How to Open a Dispensary in Ohio

How to open a dispensary in ohio

Are you thinking about opening a recreational dispensary in Ohio? Congratulations!

The Buckeye state legalized adult-use cannabis on November 7, 2023, with the passage of Issue 2. Medical cannabis was legalized in OH in 2016, though it only included non-smokeable products.

Even though legalization has occurred, dispensaries likely won’t open until Q3 2024 as regulators establish their new licensing office, the Division of Cannabis Control (DCC), and figure out their licensing system and processes. While potential business owners wait for details for opening new or transitioning existing medical dispensaries, start familiarizing yourself with Ohio’s cannabis laws.

This guide will outline how to open a dispensary in Ohio, including information on types of licenses, financing, real estate, security, staffing, compliance, inventory, and tech stack.

Scroll through for a step-by-step process for getting a dispensary open in Ohio, or use the links on the left to jump directly to your most pressing questions.

Disclaimer: Always consult your lawyer, accountant, realtor, and other trusted consultants to help you navigate the complexities of opening a cannabis dispensary. The information provided herein is designed to illustrate and educate, but is not to be construed as legal or financial advice.

Plan your Ohio cannabis business

The first step for cannabis business owners is to get your affairs in order. You’ll need to understand your state’s cannabis laws, create your formal business entity, write a business plan, find a location, and prepare to submit your license application.

Form a business entity

If you haven’t yet officially formed a business entity, that’s the first task. Work with a lawyer to ensure everything is correct, but at a minimum, you’ll need to decide whether you’re creating an LLC or corporation and file with the state of Ohio.

Then you can get tax ID numbers for the business, open a business bank account at a cannabis-friendly bank or credit union, and decide on your business insurance needs, including general liability insurance, property insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and product liability insurance.

Can dispensaries use banks?

Note: Every city, county, and state is different. You may have additional steps for taxes, licenses, or fees based on your business type and location.

Write a business plan

Cannabis is a complicated industry, with more compliance and legal considerations than other types of businesses. Having a rock-solid business plan can help ensure you are set up for success.

It may be tempting to skip this step, but your dispensary business plan, site plans, and operating plans must be submitted to the DCC as part of your application process.

A good business plan should include:

  • The physical location of your dispensary

  • Funding plan, or where your startup and ongoing capital will come from

  • Sourcing plan for procuring your cannabis products

  • Revenue projections

  • Estimate or the actual number of employees, or who you’ll hire for what roles, and your dispensary org chart

  • Diversity and equity plans

  • Marketing plan

  • Safety and security plan

  • Technology plan, including which cannabis point-of-sale and compliance software you’ll use to manage your dispensary

  • Any other relevant information you want to document

Current Ohio medical dispensary applicants are required to submit business and operations plans that outline:

  • An applicant’s business experience and records

  • Details of the proposed dispensary location

  • Details of the proposed inventory

  • Sources of funding

  • Financial projections

  • Proof of adherence to state and municipal regulations

  • Security measures

  • Inventory management plans

  • Employee training and education protocols

  • Recordkeeping methods

  • Employee job descriptions

You may also be required to submit your facility site plans including construction or renovation plans, evidence of compliance with zoning and building ordinances, parking areas, secure areas, storage areas, and a map proving that your location is at least 500 feet away from prohibited areas.

Note: Ohio cannabis legislation allows businesses to hold multiple cannabis dispensary licenses, including variety within license types. This means that vertical integration is legal in Ohio. However, no person may possess more than eight recreational dispensary licenses in Ohio or one of each cannabis business license type.

Dispensary business plan template

Find a location

Your dispensary location is a critical piece of the puzzle, but not an easy one. You’ll need something in a visible location, with ample parking, and enough space to achieve your ideal workflow.

But most importantly, it needs to be in a municipality that accepts cannabis businesses. In Ohio, local municipalities are allowed to refuse the operation of adult-use marijuana facilities.

Your proposed location will need to be approved by state authorities. Dispensaries shall not be located within 500 feet of:

  • Public parks or playgrounds

  • Schools

  • Public libraries

  • Community addiction services facilities

  • Churches or other religious worship centers

Find a local real estate professional who specializes in cannabis real estate to help in your search. And use the public resources available to you, like city zoning and administration offices.

When looking for a location for your dispensary, focus on spaces that:

  • Align with your business plan

  • Are large enough to meet your needs

  • Are in an appropriate location to serve foot traffic

  • Have enough parking

  • Have opportunities for expansion/growth

  • Are within your budget

Don’t just look at monthly costs, but also factor in how much it’ll take to renovate or retrofit the space for your business needs. Finally, look at local competition (both existing and planned).

Many factors go into finding the perfect location for your retail dispensary. Take the time necessary to secure the best possible space to help ensure your success.

Secure funding

Now that you have a plan for your new recreational use dispensary, you can put together a clear budget and plan.

A cannabis business can generally expect expenses in these categories:

  • Real estate and build-out - consider your initial costs, plus ongoing rent or mortgage. You’ll probably also have renovation expenses to start.

  • Licensing/application fees - the cost of getting licensed to run a dispensary in Ohio. You’ll also need to plan for your renewal fees.

  • Operational costs - your day-to-day business operating expenses including, but not limited to, utilities, business or professional fees, marketing, etc.

  • Hardware, software, security, and other tech - many of these are monthly or annual subscriptions but may include more sizable startup costs.

  • Staffing costs - the cost of hiring employees, including salaries, benefits, taxes, etc.

  • Inventory costs - or the actual expense of sourcing and purchasing your cannabis products. You’ll need to have enough stock on your shelves for opening day and beyond.

  • Taxes - cannabis businesses are heavily taxed and can’t participate in normal business write-offs like 280E, so plan ahead for your quarterly tax payments.

Do you have a plan for where this money will come from? As a cannabis entrepreneur, you have a few options for funding:

  • Self-funding - the easiest option is to already have access to capital (acquired through legal means).

  • Friends and family - another potentially easy way to meet dispensary capital requirements is through loans or investments from family and/or friends.

  • Partners - many cannabis businesses are legally set up as partnerships, where each partner contributes something meaningful. Partners can be silent (they primarily serve as the funder), or active; both are great if they serve your needs. Check eligibility requirements to ensure your partnership meets the criteria to apply for a license.

  • Loans - depending on your personal finances, you may be eligible for a loan to cover some (or all) of the upfront costs of opening a dispensary. You may also be able to secure a dispensary business loan, but be honest with your lender about how the funds will be used; not all financial institutions will work with cannabis businesses.

  • Private funds - whether it’s private equity, angel investors, or venture capital, you may have to look to outside investors to fund your cannabis business. This option will decrease your ownership stake in your company.

  • Crowdfunding - another less-popular but potentially viable option is to look to the general population to support your business venture.

  • Brokers - cannabis-specific brokerage companies can help you find funding for startup expenses, equipment, and more. FundCanna is one option for Ohio dispensary businesses.

What does it cost to open a dispensary in Ohio?

Most sources suggest having between $250,000 – $1 million+ to open a dispensary. But that’s not all that helpful. Here’s a formula to give you a sense of what to expect. You can come back and fill in the details as you know your unique estimates.

Note: This estimate is for a standard dispensary license. Other license types have separate fee schedules.

Application and licensing fees for cannabis retailers in Ohio = $85,000

  • Dispensary application fee = $5,000
    • Due when the application is submitted.

    • This fee is non-refundable.

  • Initial license fee = $80,000
    • Due upon licensing.

    • This fee is non-refundable.

  • Renewal Fees = $80,000 every year

Note: These are the current medical program rates and are being discussed as part of the adult-use guidance, but are subject to change when the adult-use regulations and processes are announced.

Contingency funds = $250,000

Ohio requires dispensary owners to have a considerable contingency fund.

Real estate fees = $150,000

  • Includes annual rent or mortgage premiums, plus upfront design costs.

  • Will be higher in more expensive cities, like Cincinnati or Cleveland, or for larger remodels, or cheaper in more affordable areas of the state.

  • Plan for higher costs up-front, but it’ll stabilize over time to just rent/mortgage and maintenance/repairs.

Employee salaries = $300,000

Your store size and operating procedures will determine how many initial staff members you’ll need, but plan for around six employees to start, including a manager, several budtenders, and an inventory specialist. This figure includes an average of $20/hour, plus overtime, benefits, etc.

If you plan to cover the cost of licensing your employees, budget for between $100-500 per employee.

Professional fees and services = $50,000

This may decrease in future years, but to start, expect to pay for legal, financial, insurance, and other professional consulting fees to get your business started.

Security, hardware, and software = $50,000

This covers all network, security, hardware, and software for your business, including computers, TVs, printers, scanners, internet, and other software like POS, ecommerce, payments, etc.

After your initial investment, plan for at least $2,000 per month in recurring software expenses.

Marketing expenses = $100,000

Perhaps the most variable of your costs when opening a cannabis business, this factors in one full-time marketing staff person (or agency costs per year), plus costs for your website, ads, printing, etc. to promote the dispensary.

Cannabis products = $1,500 per pound

Your cost of products for opening day (plus ongoing stocking) will vary greatly based on your store size, number of SKUs, stock on hand, and supplier rates, but plan for an average of $1,500 per pound of cannabis products, including flower, edibles, vape cartridges, tinctures, topicals, lotions, capsules, beverages, prerolls, etc.

GRAND TOTAL = $985,000* (not including cannabis product inventory)

*Disclaimer: This is a rough estimate of the upfront and first-year costs of opening a cannabis dispensary in Ohio. It is to be used for informational and illustrative purposes only as every market, location, and business will have unique startup costs.

Note: There is a separate process and fee schedule to open a medical dispensary in Ohio.

Apply for an Ohio recreational dispensary license

To open a dispensary in Ohio, you’ll need a license to be able to possess, sell, or deliver cannabis.

As of May 2024, Ohio lawmakers have not yet finalized the proposed regulations or identified the process for applying for a dispensary license. Current medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to open for adult-use first, potentially by June 2024. They will be granted one adult-use license for their current location, plus one adult-use license for a different location, with limitations.

Watch the DCC website for more details as regulations and processes are rolled out or join the mailing list.

The basics of applying for a dispensary license in OH

  • To open a dispensary in Ohio, you need a dispensary license. The ballot included provisions for offering 50 new adult-use Ohio dispensary licenses, plus 40 Level III Adult Use Cultivation licenses, but the DCC will review after 24 months (and again bi-annually) to assess the current number of dispensaries based on supply and demand.

  • Applications for business licenses will be available once rulemaking is complete. This is expected to come in Q3 2024.

  • If you’ve been negatively impacted by the failed war on drugs, you may be eligible for the social equity program in Ohio. This program is still being developed, though some of the initial 50 adult-use licenses are allotted for social equity applicants.

  • Currently, those with medical marijuana licenses may operate dispensaries in Ohio. Those license-holders—who are in good standing—will be granted dual licenses and will be the first to open as adult-use dispensaries.

How to get a dispensary license in Ohio

Regulators in Ohio are still working out the process for licensing, but here’s what we know so far about applying for a dispensary license.

1. Applicants must file an application for licensure with the DCC. Each application must be submitted in accordance with the rules.

2. The division of cannabis control shall issue a license to an applicant if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The report of the criminal records check conducted with respect to the application demonstrates the following:
  • The adult-use cannabis operator applicant demonstrates that it does not have an ownership or investment interest in, a compensation arrangement with, or share any corporate officers or employees with any of the following:
  • The applicant demonstrates that the operations will not be located within five hundred feet of a prohibited facility consistent with this chapter unless the prohibited facility was located within five hundred feet after the applicant filed the application with the DCC, or after the applicant, or the applicant owners, was operating under Chapter 3796 of the Revised Code at the same location, or unless otherwise authorized in this chapter.

  • The information provided to the DCC demonstrates that the applicant is in compliance with the applicable tax laws of this state.

  • The applicant meets all other license eligibility conditions established in rules adopted under section 3780.03 of the Revised Code.

  • The applicant is not employed by a regulatory body of a governmental unit of this state and in that capacity has significant influence or control, as determined by the DCC, over the ability of the applicant to conduct business in this state.

  • The criminal offenses for which an applicant will be disqualified from licensure; and

  • The criminal offenses that will not disqualify an applicant from licensure if the applicant was convicted of or pleaded guilty to the offense more than five years before the date the application for licensure is filed.

  • An adult-use testing laboratory licensed under this chapter; or

  • An applicant for a license to conduct adult use laboratory testing.

  • Each application for a license shall be on a form prescribed by the DCC and shall contain all required information. The exact application details aren’t yet known, but you can expect to submit the following information, at a minimum:
    • Personal details like name, address, and date of birth
    • Detailed information about the management structure, ownership, and control, including the names and ownership percentages of various stakeholders, including information on any previous or current ownership interests in cannabis businesses, corporate documents, financial agreements, and financial obligations.
    • Address and legal property description of the business
    • General description of the location (or locations) that the applicant plans to operate, including the planned square feet
    • Security and/or operations plan
    • Business plan
    • Proof of social equity eligibility (if applicable)

3. Each applicant shall submit with each application, on a form provided by the division of cannabis control, two sets of the applicant's fingerprints and a photograph as required by rule consistent with this chapter. The division of cannabis control shall charge each applicant an application fee to cover all actual regulatory costs generated by each licensee and all background checks.

4. Completed applications will then be reviewed and licenses awarded.

    Ohio social equity program for cannabis businesses

    As part of the new adult-use legislation, Ohio has made steps toward social equity. The cannabis social equity and jobs program is to be funded by the cannabis social equity and jobs fund. This fund comes from revenue generated from the 10% cannabis sales tax.

    This program will provide financial support and assistance for license applications to reduce barriers to ownership and opportunities for individuals based on the following:

    • Wealth of the business seeking certification as well as the personal wealth of the owner or owners of the business.

    • Social disadvantage based on any of the following:
      • The business owner or owners demonstrate membership in a racial minority group or show personal disadvantage due to color, ethnic origin, gender, physical disability, or long-term residence in an area of high unemployment.

      • The owner or owners, or their spouse, child, or parent, have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for a marijuana-related offense as determined by rule by the department of development prior to the effective date of this section.

    • Economic disadvantage based on economic and business size thresholds and eligibility criteria designed to stimulate economic development through license awards to businesses located in qualified census tracts.

    Apply today: Find out if you qualify for Flowhub’s Social Equity Program

    Design your Ohio dispensary

    Dispensary design isn’t just about where your dispensary is, or what it looks like. It’s how your shoppers experience your brand.

    Dispensary store layout
    Pictured above: The bank model – a common dispensary layout

    Here’s a short list of your considerations for in-store design and layout:

    • How customers will move throughout the store

    • Whether they will pay at a terminal, handheld device, or kiosk

    • Whether there are different pathways for in-store vs. online orders

    • How your products will be displayed/showcased

    • Your brand elements and design

    • Use of entry or waiting room space

    • Security concerns about doorways

    • Where secure inventory is stored (both on the floor, if applicable, and in a vault)

    • Where staff will stand and work

    • Breakroom or safe staff area

    • Bathrooms

    Ohio also has several specific requirements that may impact how your dispensary looks and functions:

    • Delivery is permitted. You may need to design your store to accommodate in-store vs. delivery workflows.

    • Medical dispensaries currently allow drive-through pickup. It’s unknown if adult-use will allow drive-throughs. Learn more about the medical guidance on drive-through windows.

    • You must adhere to all state regulations and local building, fire, and zoning codes.

    🤔🏬 Take the Store Layouts Quiz to find the perfect layout for your dispensary.

    Create a safe and secure Ohio dispensary

    Ohio lawmakers have not yet provided specific security or surveillance guidelines, but we can anticipate they will at least require:

    • Maintaining video surveillance records

    • Using specific locking mechanisms

    • Establishing secure entries

    • Training employees on safety protocol

    • Implementing access control systems to restricted areas, including logging names, times, and authorization for anyone entering

    • Incorporating lighting—both inside and outside the location—in good working order and with sufficient wattage for security cameras

    • Developing protocols for accepting deliveries in designated, secure areas, away from public access

    A security plan helps to deter and prevent the theft or diversion of cannabis products, unauthorized entry into the cannabis business, and the theft of currency.

    🔐 Learn more about dispensary security

    Read the Dispensary Security Guide to find out where most dispensaries are at risk, then take action with best practices for both physical security and cybersecurity.

    Hire and retain qualified dispensary employees

    Now that you’re getting closer to opening day, it’s time to hire and train your dispensary employees. This team is vital to the success of your dispensary.

    First, create your dispensary org chart. Based on your business plan, location, store design, and vision, what role are you going to play in the day-to-day operations and what additional staff do you need? What is the hierarchy? What benefits will you offer? And do you have the funds to pay your staff appropriately?

    As a starting point, you’ll need someone to manage your store, budtenders or cannabis sales associates to serve customers and fulfill orders, someone to greet your shoppers (and secure the entryway), security, and someone to manage inventory and/or compliance. Based on the size and complexity of your business, you might need more or fewer people on your team.

    Be sure to understand Ohio’s ordinances around hiring and staffing and follow all requirements, both specific to cannabis brands, and general hiring/staffing rules. These could include obtaining licensure for cannabis employees, processing fingerprints and background checks, age requirements, and mandating attendance of certification training, payroll taxes, at-will parameters, and more.

    Understand compliance

    At this point, you should understand Ohio cannabis laws and how to stay compliant.

    Dispensaries cannot sell, distribute, transfer, or deliver cannabis or cannabis products to anyone under the age of twenty-one. Valid identification and proof of age is required.

    As a reminder, here are the new adult-use purchase and possession limits for Ohio:

    • Adults may purchase and possess the following amounts: Up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or 15 grams of extract.

    • Adults may grow up to six marijuana plants in private homes per adult (with a maximum of twelve plants).

    The Seed-to-Sale Tracking program chosen by the DCC is Metrc. Metrc offers a wealth of education and training for new and prospective dispensary owners. We recommend attending those trainings and taking advantage of the Ohio-specific resources provided by Metrc.

    Cannabis stores in Ohio are required to track all adult-use cannabis and cannabis products at every stage of their lifecycle. This includes all transportation to the store, up until the point of being sold to a customer, delivered to a testing facility, or disposed of/destroyed.

    It’s imperative that licensees not only use Metrc to its full ability but integrate it with their POS and inventory management software to ensure compliance. Flowhub can meet all the state’s requirements for product intake and control. We’ll talk more about your software vendors in a moment.

    Non-compliance may be grounds for a penalty or the surrender, suspension, revocation, or non-renewal of licenses.

    To learn more about Metrc, including how to report to Metrc, the difference between plant and package tags, making sense of Metrc receipts, managing inventory, and more, consult these resources:

    Source and intake cannabis products

    Now’s when things really start getting fun: ordering and receiving your product! If you don’t also have a cultivation license, you’ll need to find cannabis growers, manufacturers, and/or distributors to supply your store.

    In Ohio, you are allowed to sell plant material and seeds, live plants, clones, extracts, drops, lozenges, oils, tinctures, edibles, patches, smoking or combustible product, vaporization of product, beverages, pills, capsules, suppositories, oral pouches, oral strips, oral and topical sprays, salves, lotions or similar cosmetic products, and inhalers.

    As you look for suppliers in Ohio, there are several things to keep in mind:

    • What products they carry (think about your product mix)

    • The taste and quality of the products

    • Prices (including the ability to negotiate bulk discounts)

    • Fulfillment (how they get products to you and when)

    • Testing processes and results

    • Reliability (will they run out suddenly, stop communicating, etc.)

    • Process for placing orders and overall organization

    You also need to ensure your suppliers are licensed facilities, as you cannot order supplies from unlicensed distributors, and are in good standing with the state. All products must comply with packaging, label, and testing requirements.

    Intake and store inventory

    Now that your inventory is starting to arrive at your store for opening day, you must “intake” those products the right way.

    Once your cannabis products arrive, you must “intake” them into your store in a specific way to remain compliant with Metrc. Before you can bring physical inventory into your store, you must receive and review a manifest. The manifest is created by the supplier — which will either be you or other cannabis companies.

    The manifest includes the harvest, weight, unit of measure, cost, etc. of the product.

    You must review the manifest, and if everything is correct, accept it. When the package comes in, you'll physically inspect the package, and make sure it’s exactly as ordered.

    You then accept it in Metrc, which tells Metrc that you are in legal possession of this inventory.

    Now you can stock your shelves and sell the product. But you’ll also need to develop SOPs for intaking and auditing your inventory.

    Pro tip: Use this 📝 Inventory Intake SOP to document your processes!

    Packaging and label requirements

    Regulators haven’t yet specified packaging and labeling requirements for recreational cannabis in Ohio, but here are a few requirements we can expect.

    Packaging may not:

    • Be designed to appeal to persons under 21 years of age

    • Include any false or misleading statements regarding health or physical benefits.

    • Appeal to children, such as with resemblance to cartoon characters or pop culture icons

    All cannabis products must be labeled with at least the following information:

    • The net weight or volume of cannabis flower or hemp plant parts in the package or container

    • The type of cannabis product

    • The serving size

    • The cannabinoid profile per serving and in total

    • A list of ingredients

    • A warning symbol developed for the DCC

    • The following statement: "Keep this product out of reach of children."

    • Any other statements or information required by the office

    Choose your network, hardware, and cannabis tech stack

    Your technology stack is crucial to success as a cannabis business owner. Some are must-haves for compliance, like your security system and cannabis point-of-sale, while others are important to differentiate your store and create a great customer experience.

    Here are some of the technology solutions you may want for your dispensary:

    • Network

    • Hardware
      • Printers (both letter-sized and receipts)

      • TVs

      • Cash drawers

      • Computers (for staff work, like inventory)

      • Tablets or terminals

      • Barcode scanners

    • Software
      • POS

      • Ecommerce

      • Compliant payment provider for non-cash transactions

      • Digital menus

      • Kiosks

      • Loyalty programs

      • CRM

      • HR/Payroll tools

      • Accounting software

      • Analytics software

      • Social media management and monitoring

      • Website

      • Mobile app

    You don’t need to invest in every possible cannabis-specific technology solution. But be sure to invest in tools that will help you achieve your sales goals, stay compliant, and satisfy modern shoppers.

    📖 See the complete list of top cannabis companies for your dispensary tech stack.

    Remember: While non-cannabis-specific tools exist, they often can’t handle the complexities of the cannabis industry, such as compliance and inventory management. Be sure to thoroughly vet every potential partner to ensure that they can handle your actual needs.

    cannabis technology

    📖 Read the Guide to Cannabis Tech Software for a complete list of top cannabis companies for your dispensary tech stack.

    Market your dispensary

    Ok, your store is ready, the team is trained, and you have inventory. Now you need to get the word out that your dispensary is opening soon.

    Cannabis businesses notoriously have more challenges with marketing than traditional brands because of stigma, regulations, and the federal illegality of cannabis. But there are still many marketing tactics you can use to promote your new dispensary.

    1. Develop a beautiful, functional dispensary website. Enabling online ordering through your website is a great way to appeal to digital-friendly shoppers. Note: Your website must have an age affirmation.

    2. Fine-tune your social media presence (though be careful with what you post!).

    3. Consider events to attract new customers to your store.

    If you're opening a dispensary in Ohio, you need to understand the advertising regulations. The state hasn’t yet published its marketing or advertising restrictions, but there are a few guidelines we can expect:

    • Do not publish advertising that contains false or misleading statements.

    • Do not make unverified health or therapeutic claims.

    • Don't promote overconsumption.

    • Don't target minors under the age of 21 (e.g., using cartoons, toys, animals).

    • Include warnings about impairment and health risks as specified by the office.

    • Do not promote illegal activity.

    • Outdoor advertisements for cannabis are generally not allowed.

    • Cannabis products or paraphernalia may not be visible from the exterior of the dispensary.

    • All advertising must contain a warning as specified by the office regarding impairment and health risks.

    The DCC may, at any time, conduct an audit of the license holder's published advertisements to ensure it complies. They may also require a license holder to stop using an advertisement if they find that the license holder violated rules.

    How to choose a cannabis retail POS system

    Your cannabis point-of-sale system is the single most important tool in your stack. It is the central driver for compliance, inventory management, and customer satisfaction.

    Every POS option is a little bit different—and not all work in every state—so be sure to do your homework before signing that dotted line.

    Here are 10 tips for choosing marijuana retail software.

    Flowhub cannabis point of sale for Maryland

    What to look for in a cannabis POS:

    1. State compliance tracking: State reporting (in Ohio’s case, Metrc) is why software is so important. Look for an API integration that manages this all seamlessly to save you time and provide peace of mind.

    2. Hardware compatibility: As mentioned above, make sure the software and hardware you choose are compatible. Pick a cloud-based software that doesn’t restrict hardware options so that you don’t incur any additional hardware costs or have to change hardware if you change point-of-sale systems later.

    3. Customer support: Your ability to get up and running quickly is important, but getting your questions answered long-term is just as vital. As you look at different software, ask about the level of support you’ll receive.

    4. Ease of use: Software that fuels your medical marijuana or adult-use retail stores must be easy and intuitive and staff need to learn it quickly. Pay attention to how the system functions and whether you think it’ll make your staff more productive.

    5. Inventory management: You have requirements for managing inventory, as mentioned earlier. Make sure the POS you choose has all the capabilities you need (and then some).

    6. Built-in compliance: Software isn’t just important for compliance related to state reporting (like Metrc), it also should help you stay compliant with state laws, such as purchase limits. Make sure the software you choose has built-in safeguards that address your market-specific needs.

    7. Discrepancy reporting: Your Metrc inventory, physical inventory, and point-of-sale inventory must always be aligned. If there is a discrepancy, you need to know about it and how to resolve it. Your software should include built-in tools to help you identify and resolve inventory discrepancies.

    8. Activity tracking: The cannabis industry has more loss and theft than others, so it’s important to see what employee made what actions, and when those actions occurred, like making a sale, opening a drawer, moving inventory, etc.

    9. Open API and integrations: Is the software compatible with other vendors? It’s important to consider integrations, especially if you’re interested in online menus, delivery, loyalty programs, or other technology offered by partners.

    10. Specialization: Consider the best software for each part of your business. If you have marijuana cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, and cannabis retail operations, it’ll be tempting to pick one software for it all. Better visibility is tempting—you can’t deny that—but all software is best at one thing. If you choose one for all, it means you’ll be putting the other two parts of your business at a disadvantage. Instead, look for vendors who integrate seamlessly.

        Need help opening your dispensary?

        Opening a dispensary in Ohio is quite an accomplishment. The market is ripe with opportunity!

        If you have any remaining questions about opening a dispensary in Ohio, our team of cannabis retail experts would be happy to support your journey.

        Book a meeting with Flowhub to chat!

        Amber erickson

        Amber Erickson

        Amber's goal is to create helpful and engaging content to empower cannabis professionals to run a successful and compliant dispensary. Connect with Amber on LinkedIn.

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