Basic Costs Of Opening A Cannabis Dispensary In Maryland

Opening A Dispensary In Maryland

Starting a dispensary is an exciting venture that may facilitate capitalism for cannabis lovers. Considering individuals who accept the therapeutic powers of cannabis, starting a dispensary is one of the ways you can take it.

The cannabis trade is one of the most thriving ventures today, but there are things you need to get familiar with. You need to know what the dispensary requires and how it will cost you.

How much does it cost to open a dispensary in Maryland? Starting a cannabis or marijuana dispensary starts from $150,000 or more than $2 million. It includes start-up charges, application charges, license, registration card, staffing, resources required, and others.

Learn about the basic charges of opening a cannabis dispensary in this post. You will also find out the kinds of Cannabis business licenses in Maryland and cannabis business plans. You can also discover the main products sold in a dispensary.

Basic Charges Of Opening Cannabis Dispensary

Cannabis or marijuana dispensaries prevail since federal law forbids cannabis to be recommended or prescribed at drugstores. A marijuana dispensary is where you can avail any cannabis product.

As required, the procedure to secure a medical cannabis dispensary license in Maryland is very complicated because the state allows a minimal number of dispensary licenses.

Although starting a dispensary is like starting any other business because of specific regulations and capital difficulties to surpass.

Start-Up Charges For Starting A Dispensary

The standard start-up charges may cost anywhere between $150,000 to $2 million, but this is just a rough estimate on starting a dispensary. The possibility of spending this amount is marginal since it would depend on your budget and your priority.

The start-up charges contribute to application and license charges, real estate, hiring experts and employees, equipment, security systems, and etcetera.

Dispensary Application Charges

There are two steps of application charges for applicants in Maryland, and if it gets established, the total application charge is $11,000.

Charges related to starting a dispensary include application charges and licensing charges viable every other year. Start-up charges and expansion are roughly estimated at $500,000.

Dispensary License Charges

Before starting a dispensary, you will need to get a license to operate a dispensary. Each US state has its own application and licensing steps for starting a dispensary.

It’s considerable to presume that dispensary licenses will cost around $5,000, and bear in mind that licenses should be continued yearly.

They need to present personal identification of a dispensary agent, fingerprints, and criminal background checks for dispensary owners. Applicants should attest that submitted facilities are under their regulation and following zoning and specifications.

Registration Card

Anybody who owns or works at any dispensary in Maryland must obtain a registration card. You must be fingerprinted by the Central Registry and submit to a criminal background check. If you’ve been sentenced for a felony drug crime, you’re not qualified for a registration card.

Staffing Charges

Before starting a dispensary, you are required to hire staff to work for your cannabis business. To manage a fully staffed dispensary, you’ll need to allocate some part of your budget to pay your staff.


Before the application process, it’s essential to ensure that you have the resources to start a dispensary. Every state has its prerequisite, so it’s recommended to make familiar with the localized marijuana laws in your location.

Resources signify your assets and a specific amount of capital before allowing you to apply for a dispensary.

Yearly Rent

Although many companies resort to eCommerce to sell their products, starting a dispensary requires a store. As a traditional store, you’ll need to buy real estate to complement your dispensary.

Generally, it seems like signing an agreement and paying for the rent monthly.

Not all people have the budget to purchase a whole building that they can own. It’s essential to have savings to pay the rent, especially when it is due. Rent charges will change from one place to another.

Concerning size and location, monthly charges are around $3,500 or $10,000 or more. Rent is fluctuating that you can regulate with an allotted budget.

The challenging part is looking for a landowner that will tolerate you in starting a dispensary. Not all are welcoming with leasing their space to marijuana undertakings.

The consent of the landowner is essential, as well as the location for easy access. The location must be part of the town where clients can look for it with comfort.

Yearly Marketing And Advertising Charges

Today, it is vital that each business, whether cannabis or not, must have a marketing plan to boost sales. It would help if you advertised your dispensary using physical signages or flyers as well as online marketing.

If you have a budget to pay a digital marketing agency, you can transfer the commitment to the experts. They can manage the advertising of your cannabis business, but it will incur more considerable marketing charges.

Banking Directives And Charges

Marijuana or cannabis dispensaries fall under a fifty-fifty area in the industry as they’re commercially illegal from the US federal standpoint. Due to this, several banks don’t want to negotiate with the opening investments and their daily demands.

To resolve this, owners will do business with credit unions or exclusive marijuana banks if they exist in the area.

Adversely, these come out with costs as these institutions discern that you don’t have any choice. They can charge holding fees of up to $2,000 a month.

Operational Charges

When you surpassed the financial difficulties, you’re in an ideal situation to be operational. Before the opening day, keep in mind that you need a cannabis industry-specific retail POS system, security system, and supply.

The electronic components could run around $25,000, and some states don’t allow dispensaries to expand their own flower. If you stock an elite product in the store, it may charge around $1,500 per pound.

Other operational costs include advertising depending on your location, insurance policies, and expert employees.

The capacity of your store will impose how many individuals you need on staff. If you have a budtender, supervisor, store manager, you can anticipate $250,000 as annual payroll.

Kinds Of Cannabis Business Licenses In Maryland

Cannabis is lawful for medical use in Maryland, and ownership of 10 grams or less is legal. Lately, the selling of edible medical marijuana products was granted.

Also, the General Assembly of Maryland has assembled a task force to study the legalization of cannabis in the state.

Maryland grants licenses for six types of medicinal cannabis businesses.

1. Dispensaries

It is a selling storefront wherein clients with an honest medical recommendation may buy dried or processed marijuana.

Maryland dispensaries are licensed to process, sell and transport cannabis and related products and supplies like oils, foods, tinctures, etc. The dispensaries in Maryland can also deliver.

2. Marijuana Cultivator Or Grower

This kind of business is also called a grower or grower operations that grow cannabis plants indoors or outdoors.

Maryland cannabis cultivators can produce, prepare and package cannabis. Marijuana is both sold through a dispensary or a processor.

3. Dispensary Or Cultivator

These businesses are unified, which means they can grow and sell cannabis in public.

4. Processor

Processors produce products such as capsules, creams, tinctures, extracts, and concentrates and distribute them to dispensaries. They can also pack and label marijuana.

5. Testing Lab

Customers and regulators similarly seek consistency and quality assurance in cannabis products that demand a marijuana testing lab.

These testing labs use gas or liquid chromatography procedures to examine products for THC and CBD content, terpenes, bacteria, and others.

6. Subsidiary Business

If you don’t want to grow or sell cannabis, you still have many options. You can make an app, payment processing service, advertising, and labeling agency, packaging, security service, and many more.

Cannabis Business Plan

A brilliant cannabis business plan brings centralized direction and entices other businesses and investors to work with you. Generally, it’s also a regulatory prerequisite during the licensing application step.

The government wants to understand that you have a logical chance of achieving a new business before permitting the license.

Cannabis business plans are not a simple task. Making a cannabis business plan demands a lot of time studying the business, learning operational principles, and drawing a distinction.

It’s also essential to explore the competition, establish your market, set landmarks, and organize its structure.

1. Product Or Service Definition

Will you operate a dispensary, grow a business, processor, or testing lab? What is essential about your business? Be confident as possible.

If you’ll operate a marijuana dispensary, which forms of flowers or whose man-made products will you sell?

2. Marketing Research

When you’re starting a dispensary, you need to consider how many individuals live within five miles. If you market flowers or edibles, you need to check how many dispensaries you will sell the said products.

If you create an app, who will be the users, and why would they use your app in preference to others? Make use of actual numbers certified by third-party granting feasibility.

3. Contenders

Who will be the direct and indirect contenders? Will they do well or incompetently? Can you identify their reputation? How will you characterize your business?

4. Executive Team

Enumerate your credentials and others from the executive team. You can include any cannabis business experience, and if you don’t have any, it’s okay.

Emphasize leadership skills, business development experience in other businesses, and customer service.

5. Financial Details

This task can be difficult. You require a five-year financial prognosis, including estimated annual revenue, cost, operating expenses, and revenue. Every year the estimated revenue must contain not only the revenue but also direct costs and profit margin.

You can predict revenue by calculating how much product you can sell, production cost, retail price, payroll, rent, and other costs. The cash flow statement will reveal that you have enough cash to stay operative.

For marijuana growers, it’s essential to do a perception analysis based upon prospects of the wholesale price per pound. You can also incorporate equal analysis to show which month is productive.

6. Complete Guidelines

You should incorporate information on your business plan concerning security systems, fast product transport, product tracking, and others. You can also include anything needed by Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

7. Investor Recommendation

When you’re imparting your recommendation to investors, ensure that you are evaluating the shares. Talk with your lawyer to ensure that you’re within state and federal accordance.

A private place memorandum (PPM) tells possible investors the investment and possible risks linked with the investment.

Prominent Products Sold In A Dispensary

In addition to the expansion and passage of cannabis dispensaries, today’s marijuana consumers can opt from a comprehensive selection of products.

Cannabis has changed dramatically as it became a multi-billion industry. It has been licensed and legalized for recreational and medical use.

With the age of information, especially with the internet, most people are furnished with details about its uses and features.

With the information and popularity, more business ideas came about. Creativity paved the way for the cannabis industry with some excellent and prominent products.

Flowers Or Buds

Conventional marijuana flowers or buds continue to be the most superior product among cannabis users. Considering the number of items being sold, flowers or buds continue to be favored.

But an expansive arrival of new products may generate a change in the market. The effectiveness of the flower starts from 10 to 20 percent, which is often more effective than other marijuana products.

Flowers or buds are usually the preference for new users, and the sales assist dispensaries in expanding.


Cannabis concentrate, also known as “dabs” that include wax, oils, and shatter, is also a prominent consuming formula.

But several individuals feel apprehensive with concentrates because of the high efficacy level. Many people choose flowers over concentrates due to the complexity of consumption.

The majority of concentrates are fished using butane, CO2, heat, alcohol, water, hydrocarbons, and propane. The effectiveness of concentrate usually ranges from 50 to 80 percent.

While the efficacy heightens, dosing is tighter. That is why several people are hesitant to concentrate.


The instilled edible products from marijuana are the second most prominent cannabis product in the United States. While doping can be a struggle, a lot of people choose edibles against other medical marijuana products.

Also, there are several available edibles like chocolates, gummies, marijuana-instilled cakes, brownies, and other sweet alternatives.

You can purchase products filled with different doses for extra comfort to get rid of speculation and mixture control.

But the results of consuming edible marijuana products can move up to an hour before materializing. Also, edibles don’t consistently deliver a stable experience. However, a few people insist that it brings more extended pain relief.

Live Resin

Live Resin is a kind of marijuana product with increased terpenes compared to any cannabis product. It is made by freezing the plant to preserve its flavor.

If you’re curious what terpenes are, they are oils strained from the cannabis plant that cause flavor and aroma. Live Resin usually has a more considerable THC concentration compared to products like edibles and flowers.

Live Resin is mainly used for recreational intents and is reputed as a premium product in dispensaries or the marijuana market.

Vape Pen

A vape pen has become a standard process for ingesting cannabis concentrates. You can purchase a common vape pen in nearly all dispensaries for about $45, whereas some exclusive vape pens are valued at $90.

One of the most acclaimed benefits of vaping is that the potency takes 5 to 30 minutes with exact dosing levels.

Cannabis Chocolates

Chocolates are the most marketable products today. It is generally used for recreational intents and the best sellers for some time. A lot of users choose chocolates and other edibles over cigarettes because of irregularity from the smoke.

Makers have a quicker time marketing chocolate than other edible products. Chocolates appear in different sizes, shapes, and flavors, making them marketable and productive.

Since edibles are determined recreational, their selling and circulating are limited to states granted recreational use of cannabis.

Cannabis Oil

Otherwise known as cannabidiol or CBD is considered the most legal cannabis product in the business. Different from THC, CBD is not intoxicating, which means it won’t get the user high.

Cannabis oil has established its name in different ways and became prominent with cannabis users. It serves as an antidepressant, cancer treatment and relieves pain.


The cannabis dispensary is one of the most gainful businesses today. However, starting a dispensary is complex. There are rules and regulations for every state like Maryland that interested stakeholders should comply with.

There are start-up, application, licenses, and operational changes to be considered.

A business plan can help you and your team when planning to open a dispensary in Maryland. It’s always objective to be prepared for the financial aspect of putting up a dispensary instead of being surprised with significant expenses.

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