In a recent episode of a cannabis podcast, Building Your Dream Dispensary they interviewed president of Temeka Group, Mike Wilson, to gain insight on what to consider when opening or setting up a dispensary.
Mike knows all of the intricacies of designing, fabricating, and installing compelling retail and commercial spaces with over 31 years in the business, Mike has a background in developing everything from the Lakers fan store to massive cannabis retail stores across the country.
This article will provide an overview of the evergreen wisdom Mike had to share in the interview, including the things to consider when setting up a dispensary, recommended cannabis technology, tips for lowering costs, and much, much more!
“Not having [a dispensary] in this saturated market because when you have 20, 30, 40 licenses in that city, man, that becomes a very competitive market versus being alone by yourself with minimal competition.”
What are 5 key things to consider when setting up a dispensary?
1 – The importance of proper setup
There are different setup options when it comes to setting up your dispensary. For example, think of an Apple Store setup versus a deli style. What look, feel, and experience are you trying to accomplish in your dispensary?
Don’t be afraid of blending styles. You can have the consumer experience option, like the Apple Store setup, while providing the deli-style for those looking to get in and out quickly.
2 – Choosing the right location
You’ve got to take the time to look at your demographics and see what’s happening around you. When new cities come on board, it can drastically impact your sources of revenue. Be mindful of the trends in not only your area but surrounding areas as well.
3 – Why store layout is critical
The easiest way to consider store layout is to consider the number of POS systems in your store. Forecasting your volume, you should plan accordingly and make sure that you have enough POS systems to accommodate your busiest rushes.
4 – Security best practices
The store’s layout will impact the overall security of the store massively. Working with good security companies and having a tight-knit relationship with them allows you to design a store that can maximize security practices.
5 – How to set up compliant technology
Educating the consumer is one of the most important ways to set yourself up for success in terms of compliance. You can use online portals to inform your employees, who can ultimately educate your consumers as well.
What dispensary technology do you recommend to stay organized?
“Don’t let the emotions get the best of you… I see too much emotions get caught up into people and… at the end of the day, the budgets come in, and they’re like, ‘Woah, that’s a lot of money.’”
What is a checklist to use before setting up your dispensary?
The basic checklist of setting up a dispensary comes from asking two fundamental questions:
- What do you know about the space?
- What do you like?
Whether you’re from a retail background looking to transition to cannabis or from a cannabis background and are looking to expand into retail, knowing where your strengths lie will help direct you in future endeavors.
How can you open a dispensary at a lower cost?
The government is pushing cannabis retailers into commercial space. Be mindful that this causes additional costs to the retailer as it becomes your responsibility to get the commercial area up to the standards of a retail store. Do everything you can to push back against this to help cut some upfront costs.
“It’s about customer experience, efficiencies, getting [the customers] in and out, and that’s where technology and having some of these aspects of making a more effective transition for the customer to come in get their product.”
What do you see for the future of dispensary layout, design, and build?
Technology seems to be trending toward making things easier for the consumer. AnamiTech, for example, is launching an economically friendly line to help smaller businesses launch quickly. This line will also be more consumer-focused in normalizing the dispensary experience.
What is one big tip you would give to dispensary owners to help them grow their business?
“Don’t be afraid to ask and talk to everyone else.”
The cannabis industry is an entire culture now. The people within the space are happy to share their expertise. It can save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run.
It doesn’t get better than hearing it from one of the best. Follow along for more insights on managing dispensary operations.