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What are the best states to open up a dispensary

published on April 2, 2021
by James Hammer

If you are thinking about opening up a dispensary in the United States, you need to do so now while the iron is hot. At the moment, it’s becoming one of the quickest growing industries, with statistics showing that it will reach more than $41 billion by 2025.

There are tons of US states that are already generating billions of dollars from the sale of medical and recreational marijuana. With the growing leniency in marijuana state laws increasing each year, the profits are expected to reach all new heights. There are tons of options for anyone interested in getting into this industry.

Dispensaries have become a highly lucrative business for the cannabis industry, and plenty of people are taking the chance to open up their own. Marijuana cultivation, distribution, selling, and delivery services have all seen excellent results. However, when it comes to starting up a business, location is crucial, and you need to pick the best place to start your dispensary.

For this article, we are going to go over the best States to open up a dispensary.



California is the most successful legal state with a prominent cannabis industry growth. The state should be one of the first places you should consider when it comes to opening up your cannabis dispensary. It is considered by most the best place to open up a dispensary because of the number of people interested in cannabis. Pretty much anything related to cannabis does exceptionally well in this state.

Marijuana businesses in California have managed to generate $2.75 billion in legal and recreational cannabis sales. It’s one of the highest amounts in any state, and the figures are expected to continue growing exponentially.

Starting a dispensary in California is costly for entrepreneurs, especially when you are searching for commercial prosperity in a high-income location like Orange County or Los Angeles.

Fortunately, you can find tons of marijuana businesses for sale in California that sells tons of customers. So getting your business up and running is possible, all while racking up a healthy profit instantly.

The Golden State is home to a variety of tourist spots such as San Diego, San Francisco, and the most popular of all, LA. With the number of people taking trips to California to try out legal marijuana, it is an excellent spot for cannabis entrepreneurs to make it big.



Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana before any of the other states decided to legalize it. That managed to set the state to thrive with tons of cannabis-related business to open up. Colorado cannabis dispensaries and stores managed to generate over $2 billion in sales, making it an excellent place to start a dispensary.

The state government has made marijuana license applications very easy. All you need to do is go to their website and pick the licenses offered for marijuana retailers, growers, product manufacturers, testing facilities, transporters, and more.

Colorado has plenty of opportunities to offer for any entrepreneur looking to start their own dispensary business. Medical and recreational dispensaries are known for performing very well in this state. Other services are also developing quite well, and you can even decide to expand into other business shows as becoming growing or even producing products like CBD.

Acquiring commercial property in places like Denver can be pricey, although you will make a healthy profit after a while. Entrepreneurs can get some excellent returns on their investments by opening up in locations like Aurora or any other tourist town in this state.



Washington has managed to become one of America’s largest marijuana states. The businesses that have thrived here have managed to generate the state over $2 billion in sales, making it another hot spot for entrepreneurs looking to open a dispensary. This state is so successful that many in the cannabis industry consider it America’s most significant cannabis state.

Washington has a consumer base that adores cannabis, with sales of edibles, concentrates, flowers, and products like creams and oils being lucrative. However, getting a cultivation license in Washington can be challenging.

Seattle is known for being one the hottest business capitals, with companies like Amazon, Stargoos, and Weedly making it their homes. Starting a business in the capital can be expensive for most entrepreneurs. Although, cities like Bellingham, Olympia, Tacoma, and Spokane are great alternatives. Washington cannabis sellers are also known for having the highest tax rate at 37%.



Oregon has a very interesting history with cannabis. In 1973 it was the first state to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and became the third state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The cannabis industry in Oregon has expanded, with marijuana sales generating $1 billion in sales.

Starting a dispensary in Oregon is far cheaper compared to its neighboring state Washington. The sales tax in Oregon is 17%, making it lower than in places like Washington.

The state population has soared in recent years, and tourism has increased as well. However, getting a license for marijuana has been placed on temporary hold, but you can still get a licensed business for sales.



Nevada has become another lucrative state that is reaping the benefits of cannabis. Las Vegas is known for receiving millions of tourists every year. Besides Las Vegas, Reno and Mesquite are also very attractive locations with a thriving population.

Nevada has also legalized recreational marijuana, and that has already set records for cannabis sales. The cannabis industry is still young, and dispensaries are in high demand, so it is the perfect place for any upcoming entrepreneur to stake their claim.

When it comes to taxes, the excise and sales taxes are both quite low. Which means you can reap a healthy profit from this location. Las Vegas is known for high-spending locals and tourists, making it an excellent place for starting a dispensary.



Massachusetts became one of the more recent states to legalize recreational marijuana, and it has quickly climbed as a hotspot in the cannabis industry. The introduction of recreational marijuana has led dispensaries in Massachusetts to generate $1 billion in gross sales almost two years after legalization.

Massachusetts also has some excellent tourist spots like Boston and massive college towns like Cambridge. Starting a dispensary here will allow you to enjoy some low tax rates and high income.



Arizona initially only allowed medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. However, in November 2020, the Smart and Safe Act appeared on Proposition 207 during the general election ballot. That proposition allowed voters to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the state.

Before that, Arizona was earning massive amounts of money in sales from medical marijuana alone. However, with the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, that number will climb even higher in the coming years. Since this is a fresh location to have legalized recreational use, entrepreneurs need to take advantage of that.

Licenses for dispensaries are open at the moment for Arizona residents. Dispensary owners are also allowed to apply for the manufacturing and cultivation of marijuana products. Arizona has low competition and high sales for the time being. With the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, we expect to see a profit boom in the coming years.



Alaska has a high demand for recreational dispensaries. The state has managed to reach $100 million in marijuana sales and is expecting to become $284 million by 2024, which is pretty amazing for the third-lowest population in the US.

Starting a dispensary in Alaska is an excellent option for many upcoming entrepreneurs. The state not only has a high demand for supplies as it continues to grow, but dispensaries are also in high demand. Both dispensaries and wholesalers can make tons of money in this area.

Alaska marijuana business licensing applications and fees can be found online. You can get a license for retail stores, cultivation, manufacturing, and even testing facilities.

While it is one of the more relaxed locations out of all the states, it’s still a great place to open up a dispensary. You can expect a healthy return on your investment with less competition to deal with and a steady amount of customers.



Maine legalized the use of recreational marijuana back in 2016. The state has managed to rake in $222 million in sales and is going to continue to thrive in the coming years. To open a recreational dispensary in this state, you need to be a resident of four years or more. That also includes delivery services.

Starting a dispensary in Maine will allow you to benefit from low taxes and low amounts of competition. If you are an entrepreneur from Maine, it is an industry you should consider looking into.



Michigan was initially only allowed medical marijuana, but in 2018 they passed a bill to allow recreational marijuana. Since then, the industry has boomed and has neared $1 billion in sales with no stop in its momentum.

Starting a dispensary in Michigan will be somewhat tricky. Entrepreneurs are required to have a business plan and a current location for their application to be accepted. The industry is projected to continue growing, and getting in on this location will make you a lucrative business owner.



Each of these states has allowed plenty of entrepreneurs to succeed in their business ventures. Some of these locations offer lucrative business chances for anyone who wants to open a dispensary. However, you will need to do your homework and make sure the place you picked is suited for your business skills. Either way, each of these locations will ensure you have a profitable dispensary if managed correctly.