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4 Reasons to Apply for a Recreational Marijuana Retail Store License in CA


California voters approved Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana on November 8, 2016. Although the state is not accepting applications for recreational marijuana stores just yet, there are plenty of reasons to start getting your funding and business plans in order. The entire west coast of the United States is now recreational marijuana legal, and this could have a big impact on the national marijuana industry.

Below are four reasons to apply for a marijuana retail store license in California. Retail marijuana sales in California are expected to start in 2018, since it will take time to establish the regulations and licensing process. This gives you ample time to prepare for your newest venture.

Reason #1: $6.5 Billion Dollars

Experts believe the marijuana industry will be worth at least $21-billion by the year 2020. However, with the industry growing at such rapid rates, this projection may be low. California alone is expected to be a $6.5B market by 2020.

Recreational marijuana stores in Washington State are already generating sales to the tune of $100k to $1-million every month. California retail marijuana stores are already projected to top those numbers.

Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a company that is a national funding source for marijuana legalization efforts, said, “There’s a lot of money to be made if marijuana is legal, not a lot of money to be made if it remains illegal.”

Reason #2: People are Investing in the Marijuana Industry

Venture capitalists are interested in the marijuana industry. In 2015, marijuana business startups hit an all-time-high number, and it doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. The marijuana industry is bringing investors far more return on their investments than initially expected. Since 2014 alone, returns have doubled. In 2015, venture capitalists invested $215-million in 98 marijuana industry businesses.

As previously mentioned, industry experts believe that the marijuana industry will be worth at least $21-billion by 2020. The time is now, in California, to start putting business plans in order. You should start reaching out to investors and networking now if you want to get your feet wet in the marijuana industry and don’t have the money to open a store on your own.

Reason #3: Local Job Creation

Colorado has already created 18,000+ new full-time jobs thanks to the recreational marijuana industry. With California being a densely populated state, the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in the marijuana industry will help stimulate local economies. The benefit of opening a retail marijuana store in California is that you won’t have to worry about a shortage of good applicants to operate your stores.

What is the benefit of creating jobs? Yes, it’s going to cost you money to employ those in your community, but the benefit is that you’ll be freeing up state aid programs for those that still require it. You’ll be getting more people out of the unemployment line and off of state aid programs. This means that your employees will be spending more money locally and helping other local business owners succeed.

Reason #4: You can get in on the ground floor

How many people wish they could’ve gotten into the oil/semiconductor/personal computer/smartphone/app/search engine industries when the industries were still in their infancy?

The marijuana industry is literally “budding” and it’s very much in its infancy. There is still a lot to learn as far as local and national financial impact, but if you get in early, you can help shape the future of the industry.

The marijuana industry is opening up legitimate, tax-paying businesses. Getting in on the ground floor of the industry allows your business to establish itself and grow with the industry. There aren’t many other industries that offer an opportunity like this.

If you don’t know a lot about marijuana, that’s okay. There are plenty of resources, books, and classes available, but you can also consider partnering with an industry expert if you want to hit the ground running. Hiring those that can educate the public (and you) are ideal, as there will be a lot of questions to answer from customers that have never used marijuana before.

Californians are already allowed to possess marijuana as part of the language included in Proposition 64, but there’s nowhere to purchase it yet (unless you have a medical card). This infant industry in California has yet to establish the types of business licenses it will offer, but you need to have proper licensing to sell marijuana, grow marijuana commercially, test it and create marijuana-infused products (including concentrates, topicals and vaporizing devices). Every step in the application, approval and compliance processes will be overseen by the Bureau of Marijuana Control, which operates within the Department of Consumer Affairs.  

Final Thoughts

The passage of Proposition 64, and seven other recreational marijuana initiatives around the country, shows that American society is shifting its position on marijuana. More than half of the country now has legal marijuana in either medical or recreational form.

It is important to understand that you won’t see immediate profits from starting a new marijuana retail store in California (just as with most businesses). Start-up costs are high (pun intended), and it will take several months (or more) to see an actual profit, so patience is necessary.

When you do decide to apply for a retail marijuana store license, do so with the understanding that changes to the initial regulations are likely, so you will need to be prepared to change with the industry and regulations as those changes take place. There will be headaches and hurdles, but don’t forget the $6.5B market at your fingertips.

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