Bills Add Up for Dispensary Owners With Medical Marijuana in Spotlight

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We interviewed a dispensary owner in Denver last Friday for a future piece in our online publication and was shocked at the costs involved in this business.

“I’m sitting here looking at a wall of bills right now, and I have about $70,000 due soon,” the owner said at one point during the interview. “Myself and the other owners only take paychecks when we need to pay our personal bills.”

The really bad news is that it’s only going to get worse, at least in the near-term.

Long gone are the days when all you had to do is open up a storefront with a weed decal on the door and start counting cash. The owner we spoke with, and others in the industry, say that the biggest headache involves the constant stream of new regulations governing the industry.

In Colorado, for instance, new rules take effect at the beginning of July, covering everything from licenses and security requirements to storage and sanitation. If you don’t want to wade through all 77 pages, check out this wrap-up on the TalkLeft blog. When you boil it all down, it creates thousands of dollars more in costs – and potentially much more – for dispensaries.

It’s a lot to digest – both mentally and financially – if you own a dispensary. Keep in mind that the industry sprouted up literally overnight, so state governments are trying to play catch-up. Regulations, if implemented in a consistent, understandable and reasonable manner, can further help legitimize the business and weed out the seedy players who give medical marijuana a bad name.