Three cannabis dispensary operators from around the country met to discuss practical knowledge on what to do once you win your dispensary license in a webinar convened by Grown In on Wednesday. 

The 43 minute discussion was chock full of advice from people who had been there before, including thoughts on zoning, point of sale systems, banking, hiring and more. 

Gabe Mendoza, Vice President of Illinois operations for 4Front Ventures, who opened dispensaries in Illinois, Arkansas, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maryland said even before you get your license, “You should be identifying the areas in which you applied in, you need to know the zoning. That’s something you can do right now and it can be relatively cheap if you put the leg work in. You’re going to need a place to sell your product, you should start from there.”

“It took nine months,” to open his first location in Peoria, Illinois, said Ron DiGiacomo of Trinity Compassionate Care Centers, who also owns locations in Colorado and Michigan. “Meet with the police commissioner, fire commissioner, just get the community involved to let them know you might win one, he said. “There’s always a community that says, oh my god, we’re going to go down hill because we’re selling cannabis.”

It was three months [for us]. We were doing our build out while we went through zoning. I would advise people to wait,” said Portia Mittons, owner of The Coughie Pot in Sumpter, Oregon and an applicant for a dispensary license in Illinois. “For me the next big thing was security. We needed to make sure we had ample security, the right security. Because of where I was, there was not a lot of internet service. It took a long time to get the right cloud service for our security system so we were in sync with what the state required.”

Watch the entire webinar here.


Editor Mike is a co-founder and the editor of Grown In, a U.S. national cannabis industry newsletter and training company. His career has taken him from Capitol Hill to Chicago City Hall, from...