How To Start An Online Dispensary in Canada

By  //  May 17, 2021

Are you looking to start an online dispensary in Canada but don’t know where to start? This article will go through some of the vital steps you need to take in order to succeed in this heavily competitive industry.

Like any business, starting one takes hard work and dedication.

You can’t expect to put little work and investment in and expect a great return in a short timespan.

Look at real estate, it takes many years for the property to go up in value. Even with stocks, it can go up and down. If you panic and sell your stocks when it dips, you could lose out on a lot of money.

Most times, it is better to just hold onto your stocks long term in the hopes that it rises again. Also, you should not invest what you can’t lose.

Patience is everything if you want to get far in life.

By cutting quick corners, you are just setting yourself up for failure in the end.

Anyway, this article will go through the steps of starting your own dispensary in the beautiful country of Canada.

This process does take awhile to get everything organized and sorted. You need to make sure your business will be in line with the Canadian law and everything is legal.

Canada Laws Around Cannabis

Since October 2018, cannabis has been legal in Canada. 

This does not mean that everybody can freely purchase weed online. You still need to be the legal age based on which province you live in. Always look online to see if you can buy weed legally before even doing so.

By being responsible, you will prevent any encounters with the police.

Things To Do If You Want To Start an Online Dispensary

1 – Research

You really need to do your research before thinking about starting a dispensary. Even though cannabis is legal to buy and sell in Canada, it is not as easy as you think.

There has to be a plan to get a reliable supplier, set up your dispensary website, hire staff that knows what they are doing, and actually attract customers to come buy from you.

Why would someone buy from you over a more established dispensary that has been around since the beginning?

If you want to source strong edible products in Canada, you still have to go through the process of finding a few potential suppliers to see which you will go with. All suppliers will have different rates for their products, and it is your job to find the best deal for your business. 

Taking the effort to make connections with people in your business will also go a long way.

Running all the numbers will also ensure that the efforts will be worth your time and you are not just wasting your previous time on something that will not work out in the end.

2 – Get Licensed

To be a licensed dispensary in Canada, you need to get your business approved both federally and provincially.

You must get your cannabis license if you do the following:

cultivating (if you grow your own cannabis products) 

■ producing (if you you produce your own cannabis products) 

■ packaging (if you package your own cannabis products)

This also applies if you want to start a retail cannabis store, not just an online one.

Depending on if you need to fund your business, you may also need to be financed. Figure out which lender is willing to lend to a cannabis business and look at the options available.

3 – Business Goals

Think about what you want to achieve with having a cannabis business. Do you want to make more money? Do you just want to give more affordable cannabis products to consumers like yourself?

Knowing your end goal for this business will help in making up your business plan. You can reverse engineer the steps on what you need to do to get there.

Make a 30 60 90 day plan as a start. We advise you to also reach out to experts in the industry to see if your plan is viable.

4 – Business Name

Pick a memorable name that will stand out to customers. You want your customers to think of your business when they want to buy cannabis.

Key is to keep it short and simple. Making it too complicated just makes it harder for anyone to remember your name or spelling it out.

5 – Make A Business Banking Account

You can’t be doing your business transactions with your personal bank account. To do this, you need a separate business account.

Make sure to look at several banks to get the best rates for yourself. Some banks charge higher interest fees than others so always check and look around.

Most dispensaries also only accept e transfers and not credit cards. Research and see why this is the case.

Next Steps

When all is said and done, you know you need to hire employees to help you. 

It is literally impossible to manage a dispensary just by yourself. To start out, you need to hire people to package your products, someone to manage your websites, and someone to manage your customer service and inventory.

You should also look at ways you can promote your dispensary without breaking any laws.

Below you can read the 7 things to keep in mind if you are promoting cannabis in Canada.

The bigger your company gets, the more staff you can hire.

Now, all the best and good luck on your new adventure!