top of page
  • J. L. Campbell

What Does it Take to Start Your Own Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Missouri?

Cannabis is big business in Missouri. There are already more than 140,000 medical marijuana patients in the Show-Me-State, and more people get their medical card every day. The cannabis industry brought in over two hundred million dollars in revenue in 2021. For aspiring entrepreneurs, it seems like the sky's the limit in Missouri’s medical marijuana field.

Those who own their own cannabis dispensary can rest assured that their business is putting revenue into the state economy. Last year, more than 5,000 Missouri jobs were created in the medical marijuana field, and millions of dollars in cannabis taxes went to help Missouri veterans.

So, what does it really take to start your own cannabis dispensary in the state? Medical marijuana is highly regulated in Missouri, so you’ll want to make sure you know all of the necessary steps and legal requirements before deciding to leap into your business plan.

At the moment, the state of Missouri is not accepting licenses for new dispensaries. That means that now is the perfect time to hone your business plan and make preparations so that you are ready the moment they reopen the application process.

Application Fees

Just to apply for your medical marijuana dispensary license in Missouri is an investment. In the past, a dispensary application fee cost $6,000. That fee may change when applications re-open, so you’ll want to have some cash set aside.

You will also need to plan to pay an annual licensing fee of about $10,000 and an additional $3,000 every time your license is up for renewal. These fees are small compared to the other fees associated with opening the doors of a dispensary.

Location, Location, Location

If you’re going to open a dispensary, it’s important to have a brick and mortar space to open in. When finding a space like this, you’ll want to take some things into consideration. Is there competition nearby? Will you be the only dispensary in the neighborhood, or are you setting yourself up with direct competition?

Other things you’ll want to think about include the safety and crime rate of your neighborhood, and the rate of walk-up and drive-by traffic that you’ll get, which will affect your need to advertise. You will also want to make sure your space is the right size to hold the inventory you plan to stock and that your projected revenue will make the rent feasible.

There are a lot of things to consider when selecting the location of your dispensary. Luckily, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services has put together a handy Medical Marijuana Facility FAQ that answers questions about your facility that you’ll want to have sorted before submitting an application.

Start-Up Costs Can Be High

Opening a dispensary can be costly. Depending on the area you are planning to operate in, it may cost around a million dollars. Some of the things that will drive up the amount of revenue you’ll need include legal fees and insurance, retail space rental and security deposit, your cannabis product inventory, web design, marketing, a security system, furniture and retail displays, cash registers and electronics to track your inventory, not to mention paid training of employees and contracts with vendors and growers.

How Do I Finance My Own Dispensary?

There are a few options for entrepreneurs looking to finance a cannabis business. After all, most of us don’t just have a million dollars sitting around. If you aren’t able to self-finance your business, here are some options to consider:

Investment Partners

Pitch your business plan to some local entrepreneurs. Cannabis is big business, so a strong business plan may gain you some partners who are willing to invest in your dispensary.

Getting a Start-up Loan

Unfortunately, because medical marijuana is still against the law on a federal level, getting a bank loan from a major U.S. bank is nearly impossible. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a loan, however. Credit unions and cannabis-specific banks are your best bet. You may also want to go north of the border for a loan. Canadian banks, such as the Business Development Bank of Canada are financing cannabis businesses.

Find a Cannabis-Specific Investment Group

There are many private investors who are looking to lend their support to marijuana-related businesses. These investors will continue to grow as legalization spreads across a larger part of the United States. It is important to read the fine print of any deals with these savvy investment groups. They often lend at higher interest rates, and sometimes the language of the investment agreement will allow them to convert a loan into stake in the company.

You’ll Need to Pass a Criminal Records Check

Because medical marijuana is a regulated substance, anyone who has any contact with cannabis products will need to be able to pass a fingerprint criminal background check.

The official language that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service uses states “All owners who hold any portion of the economic or voting interest of the facility who will also have access to medical marijuana or the medical marijuana facility, and all officers, directors, board members, managers and employees named in the facility application must submit fingerprints for a criminal record check in order for your application to be considered complete.”

Relief. That’s Our Business.

If you’re thinking about opening your own dispensary, why not check out the competition. If you are ready to experience the relief that cannabis provides, all you’ll need is a Missouri medical marijuana card. If you don’t have your card yet, we’re here to help. Our doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. Schedule an appointment with a marijuana physician online by CLICKING HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri!

56 views0 comments


bottom of page