Flower, edibles, concentrates, THC, and CBD. Akin to the expertise and passion of wine sommeliers, budtenders help medical and recreational marijuana consumers pick the right product in an optimal strain.
Marijuana dispensaries buy their weed from commercial cannabis growers or they grow it themselves.
Before you jump into this market as a dispensary, learn how to source weed to keep up with consumers' demands. Then, see how you can keep your dispensary business on track with business management software.
In just the past few years, the US cannabis business has boomed:
To maintain a profitable and successful dispensary business, you must get your cannabis from reputable sources, which breaks down to two key options:
Choose the sourcing method that ensures you uphold the highest quality and purity standards to deliver a safe and enjoyable product to consumers. Regardless of the option you choose, the growing operation must comply with strict state requirements and regulations to ensure compliance with safety and controlled substance guidelines.
Many dispensaries purchase their cannabis from certified growers. A commercial marijuana grower is a professional cultivator of cannabis plants. These operations grow, harvest, dry, and cure marijuana for commercial use.
In the US, 33 states permit commercial cannabis cultivation for medical and recreational purposes. In California alone, nearly 7,000 cannabis cultivation licenses were issued in 2022.
Legal cannabis farms use both outside and inside growing methods. Indoor cannabis operations control growing factors such as air quality, temperature, light, pests, contaminants, and humidity. Besides strains and selective cultivation methods, these growing factors determine the quality and purity of the final product.
When you source weed for your dispensary from commercial growers, you get less control over the types and quality of the products they provide.
Keep in mind the following when choosing a grower:
To gain more control over the final product, you can grow your own weed for your dispensary, and process it yourself, or you can hire a contract cultivator to grow and process it to your specifications. Growing your own weed crop gives you more power than if you picked from a commercial grower's existing product line. You can select the strains and control the growing, harvesting, curing, and processing methods.
Budtenders at these dispensaries have significantly more product knowledge and can offer an enhanced boutique-like retail experience. Additionally, smaller operations usually cost more to run, so the final prices can be higher for consumers.
If you want to grow and sell your dispensary's cannabis on your own, you must acquire the proper licensure and abide by individual state regulations. You must also grow and process your weed in the same state as your retail operation. Keep in mind that outdoor cannabis cultivation can require approved zoning and minimum distance from other cannabis farms to prevent cross-pollination.
Consider the following key factors when growing and selling weed:
Also be mindful of state-determined regulations for product safety testing and packaging/labeling requirements.
Knowing where a dispensary's weed comes from is necessary for businesses and consumers to ensure the highest quality and purity. Higher quality weed has a stronger effect and a better flavor. It's also more likely to come from a consistent strain and have better trim for edibles.
Weed purity refers to testing processes that ensure the weed is safe to ingest or smoke. Testing may examine the use of heavy metals, pesticides, residual solvents, mycotoxins, and microbial contamination.
Sourcing also helps determine the buying and selling price of marijuana products. Beyond quality and purity, it factors in production costs, market conditions, and taxes.
Growing more strains makes it essential to have a robust inventory management system. Consider the following software if your dispensary grows, processes, and sells its own inventory:
Check out each of the guides in this list to help manage your dispensary and inventory.