how to open a dispensary in georgia


How To Open A Dispensary In Georgia

Patients in Georgia can now purchase medical marijuana, a significant development for people with severe illnesses and the beginning of a potentially lucrative new market in the state.

Georgia is now a part of the 40 states that have a medical market program.

According to a report, Georgia has more than 26,000 registered MMJ patients and 19,000 carers. Georgia’s MMJ program prohibits the use of flowers, edibles, and vape cartridges. So, if you want to start a dispensary in Georgia, make sure you are aware of the necessary permits and licenses as well as the possibility of a competitive licensing and permission process.

What Is The History Of Cannabis In Georgia?

HB 324 (the Hope Act), which allows for commercial medical marijuana cultivation, distribution, and retail business opportunities in the Peach State, was signed into law by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on April 17, 2019. The cultivation, production, or sale of THC products was initially prohibited under Georgia’s restricted medical marijuana program, which was regarded as a failure.

A regulated supply chain, access to products with lab testing, and an expansion of qualifying medical conditions were all part of the new legislation. In Georgia, there are more than 26,000 medical marijuana patients who have signed up as of January 2023.

Can I Open A Dispensary In Georgia Right Now?

Not now. As of now, the commission is not accepting applications.

Although, the first five medical marijuana stores in the state have received licenses from the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.

How Much Can You Buy/Possess?

According to Georgian legislation, patients can only legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low-THC oil if they are registered and have a valid Low-THC Oil Registry Card.

What Are Georgia’s Cannabis Laws?

The Georgia House Bill 324 cannabis law sets a THC cap at 5% but permits private firms to be awarded six growing licenses via a competitive application process; two are available to larger organizations and four are available to smaller businesses.

Cannabis may be grown on up to 100,000 square feet of land by two large private enterprises. Four small firms are allowed to cultivate cannabis in a 50,000 square feet area. The University of Georgia and Fort Valley University are both permitted by law to cultivate and produce medical marijuana. 

  • No residency requirement.
  • The law indicates being diverse, however, does not mandate it. It suggests that at least 20% of minorities, women, and veterans work in the cannabis industry.
  • Distribution:
  • If a pharmacy holds a State Board of Pharmacy license, it can sell low-THC oil. 
  • The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission will issue licenses for private dispensaries and production facilities.

Tax Rates In Georgia

Medical marijuana is legal, hence, the medical excise tax is 9.00%, and the medical sales tax stands at 9.00%. On the other hand, recreational marijuana is illegal.

Current Cannabis Market In Georgia

Georgia has not yet started selling medical cannabis, but according to industry insiders, in 10 to 20 years the state may have a multi-billion dollar market.

Types Of Cannabis Licenses In Georgia

Following are the types of medical cannabis licenses processed in Georgia:

Class 1 Georgia Production License

Allows for the production of low-THC oil and 100,000 square feet of canopy. Two licenses are allowed under the program. The initial Georgia Cannabis License application period closed on January 27, 2021

Class 2 Georgia Production License 

Allows for the production of low-THC oil and 40,000 square feet of canopy, and the program permits four licenses. The initial Georgia Cannabis License application process closed on January 27, 2021.

Georgia Dispensing License 

Five licenses have been issued, and the authorities are working along with the licensees to kickstart dispensaries in the state.

How To Get A License

Georgia cannabis authorities are still in the process of laying out the rules. Watch out this space for more information.

Georgia Dispensary Fees

The application fee will differ according to tier in the county.

Type of FeeAmount
License Fee$5000 – $30,000
Annual License Renewal Fee$25000 – $40,000

What Else Do You Need To Open A Dispensary in Georgia?

Step 1

Understand Cannabis Laws In Georgia

Before submitting an application for a cannabis license, you must understand that each state has its own specific cannabis laws. Make sure you fully understand the rules and legislation so you can operate your cannabis business legally and profitably.

Step 2

Create A Solid And Scalable Business Plan

Making a business plan will assist you in recognizing your strengths and limitations, conveying your vision to others, and creating realistic forecasts if you are just starting your dispensary. Here is an insight into what must a business plan include:

Executive Summary

Investors, employees, and anyone else reading the document will likely start with and end with the executive summary. Within a couple of pages, it must give a summary of the business’s aims, strategy, and operations. Even though it is listed first in your plan, it should be the last section you write after you have completed the other sections.

Even though it should be brief, your business plan executive summary should nevertheless contain a number of important details. These include the unique products or services that your business sells, the market it focuses on, and the reasons it has a competitive edge.

Market Analysis

This will probably take a lot of time to complete while creating your company plan. It requires developing a thorough assessment of the setting in which you intend to operate. Particularly if you’re drafting a business plan to obtain a loan or investment, you must demonstrate that you understand the market dynamics and trends.

Segmenting your market based on demographic and behavioral data is an initial step in conducting a marketing analysis. These characteristics include things like their age, income, interests, and habits. The exact set of people who are most likely to become your clients is known as your target market.

The purpose of this section is for you to describe your ideal customer base in detail, decide whether the market is viable for your business, and provide evidence to support your claims. This section of your plan should answer any queries an investor might have about the target market for your business.

Financial Forecast

Every action you decide to take as part of your strategy has an associated cost and, ideally, generates some income. Create an overview of your financial situation by considering if you can anticipate revenues to cover all expenses while still leaving room for profit in the long run.

Create a financial model including your financial projection and start up costs to know the first-year cash flow for your business. It will give you the clear idea of how much capital you will need on hand to fund your initial operations.

A complete set of financial statements gives information on the operations and performance of the company, including its costs and earnings by accounting period. Additionally, financial statements give a quick overview of the business’s present financial situation, including its assets and liabilities.

This is one of the most important components of any business plan since it gives a clear picture of how a business manages its finances or progresses from initial investment to profitability.

Sales & Marketing Plan

The marketing and sales strategy outlines your target market positioning, the marketing channels and messages you’ll choose, as well as your sales strategies. This part needs to provide a clear picture of your growth trajectory, the milestones you want to hit, and your goals for success.

Your marketing strategy must integrate tactical objectives with specific marketing initiatives aimed at enticing and persuading your target market to buy your product or service.

The sales plan should include an accurate estimate of how much you hope to sell as well as specific guidelines on how to get there.

These detailed strategies when combined show how you will reach your target demographic and convert them into paying customers.

Step 3

Staffing Your Dispensary In Georgia

No business can thrive without an excellent team. It is very important for you to pay attention to this human aspect because it is frequently ignored.

Look for competent individuals who will fit in well with your cannabis business. The most important thing you can do early on is to put together a team of individuals that work hard, move quickly, and truly care. Your initial team members will have a huge impact on the development of your product as it changes over time. 

Step 4

Choose Your Location With Care

For optimal results, you should consider where to open your dispensary. After acquiring your license, you have six months to select a location. It must be close to no other dispensaries, places of worship, residential areas, or schools within 1,000 feet. It also must be easily accessible. Obviously, from a rational sense, you’ll want to select an authorized location where potential customers are close by. 

Step 5

Tech Integration with Leading Technology Partner 

Two heads are better than one when it comes to integrating established technology systems, but just as a tech partnership can efficiently give any technical know-how, don’t discount the value any business acumen can offer in exchange. Combining and sharing resources can be a very effective method to move both parties forward on the path to success and innovation.

It is easier to get experienced technical support if required when working with a technology partner. Keeping your dispensary’s technology up to date and assisting you in uncovering new technological solutions are something a technology provider can do. A technology provider in particular can assist you in identifying technological trends and ensuring that new purchases are appropriate for your company’s long-term goals.

 So, you must get in touch with Cure8 IT experts once your license has been approved. We have expertise in setting up dispensaries from the ground up. We provide everything you need to complete your store’s IT infrastructure, from Wi-Fi to tablets, scanners, printers, security cameras, and more.

How Can Cure8 Help?

Cure8 is a one-stop shop for information technology solutions that can boost business performance. We work closely with your team to understand your IT needs. Our services include managed IT services, IT consultancy, and specialized hardware and software.

Check out more about our solutions here.

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