In my last article, I addressed how Pennsylvania licensees can begin to build a strong foundation for a successful dispensary opening. This included: assembling a team, branding, real estate, and security.

Once the essential building blocks are in place, then the operational details need to be solidified.


A well-trained and knowledgeable staff often goes hand in hand with dispensary success.

  • Start outlining what you are looking for in a staff member before hiring.
  • Consider working with a cannabis-focused recruiting agency to ensure you have experienced staff.
  • Create a training program. Your team needs to be able to assist potential patients, advise on proper dosing, recommend products, and understand treatment options for qualifying conditions.

In the last three months before opening, it is imperative to start spreading the word and raising awareness.

  • Launch your website and social media platforms. Make sure your brand messaging is clear and concise.
  • Attend industry events to build credibility and network. Promote educational events for your community, physicians, and patients.
  • Implement public relations and marketing strategies and talk to the media only if you have Key Messaging in place.

It is essential to have the right product mix for your patient base, as well as partnerships that align with your brand.

  • Begin networking with cultivators and find the right suppliers to meet your dispensary needs.
  • Research market products and find the right mix and balance of diversity and quality.
  • Ask the tough questions. What is the shelf life of products? How should products be stored? What products/strains are most popular? What display options are available?

Your company policies and procedures are not to be thrown in the drawer after your initial inspection. These are supposed to work for you.

  • Ensure that you continually update and evolve these documents to meet new rules, regulations, and company expansion.
  • Conduct employee evaluations to make sure staff members are following these policies.
  • Review all company documents on a regular basis to see how day to day operations can be improved.

A well-planned dispensary grand opening is a vital part of your marketing agenda and will set the pace for brand visibility and coverage.

  • Consider whether or not to have a soft opening before an official opening in order to make sure operations run smoothly and efficiently. Plan for extra staff, security guards, and additional parking.
  • Work with a public relations advisor to make sure you have an announcement in place and know how to handle the media.
  • Build a media list of who you want to be there, as well as a VIP list of community leaders and connections.

Licensees looking for assistance or a detailed Application Review may email

Those interested in applying for a Dispensary License in the second round may schedule a complimentary consultation by emailing

To learn more about Dispensary Permits, click here.

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