Only a decade ago, starting a marijuana business would have entailed illegal activity that probably involved selling on the streets off the grid. Today, however, cannabis is being legalized, decriminalized and approved for medical purposes in all but eight states. The marijuana business is booming; the legalized cannabis industry market size is projected to only continue to grow. Earning money by opening your own dispensary is one path you can take to capitalize on this rapidly growing market. You can also save money and potentially open your business faster by selling medical marijuana.

What Is It Used For?

People have smoked for years to manage a variety of physical and mental health symptoms, notably chronic pain, anxiety and depression. There are a variety of conditions and disorders that it can help, but only a doctor can approve a medical prescription. One of the biggest things people wonder about medical marijuana is how effective it actually can be, other than just getting high. The truth is that efficacy ranges from person to person, case by case. The therapeutic benefits of cannabis for physical and mental health problems can be mild to significant, and a medical doctor can help people decide whether it would be a beneficial treatment option for them. This can provide relief for conditions such as:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer and chemotherapy
  • General chronic pain and aches

The Difference Between Medical and Recreational

Medical marijuana is not the same as recreational cannabis. Medical marijuana contains less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a greater quantity of cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces a high; CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain to. If you want to open a business, it's a good idea to research the various types and uses of the substance. Marijuana that people smoke for enjoyment or relaxation is not the same kind as the one doctors prescribe; buying medical marijuana for approved reasons requires a medical marijuana card. The cost of starting your business, the process of acquiring licensure and even marketing will vary based on the type of products you sell. Customers in the medical marijuana field generally look for other types of products and accessories than those who purchase it for fun.

Ideas for a Businesses

Besides being a legal dispensary, there are other products and items you can sell. A weed subscription box could be something that requires less starting funds and gives you an immediate target audience; busy professionals who don't have time or live near a dispensary can have their medical marijuana shipped to their doorstep. You can also tailor the box's contents to suit your particular niche.

Keep in mind that the requirements for selling retail marijuana and medical marijuana edibles, oils and other products will vary from state to state. You will have to be a legal resident of the state you're selling in to acquire a license. If you are going to sell cannabis in California, then you need a permanent address there to get a permit and acquire a tax ID. While you iron out the details, here are some other ideas for a marijuana business you can consider:

  • Smoking accessories like grinders, jars and deodorizing bags
  • CBD gels and tinctures
  • CBD edibles and gummies
  • Body balms and cartridges
  • Cannabis-infused tea
  • CBD bath salts and bath bombs for pain relief

How Much Money You Can Make?

Dispensaries earn an average salary annually, but the total profit will depend on a lot of factors including the scale of your operation, startup costs, taxes and expenses. Research local dispensaries to evaluate the current medical market in your area. Can you provide products to an audience that is likely to buy? Where do you notice the greatest potential and lack of variance? The more you narrow your focus, the higher success rate you have of establishing a successful business in a wide market.