Chris Walsh: Everyone is Striking it Rich! Myths About MMJ

Last week, I penned the first in a series of posts about some myths, stereotypes and faulty impressions tied to the medical marijuana industry. I kicked things off by talking about how many outsiders and the general public at large think that all dispensary owners are potheads rather than professionals (and that the two are mutually exclusive).

Today I present you with the second installment of the series. So, without further ado…

Myth No. 2: Everyone who opened a dispensary in the last few years is now filthy rich

This, in my opinion, is one of the biggest myths out there. I remember hearing this nearly two years ago when dispensaries first started opening up en masse in Colorado…even though I lived all the way over in South Korea. I was told it was the new gold rush and that entrepreneurs in this field were amassing fortunes overnight.

It seems many people – including politicians – still hold this perception of the industry. Perhaps it was true at one time (I have some strong doubts), but I can tell you that’s not the case in Colorado today. And my impressions are that it’s not very lucrative in other states, either. I haven’t met a single dispensary owner who is raking in the dough. In fact, many are losing money or funneling earnings back into the business to meet new regulations.

Why? Costs are high, in large part because of regulations. Price wars have taken a huge toll, weighing down profit margins. It also seems that there are simply too many dispensaries. The market is flooded, at least in the Denver area.

This might be soothing to some of you out there who are struggling to make a profit. It’s nice to know that you are not alone.

Now you need to spread the word to the public as well. Doing so could help the image of the entire industry. If people see that dispensaries are owned by people who really care about the business – highlighted by the willingness to spend their life savings as they rack up losses – they might start to see medical marijuana in a more sympathetic light.

Chris Walsh is the editor of Medical Marijuana Business Daily