If you’re considering opening a marijuana dispensary, you’ve probably already heard the tales of woe and failure associated with the industry. Plenty of entrepreneurs have failed to stay on the right side of the law as it is still an industry that is largely outlawed at the federal level.
But with cannabis legalization spreading across the U.S., you may be considering getting into this budding industry anyway. If you’re ready to enter the fray, there are some important lessons you should learn from those before you.
Dispensary owners face a lot of regulations
If cannabis is legalized in your state, the government will usually set up specific structures for dispensaries. These state laws will dictate everything from how many dispensaries can operate in the area to what types of products they must carry. Marijuana dispensaries are required to follow all laws and regulations set forth by their state government. If you are unsure what the regulations are you, you can check it out to get more information.
You’ll need to get a license from your state government
A dispensary owner is required to have a license from their state. This means getting a license is better than getting shut down by the government. However, obtaining your license is often time-consuming and complicated. You’ll need to apply for a marijuana dispensary license at the state level, as well as get a seller’s permit and business license. You may also have to show you are following all local laws and regulations.
Above all, you have to show you are running a legitimate business. This means you’ll need to keep accurate records of all your sales and purchases. You’ll also need to pay sales tax on all of your income.
You will have to deal with taxes
As the owner of a dispensary, you’ll be responsible for collecting sales tax and keeping accurate records. You’ll also have to pay federal taxes on both your business income and any personal income you receive through it. Your state government will set up more specific taxes for you, but you’ll still have to pay both.
It’s best that you hire an accountant to help you avoid any issues regarding taxes. Be sure to find a tax professional with experience in the marijuana industry. There are industry-specific taxes that you need to be aware of, and it’s almost impossible for the average person to be able to follow what’s going on.
The government will have eyes on you
Even though dispensaries usually operate legally, the government still has the right to shut down your business if they find any violations. If you’re found to be breaking marijuana laws, you and your employees can be charged with serious crimes.
Most states have specific laws for dispensaries that are aimed at keeping them from breaking the law. You will have to make a lot of purchases and deliveries to operate your dispensary. Make sure you have proper documentation for everything you ship or transport. You don’t want anything to even appear not legit as this is one of those businesses that even the slightest slip up can result in serious penalties.