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How to Write a Dispensary Business Plan

How to Write a Dispensary Business Plan

Many cannabis entrepreneurs know everything there is to know about the marijuana they grow, process, or sell, but don't know how to approach financial institutions for funding their operations. Cannabis financing specialists can help with startup capital, equipment loans, working capital loans, real estate loans, merchant services and more, but the key to being taken seriously by a lender is having a dispensary business plan.

How you write your dispensary business plan is as important as what you include in your dispensaryInline Blog Images - 2022-04-25T103622.496 business plan. You want to convey to your lender that you take your operations seriously. You want to create the impression that you are capable of understanding all the layers of regulation with which you must comply to keep your business open. You need to communicate that you are a good credit risk.

It's great to be enthusiastic, but you also need to be professional, concise, and thorough. Use short sentences. Don't assume that your lender will understand slang terms or abbreviations. 

Use bullet points to organize important information, and bar charts—based on numbers you can back up—to illustrate your expected growth in sales. 

Print out your business plan in a font that is easy to read. Make sure all of your spelling and grammar is correct.

If you don't know how to format your business plan, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a guide for getting started. You can also Google for reviews of the best dispensary business plan software currently on the market.

Once you have settled on the form of your dispensary business plan, you need to make sure your plan covers certain factors that every lender cares about.

Location for Your Dispensary

Every lender will take a close look at the location you plan for your dispensary. They want to make sure that you can operate your marijuana business legally, both to make sure you can repay them and to keep themselves free from legal liabilities arising from assisting an illegal business.

If you are not sure that cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, or sales are lawful in your proposed location, double check with a knowledgeable person (usually a lawyer) to make sure they are. You don't want to spend a tremendous amount of time documenting your loan request only to discover that the lender cannot fund your business in your proposed location.

Document City, County, and State Zoning Restrictions

Even if marijuana is legal in your state, zoning ordinances may restrict where it can be grown, turned into products, or sold to the public. Many municipalities prohibit cannabis activities within 500 feet of schools, churches, parks, or certain residential neighborhoods. 

You need to check out zoning ordinances before you request money to spend in a specific location. You also need to cite them in your business plan so your lender can double check them, too.

Know Your Numbersbusiness plan on table with coffee cup and pen

There aren't many people who can walk up to a lender and say, "Lend me a million dollars, please" without submitting a great deal of financial information. To get funding for your cannabis business, you will have to be able to back up your numbers for your bank.

  • List your start-up costs line by line. Be able to document how much it will cost to get your permits and bonds, how much it will cost to rent or buy your building, how much you will need to spend on equipment and software systems, and so on. 
  • Be able to show that you have formed a corporation or an LLC for your business. Even if you run your dispensary as an LLC or corporation, however, you will almost certainly need to present audited financial statements that show your personal assets and liabilities.
  • Do a projection of profit and loss. Calculate the level of sales you will need to break even after you service your loan. Be able to explain why you think you will have the level of sales that you project.

Do Some Market Research

An indispensable part of your dispensary business plan is a listing of the products you intend to sell. Do you plan to sell a product that isn't available from other dispensaries in your area? Can you offer a level of service that your competition can't match? Who is your ideal customer, and how do you plan to connect with them?

After all of this, you still need to have firm numbers for staffing costs, utilities, insurance, and all the other expenses you will pay out every month.

It takes a lot of work to get financing, but all that work is important for making sure your business is a success. 

Canna Business Financing can help you secure the funds to maintain your inventory. We can also help you secure capital to finance a new company, finance equipment, buy real estate, and help you access banking and merchant services. You can get pre-approved within 48 hours, so don't wait to get started. 

Posted by Canna Business Team



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In an industry that is constantly evolving, Canna Business Financing provides business owners with a reliable source to gather the most up-to-date information. From resources to fund the growth of your business to insights on best practices to scale, look no further!

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