When it comes to marketing your local cannabis dispensary, the location could make or break your business. Opening a new business — no matter what goods you’re selling — has its potential and pitfalls. With the state of California scheduled to legalize marijuana use, distribution, cultivation, and sales for more than medicinal use by the start of the new year, the number of competitors in the cannabis market will inevitably grow.
When opening a marijuana dispensary in California, it’s important to consider the location of your operation. Leaping into a new business venture is never easy. Opening a cannabis dispensary in California, in particular, has its own unique challenges. When considering the local marketing for your dispensary, another important factor to think about is location.
Here are 4 things to consider when picking the best place to open your California marijuana dispensary:
1. Consider Where You Can Open a Dispensary in California
No matter where you open your dispensary, without approval from your local city or county, the state will not issue you a non-temporary license. Check that you are compliant with the local licensing process. Don’t attempt to open a marijuana dispensary in California with a local ban.
In addition to statewide and federal regulations, cities and counties operate under their own local jurisdiction. Under S.B. 94, all 482 cities and 58 counties within the state of California have the authority to set and maintain their own regulations. That includes land use and zoning limitations, potential fees, and unique operating standards, including hours of operation and proximity to schools.
Start by talking to your local city and county official. A reason why a local city or county may not approve a decision to open a cannabis dispensary could be due to preexisting notions about public safety. Be prepared to educate them.
You can also check the local ordinance in the city or county you want to open your location. Some areas in California may have a ban on cannabis activity. If that is the case, zoning information may not be provided.
2. Talk to a Local Real Estate Professional
Perhaps you want to open your California marijuana dispensary in a new, unfamiliar city. A local, real estate professional in that area can be a good resource. Once you decide who you want for your target customer, a real estate professional can help you understand the trends, traffic, and demographics of that city.
However, opening your marijuana dispensary in a location that is close to your customer base may not be the right strategy. If you decide to operate in a remote location (or alternatively, in a location that is oversaturated with competitors), investing in marketing and a good local SEO strategy for your dispensary may be the better option for you.
3. Like Your Landlord
Don’t underestimate the relationship you have with your prospective landlord. Although recreational and medical marijuana will soon be legal in the state of California, using, selling, and growing cannabis will still be illegal under federal law.
Some landlords may have a friendly attitude toward cannabis and embrace the opportunity of having the new business. However, due to public stigma regarding cannabis dispensaries, others may worry about the impact with neighbors, other tenants, and federal agencies.
Again, make sure to receive local approval in your city and county; you should be fine.
Review the terms of your commercial lease agreement and make sure they are fair and appropriate. Ask yourself if the place is convenient enough for customers to park and for deliveries to be made. For example, if you’re interested in growing marijuana on-premise, check that you have the correct marijuana license to do it.
4. Talk to Other People in Your Business
Launching and managing a lucrative, legal marijuana business is not a decision you should consider lightly. You may want to consider speaking to people in the cannabis business in California. Talk to distributors, cultivators, and other dispensaries. Learn what their experiences have been and what pitfalls you should avoid.
Occasionally, The Bureau of Cannabis Control and other state and local agencies will host public licensing workshops. Don’t miss a chance to attend these.
If you want to get noticed in the city or county where you want to open your marijuana dispensary, a professional SEO agency experienced with help marijuana dispensaries in your state can help achieve those expectations. When done right, SEO for your marijuana dispensary can be one of the most permanent and organic forms of advertising there is.
Why Market a Marijuana Dispensary?
Finding the best place to open a dispensary in California will not only to help ensure compliance, but it may also serve as part of an effective marketing strategy for your marijuana dispensary. With legal changes and shifting regulations constantly impacting the cannabis industry, it will benefit you to stay up-to-date with recent state news and latest local cannabis laws before and after opening a dispensary in California.
Having a website for your dispensary business may also be an effective way to reach your target customer. When it comes to picking the best location for your dispensary or any other dispensary marketing concerns, don’t hesitate to consult with an SEO agency today.