How To Open A Dispensary In Kentucky


How To Open A Dispensary In Kentucky

After a long wait the Kentucky state authorities have finally legalized medical cannabis. The Bill permits authorized patients in the state to use and possess medical marijuana. So, if you are a cannabis entrepreneur, you must be wanting to get started with establishing a cannabis dispensary, as soon as possible.

In this blog you will get an insight into the cannabis laws in Kentucky, license requirements, current cannabis market and how to acquire them, and much more:

Can I Open a Dispensary in Kentucky Right Now?

Not yet. The medical cannabis bill has been approved by the legislature, and under the new law, license options will be available for growers, producers, processors, testing facilities, and retailers. The Act would not take effect until January 1, 2025, and the specific rules and regulations would not be created until at least January 1, 2024.

Where Can I Buy Medical Cannabis In Kentucky?

Kentucky legalized medical marijuana in March 2023. However, it won’t be accessible right away and will only be available to those who have medical certain conditions.

How Much Can You Buy?

Patients will be allowed to have a 30-day supply of cannabis at home and a 10-day supply with them at a given time.

Current Cannabis Laws in Kentucky

  • Under an executive order, cannabis is permitted for medical purposes, and a comprehensive medical legalization statute will go into force in 2025.
  • At the moment, recreational cannabis is illegal in Kentucky.
  • The law prohibits patients from smoking marijuana, but it does permit the selling of raw cannabis flowers for vaporizers. 
  • The bill permits the use of marijuana-infused foods, tinctures, and topical applications.
  • Patients are allowed to keep ten days’ supply of cannabis on them, and thirty days’ supply in their residence.
  • Home cultivation is not allowed.
  • Medical cannabis in Kentucky will be exempt from sales and excise taxes.

Kentucky’s medical marijuana program is expected to begin operations in January 2025.

How Much Cannabis Can an Adult in Kentucky Possess?

Registered cannabis patients are allowed to have a 30-day supply of cannabis at home and a 10-day supply on them.

Is Recreational Cannabis Legal in Kentucky?

Adult-use cannabis is currently not legal in Kentucky.

Tax Rates in Kentucky

As of now, there are no taxes on the sale of medical cannabis in Kentucky.

Estimated Cannabis Market in Kentucky

A study estimates that by 2024, with a population of 4.5 million, legal cannabis sales will reach $7 million.

Types of Cannabis Licenses in Kentucky

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

Four-Tier Cultivation License

The main task of cultivators is to grow the raw materials. The following activities are prohibited by Section 21:

  • Delivering, selling, or otherwise dealing in raw plant material or associated supplies to other state-authorized cannabis enterprises;
  • Supplying cannabis seeds or seedlings to organizations with similar purposes that hold cultivation permits for cannabis in this state or elsewhere.

Depending on the size of their cultivation facilities, cultivators fall into the Tier I – IV categories:

Tier I cultivators are limited to 2,500 square feet, Tier II cultivators to 10,000 square feet, Tier III cultivators to 25,000 square feet, and Tier IV cultivators to 50,000 square feet. 

After the bill becomes law, the state has one year to approve at least 15 cultivator licenses.


Producers with licenses are allowed to:

  • Purchasing, possessing, growing, harvesting, trimming, or storing cannabis seeds, seedlings, plants, or unprocessed plant material; 
  • Selling raw plant material, medical cannabis products, or related supplies to other state-licensed cannabis enterprises via delivery, transportation, transfer, supply, or sale; 
  • Selling cannabis seeds or seedlings to businesses that are authorized to grow marijuana in this state or elsewhere; 
  • Obtaining or buying raw plant material from a cultivator in Kentucky. 

The state must provide at least three producer licenses within a year of the bill’s implementation. The excise tax also applies to producers.


Processor license holders are allowed to do certain things outlined in Section 23:

  • Acquiring or buying unprocessed plant material from a cultivator, processor, or manufacturer within this state; 
  • Having medicinal cannabis in possession or using it to prepare, manufacture, alter, combine, or package medical cannabis; 
  • Transporting, delivering, supplying, or selling medical marijuana and associated supplies to other marijuana enterprises in this state.
  • Selling cannabis seeds or seedlings to businesses that are authorized to grow marijuana in this state or elsewhere.

Within a year of its passage, the bill requires the licensing of at least five processors. The same 12% gross receipt excise duty applies to processors as it does to cultivators.

Safety Compliance Facility License

A Cannabis Safety Compliance Facility that has a license provides one of two services:

  • Testing medicinal marijuana made by a cannabis company authorized by this chapter. 
  • Training medical cardholders and cannabis business agents.

Dispensary License Owners

Dispensary license will allow an entity licensed under this chapter that acquires to:

  • Sells, possesses, delivers, transfers, transports, furnishes, or dispenses to cardholders medicinal cannabis.

Kentucky Dispensary Fees

Type of FeeAmount
License Application Fee (non-refundable)$10,000

What Else Do You Need to Open a Dispensary in Kentucky?

Step 1

Understand Cannabis Laws In Kentucky

The United States has different cannabis laws in each state. So, before submitting an application for a marijuana license in Kentucky, make sure you are completely aware of the laws and regulations. You’ll be able to stay in compliance and increase your chances of getting your license approved.

Step 2

Create A Solid Business Plan

A business plan is a written document that outlines a company’s financial and operational strategy as well as how its goals will be met. It acts as a roadmap for the company and can be presented to financiers or investors when requesting loan or equity financing. A business plan should be organized such that it includes all of the crucial data that investors are seeking. The key components of a business plan are listed below:

Marketing and Competitive Analysis 

The target market for the company’s product offerings is described in the market analysis section. This part demonstrates the company’s market knowledge and shows that it has already conducted market research to assess whether there is sufficient demand to sustain the proposed business model.

The demographics, geography, consumer behavior, and market needs of the target market are all covered in the market analysis section. The business can provide data and sources to provide an overview of the size of the target market.

You can decide to provide the market study and competition analysis as two different parts or combine them into one.

Financial Plan

The financial strategy is a crucial element that frequently determines whether the company will get the necessary financing from banks, investors, or venture capitalists. It must show that the suggested company is sustainable and will generate enough income to be able to pay its debts. A projected income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow are some of the details in the financial plan.

Management and Organization Description

The management and organizational strategy for your company are covered in detail in this section of your business plan. Give a brief description of your company’s leaders, including their backgrounds and current positions. Additionally, you could mention your company’s legal framework and requirements for human resources.

Step 3

Choosing the best team for your Dispensary in Kentucky

It takes time to put together a winning squad. Building a winning team takes time and patience, just like anything worthwhile, so don’t rush it.

You must invest the time it takes to recruit new employees and include them in your business. You’ll need to wait until people become proficient at collaborating well and using one another to grow the business.

Step 4

Choose Your Location With Care

The fact that cannabis vendors are aware of the importance of location to their success makes them no different from other businesses in this regard. While choosing the ideal location is essential, you must also adhere to the numerous laws and regulations imposed by the state and that particular municipality. 

Like other states, some location requirements for Kentucky include:

  • Must not be near schools/daycares/churches.
  • It can’t include an outdoor area.

Step 5

Tech Integration with Leading Technology Partner 

The most successful IT projects are those where the IT provider offers a balance of outstanding service and good value for money. The most costly offers are typically not competitive, but the cheapest ones are typically unrealistic or include hidden fees. So choose an IT partner with care.

To help you set up your dispensary IT, you can contact Cure8 IT experts as soon as your license has been approved and you are ready to open your store. We can help you design and build your store. From Wi-Fi to tablets, scanners, printers, security cameras, and more, we offer everything you need to complete your store’s IT infrastructure.

How Can Cure8 Help?

The most successful IT projects are those where the IT provider offers a combination of outstanding service and good value for money. The most costly proposals are typically not competitive, but the cheapest ones are often unrealistic or include hidden fees. So choose an IT partner with care.

We at Cure8 can help you transform your business to the better. Our services include IT consulting, managed IT services, and custom hardware and software solutions.

Check out more about our solutions here.

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