select a location that meets your goals in terms of competition and demographics. Businesses’ success is heavily influenced by their location, and the marijuana industry is no exception.
Here are some key factors when selecting the optimal location for your store:
Conduct extensive research into the demographics of the local community. Find out what they think of marijuana. A population with a higher proportion of young people is more open-minded and more likely to purchase more cannabis products than those in more conservative areas. Additionally, locations near schools, churches, community centers, and other such facilities are not recommended.
- Ease of Access
The success of your dispensary will be influenced by its general convenience to the customers. Your dispensary will also benefit from ample parking, public transportation, and handicap accessibility. Furthermore, if your customers easily get in and out of traffic at peak hours, it may encourage them to become repeat customers.
- City Regulations
The most common blunder is committing to a property before thoroughly researching the local zoning and rules. Each municipality will be able to develop its zoning and bylaw laws. Retail stores will be restricted to commercially zoned premises in many circumstances and will be obligated to be 300 meters (or more) away from designated centers and even other dispensaries. You must also factor in the possibility of future zoning changes. Make sure you’re up to date on local ordinances and legislation.
Competition for your cannabis business is fierce. Consider how your location compares to that of your competitors to set your company apart. It’s not a smart idea to set up camp near a dispensary that already exists. The more geographic niches you can carve out for yourself, the easier it will be to grow your company.
- Partner with the Local Community
Many of the most successful companies have achieved significant progress by involving themselves in local communities. You can distinguish your dispensary and make it a vital part of your community. Support activities that engage, educate, and benefit your potential consumers to achieve this. This will not only assist you in increasing brand recognition but will also help to dispel any unfavourable marijuana preconceptions that may exist in your community.
Actively engaging your community will help your brand become more well-known. As a result, your consumers will have long-lasting favourable memories of your dispensary. This is critical for long-term consumer retention. You’ll also be helping your cannabis dispensary succeed in the long run.
- Comply with Rules and Regulations
Cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, sale, and usage are all governed by a variety of laws. It’s also critical for business owners to follow all applicable city, provincial, and national laws. Licensure, permits, and insurance are all important parts of this.
It is vital to have a thorough understanding of these laws to manage a successful dispensary and be a licensed cannabis dispensary in Canada. Keep track of upcoming legislative changes so you can make the necessary adjustments to your business.
- Create a Unique In-Store Experience
It would be a good draw if your store could offer a unique in-store experience to customers. Make sure you cultivate distinct interactions with them on a personal basis. Plan out your dispensary’s layout and aesthetic merchandising, then choose the most efficient alternative. Invest in a payment processing solution for your dispensary.
Also, the in-store experience is more than just appearances. How your cashiers engage with clients and how your dispensary manages browsing are all part of the overall experience. All of these elements have an impact on how your clients see your dispensary and whether or not they would return.
- Invest in a Technology System
You must guarantee that your operations are reliable if you want to manage a successful cannabis dispensary and constantly provide a top-notch experience to your consumers. You must streamline your processes from the start. It’s crucial to have a reliable system in place for critical jobs. An efficient point of sale system not only benefits your consumers but also benefits your employees.
You’ll be able to better gather data and consolidate records. It becomes easy to keep track of things and to make reports. Running a successful dispensary will necessitate some investment in a data gathering and processing technology that does not allow your data to be compromised.
As in all businesses, competition is steep. To ride the highs and survive the lows, you need to differentiate your dispensary and invest in the necessary resources and systems to create a great in-store experience.
Do you have a cannabis dispensary opening soon? Equip yours with state-of-the-art technologies and solutions from Point of Sale Remarketing Group (POSRG) Canada. Run and grow your dispensary with our cannabis retail POS system in Canada by calling us at (905) 332-8809!