Ultimate Guide To Cannabis Retail

Cannabis can be sold for both recreational and medical reasons under the Cannabis Act and Regulations. Each provincial and territory government regulates the sale of recreational cannabis.

The retail cannabis industry and its customers are subject to a unified and consistent legal framework because each state selects how it will license, regulate, and police the industry and its customers inside its borders. Let’s take a look at the retail cannabis sector in this post.

Cannabis Industry Future Trends

According to research, the total legal sales of cannabis in current legal states are predicted to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 percent over the next six years, to reach over $30 billion by 2025.

Sales from states that have yet to legalize recreational marijuana are not included in this number. A handful of states are quite likely to pass such new legislation before 2025.

There’s also reason to be hopeful about the industry’s expansion in other areas, such as diversity, investment, and infrastructure.

What Is Cannabis Retail?

A cannabis store is a business that sells, displays, or provides cannabis for sale. It is illegal to consume cannabis in a store. Cannabis stores allow for the selling or rental of cannabis-related products as an add-on.

A cannabis store must be a stand-alone business, meaning it cannot be merged with other businesses like a convenience store. Cannabis stores, on the other hand, can be found in multi-tenant buildings or as part of mixed-use development.

What To Expect From Retail Cannabis Outlets? 

There are strict guidelines in place regarding what retail cannabis outlets can and cannot do. 

Products On Sale

  • Cannabis (dried flower/pre-rolls, oils, capsules, seeds, gummies, cookies, and much more)
  • Cannabis accessories

Must Haves

  • Display the store authorization prominently
  • Security cameras inside and outside the premises
  • Staff must be trained and at least 21 years old and trained
  • Make available information on responsible use
  • Make sure that cannabis is stored safely and only staff may handle it before it is sold

The Store Inside

  • Store must have clearly marked signage

What’s Outside

  • Must display no entrance for underage people sign and staff must check the ID of people entering the premises
  • Stores can be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Requirements To Obtain A Retail Store Authorization

When applying for a Retail Store Authorization, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Store Location

Very important. You want to choose a location that has consistent traffic or that caters to the under-served market.

Architecture And Interiors

Partner with companies that can provide you with a boost to your menu signage and other customer features.

POS And IT Requirements

You can get in touch with cannabis IT companies like Cure8 that service cannabis retail store owners with Point-of-Sale systems or other hardware needed to run your cannabis retail store.

Minors Are Not Allowed

Minors are not permitted on the premises. As a best practice, keep at least one security guard stationed outside or just inside your store to check all patrons’ identification and keep the peace.

Notice Period

After you have submitted your Retail Store Authorization (RSA) application, you will be given a 15-day notice period. During this time, you must put a specific notice on the site where your retail store will be located.

Key Requirements For Cannabis Retail License

Application Criteria

Cannabis retail applications will be handled on the following factors:

• At any given time, only one location, one application, and one applicant are handled.
• Application forms must be completed.
• Applicants must show that they have the financial means to meet the opening inventory criteria.
• Applicants must specify the type of location for which they are requesting a license:

o Existing – where location is secured and ready to renovate or else in a ready state
o Identified – here the location is identified but not yet secured
o Searching – unidentified location

• Applicants must have community/municipal approval,
• Priority will be given to new applicants wanting to enter the market.

In the order in which they are received, applications will be assessed for accuracy and completeness. Application processing in the order in which they are received does not guarantee that an Applicant’s application will be completed before that of another Applicant. Individual application processing times will vary based on the authority’s processing time/volume/resources, volume/resources, and the Applicant’s individual processing/response time.

The following are examples of circumstances that may cause an application timeframe to be extended:

  • Incomplete application submissions requiring further and/or several discussions with the Applicant
  • Applicant delays in replying to authorities when requesting explanations or additional information
  • Outstanding approvals of all needed municipal permits and approvals
  • Applicant delays in producing a signed Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement and supporting documentation that is part of the Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement
  • The location/site isn’t ready/doesn’t pass the initial inspection

Comparison Between Retails And Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis

Medicinal cannabis products are high-quality, authorized medicines that can be recommended by a physician. Medicinal cannabis is extracted from cannabis plants and can be used to alleviate the symptoms of certain medical diseases as well as the adverse effects of some medications.

There are a variety of medicinal cannabis medicines available to address various ailments.

Cannabinoids are the active elements in therapeutic cannabis. There are between 80 and 100 cannabinoids in medicinal cannabis, and scientists are still trying to figure out how they all interact together.

Recreational Cannabis

On the other hand, recreational cannabis and cannabis products can only be sold in government-run or privately regulated retail outlets.

Municipal governments can also decide whether or not to allow retail establishments to operate within their borders.

States where recreational marijuana is legal:

ColoradoWashingtonAlaskaVermontNevada
OregonMassachusettsCaliforniaMichiganMontana
GuamIllinoisWashington, D.C.ArizonaNew York
New JerseyVirginiaMaineNew MexicoConnecticut

Trending Distribution Channels For Cannabis Retail Business

Offer Home Delivery

Retail business does not have to be limited to brick-and-mortar stores. According to regulations, you can offer delivery to your customers but obviously, rules and regulations must be followed.

If you have a retailer license and want to distribute recreational marijuana to customers at their homes, you should read this guide and understand the administrative requirements that apply to home delivery.

This privilege is only available to a retailer and their representatives. Any person transporting marijuana items on behalf of a merchant must be registered in the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) as a retailer’s employee with a valid marijuana worker permit number and declare on the relevant transport manifest as documented in CTS.

Also, even if the delivery is to a different individual, a store may not make more than one delivery to the same address in a single day.

Foray Into Ecommerce

For cannabis businesses, eCommerce is swiftly becoming the norm. This is particularly true today that an increasing number of people are acquiring medical and recreational marijuana online. Retailers have benefited from the trend and the revenue has increased up to 130 percent since January 2020.

It’s not only those existing consumers who are buying more; there are also a lot of new ones. Since February 2020, the shift to online dispensaries has boosted the number of new customers in this market by 140%. This shift has altered the way dispensaries operate, making delivery and curbside pickup normal services when they were once considered extras.

Expansion Of Synthetic Cannabis

Synthetic Marijuana, commonly known as Spice, K2, or Synthetic Cannabinoids, is a chemically engineered plant narcotic that has mind-altering effects that are equivalent to or stronger than cannabis.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, this drug is widely regarded as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana and is sold in gas stations, head shops, and online. Synthetic marijuana is sold as incense or potpourri, with the warning “not for human consumption” on the package. This marketing gimmick permits the substance to be lawfully sold.

Venture Into Consumption Lounges

CREAMMA enables licensed cannabis merchants to offer one social space for customers to consume marijuana on the same premises as the retail store – “cannabis consumption areas” – similar to how a bar allows customers to consume alcohol.

The cannabis industry has continued to expand at a rapid pace. Cannabis companies have expanded dramatically in established markets such as Colorado and Oregon. New markets such as Oklahoma, Michigan, and Massachusetts are fast establishing dispensaries as a result of their legalization. The best aspect is that the lounge area remains open. Having the right to create a lounge in a state where legalization is pending is a big advantage for a business.

The main advantages of starting a marijuana consumption lounge are as follows:

  • Shorter time to market – Having someone to advise you on legislation and site selection will allow you to open your doors sooner.
  • Lower risk – Investing in a franchise system location may lower the risk of starting and running a small business.
  • Brand awareness — Starting with a franchise, you could have a ready-made consumer base. Especially one that is building a name for itself as a market leader.
  • Training and Support — Guidance, marketing help, and access to other system resources are all offered by a team of professionals with an established track record. They can also give lounge workers training. This is critical in emerging markets. Because it’s possible that some members of the team may be new to the cannabis sector.

The Talk Of The Town: New Emerging Markets

Connecticut, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia have all passed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis by 2021. 

As ballot initiatives and legislation speed up in 2022, here are the states to keep an eye on. 

  • Delaware
  • Oklahoma
  • Maryland
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Missouri
  • South Dakota

Explore The World Of Retail Cannabis Business

With the cannabis retail industry getting bigger and competitive by the day, it’s more crucial than ever to develop a distinctive cannabis retail experience that inspires and delights new customers – and keeps them coming back for more. In fact, as the sector grows, those retailers that can properly differentiate themselves will be the ones who continue around for the long haul.



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