Even as recreational marijuana laws are enacted in more states, medical marijuana businesses will continue to be valuable and thrive.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are a vastly different business from recreational dispensaries. Most states have much more stringent licensing requirements for medical dispensaries, and dispensary staff requires more training and knowledge than the average recreational budtender. Yet, despite the extra hurdles required of medical marijuana dispensary owners, there are more markets where medical marijuana is permitted, giving greater opportunities to entrepreneurs in the medicinal space.
Whether you are interested in opening a medical marijuana shop of your own or are merely curious about the best places for medical marijuana shop owners, read on.
California is the largest and most populous state where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use, and it is the state with the longest-lived medical marijuana program. Both recreational and medicinal dispensaries have generated several billions of dollars in sales, despite fighting a booming black market. Because taxes for recreational weed are exorbitant and driving many adult recreational users away, entrepreneurs in this state should seriously consider starting with a medicinal shop, which is subject to lower fees and taxes. Even better, there are many counties and municipalities that have banned recreational marijuana businesses but permit medical marijuana use, so entrepreneurs in this space have greater access to less saturated markets.
Arizona is poised to pass recreational marijuana regulations, which means the state is on the verge of a major uptick in cannabis interest. Already, marijuana use has been on the rise in the state, with medical marijuana sales growing significantly in every year since 2016. Greater acceptance of all cannabis use throughout the state will undoubtedly drive patients toward medicinal marijuana, especially within the next few years. Both recreational and medicinal dispensary licenses are available to entrepreneurs interested in capitalizing on a market yet to see serious competition.
Oklahoma boasts one of the more fascinating medical marijuana programs in the country. Unlike other states, where patients must suffer from one (or more) qualifying health conditions, Oklahoma allows patients to work with their doctors to determine whether marijuana might be a viable solution to their health concern. As a result, it is much easier to get medical marijuana in Oklahoma — which means the medical marijuana industry in the state is booming. Though the market is smaller than in states like California and Oregon, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry is booming, and there aren’t nearly enough dispensaries to keep up with demand.