Developing a Stellar Cannabis Marketing Plan for Your Business
Posted on January 1st, 2022 to Dispensary Marketing
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Massachusetts was a forerunner of the New England states when it came to cannabis legalization, with both medical and recreational cannabis. Now, just a few short years later, MA cannabis is a $1.4 billion-per-year industry. Whether you want to open a medical or adult-use dispensary in MA, you’ve got a bit of a journey ahead to get the ball rolling. Check out how to open a dispensary in Massachusetts.
Before getting started with making plans and filing an application to open a dispensary, it is a good idea to consider the financial requirements. Some estimates state that the startup costs associated with opening a cannabis dispensary in MA can be anywhere from $325,000 to $1.13 million.
Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD, medical) licensing fees are $30,000 with a $1,500 application fee. Retail dispensary licensing fees are $5,000 with a $300 application fee. However, this is just a small portion of how much money you will need to open a dispensary. You will also need funding for the physical storefront and equipment, staffing, marketing, inventory, and more.
We’ll send curated resources to help you navigate starting your business.
Take a fair amount of time to get as familiar as possible with the MA laws and regulations surrounding cannabis. Whether you are looking into opening a medical or adult-use establishment, these laws cover the regulatory requirements that must be met.
Keep in mind, the bylaws of the city or municipality can dictate local ordinances surrounding cannabis. Some cities will require you to take extra steps before opening a dispensary, and some areas don’t allow retail cannabis establishments. In fact, at one point, 80 communities chose to ban adult-use dispensaries in their area altogether.
The laws set forth by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) can dictate a lot about dispensary operations. For example, the laws can dictate how to market the dispensary or what the establishment must have in terms of equipment before opening. Other things MA laws can dictate when you plan to open a new dispensary include:
After familiarizing yourself with the laws that will affect you as a prospective dispensary owner, begin creating operational plans. The state of MA actually requires all applicants to submit a comprehensive business plan with their license application. The plan should cover:
It should also be noted that anyone who will be listed on the license with you or will have any level of control over the dispensary have to be included in your business plans. During the application process, you will be asked for identifying information for each person involved.
As noted above, you will need a substantial amount of money to invest when starting a dispensary in MA. It is a good idea to have funding secured before filing the application. If you are approved for a license, you will be expected to pay the licensing fees and move forward with your business plan. Since most financial institutions don’t offer business loans for cannabis-related operations, you may have to consider:
Those wishing to open a cannabis establishment in MA must host a Community Outreach Meeting. This meeting must be held within six months of applying for a license to discuss the plans with the local community. When filing your application, you will need to show that you have filed a notice of the meeting with the town planning board or city clerk. To move ahead with opening the dispensary, you will need to have a Host Community Agreement signed showing the town approves of your plans.
Lastly, with everything that you need in place, you will be ready to submit your application. The application can be completed online via the Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal (MassCIP). After completing the application, the CCC will review it within 90 days and either reject the application or offer a provisional license. If approved, background checks, facility inspections, and community certification confirmations will be carried out by the Commission.
Once your new MA dispensary is up and ready for business, it’s all about getting noticed. From email marketing and website SEO, CannaPlanners is your one-stop shop for digitally marketing your cannabis brand. Ready to start the conversation?Massachusetts is paving the way for legal cannabis in New England. Regulations surrounding advertising, marketing, and sales are notoriously complex. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has set forth a collection of regulations that all companies have to follow. The CCC rules and regulations are built around three primary factors, including:
What does this mean? Well, if you’re marketing a dispensary in Massachusetts, navigating the regulations can be tough. We’ve pulled together an overview to give you an idea of what to expect, as well as some resources to bookmark for future reference.
Below, we’ve broken down the CCC’s marketing restrictions and regulations into the three main categories:
A major rule with all forms of cannabis marketing in MA is to make sure your target audience is over 21. There are several rules to follow here to stay compliant, such as:
Where and how you advertise is also regulated. A few important CCC marketing restrictions include:
When building your dispensary marketing plan, remember these regulations on exhaustive warnings.
Because of these strict laws and regulations, it’s important to hire an agency partner that’s dedicated to the cannabis industry. You want to work with a team you can trust to build you a brand and a website that’s compliant with your state’s laws. At CannaPlanners, we’ve been working with cannabis companies throughout Massachusetts since 2016, so we’re well-versed in what you can and can’t do. Reach out to us to schedule a call about how we can help.
In conclusion, it’s incredibly important that your dispensary’s marketing efforts are geared toward people over the age of 21, and that you comply with discreet marketing practices which offer the required warnings and labels. It can be a lot to take in when you are in the process of building your dispensary’s marketing plan. If you need a little help in the process, feel free to reach out to us at CannaPlanners.
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