How To Grow To 18 Dispensary Locations


Are you ready to take your dispensary business to the next level? Growing your business to 18 locations may seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategies and insights, you can achieve scalability and success. In this article, we will explore the top five lessons learned from partnering with a successful 18-location dispensary. From operational efficiency to talent acquisition, we will cover all the key aspects necessary for growing your dispensary empire.

1. Operationally Lean: The Key to Effective Communication

Streamline Your Communication for Maximum Efficiency

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful business. One of the biggest challenges in working with dispensaries is communication. Ensuring clear and efficient communication is essential, especially when dealing with multiple locations and hundreds of employees. The 18-location dispensary we partnered with revealed that a lean operational structure was crucial to their success.

When working with this dispensary, we discovered that having two dedicated contact persons ensured that tasks were efficiently communicated and executed. Instead of dealing with multiple contact people, which can cause miscommunication and delays, having a lean communication structure simplified the process. Stakeholders and upper management were easily reached, and their expectations were clearly conveyed to the marketing team. This streamlined approach prevented tasks from getting lost in the shuffle and allowed for priority tasks to be completed promptly.

Implementing an operational structure that focuses on clear and concise communication can significantly improve your dispensary’s efficiency. By establishing one or two main points of contact, you create a direct line of communication, thus ensuring the timely completion of tasks.

2. Location Selection: Finding the Sweet Spot

Choose the Right City and Location for Maximum ROI

Selecting the right location is a critical factor in the success of your dispensary. The 18-location dispensary we worked with emphasized two crucial aspects of location selection: population size and competition analysis.

Before opening a new dispensary, it is vital to assess the population size and potential customer base of the target area. Calculating the total adjustable market (TAM) specific to your city enables you to determine if the location can generate the desired revenue and accommodate your investment goals. Additionally, analyzing the level of competition in the target city is essential. Opening a dispensary in a highly competitive area, like downtown LA or Toronto, can present challenges due to the saturation of the market. However, choosing a slightly smaller city with less competition can provide an advantage by allowing you to capture a larger market share.

Furthermore, the physical location within the selected city plays a crucial role in attracting customers. Being in a high-traffic area, easily accessible with adequate parking, and in a safe neighborhood increases foot traffic and enhances the customer’s buying experience. While digital marketing and SEO are important for online visibility, having a physical location gives you an edge over your competition. Customers looking for convenience and a tangible buying experience are more likely to choose a dispensary with a prime location. Thus, carefully selecting the right city and the perfect intersection within the city is crucial for the growth and success of your dispensary.

3. Quality Service: Key to Customer Satisfaction

Deliver Superior Service and Create Raving Customers

Providing exceptional customer service is non-negotiable for any successful business, and the 18-location dispensary excelled in this area. A deep dive into their Google reviews revealed an impressive average rating of 4.7 stars across all dispensaries. So, what made their customer service outstanding?

The dispensary focused on four key areas to ensure a satisfying customer experience: quality products, competitive pricing, personalized customer service, and a seamless buying experience. They maintained a wide variety of high-quality products to cater to different customer preferences. Pricing strategies aligned with market demands and offerings, striking a balance between profitability and affordability.

The dispensary’s staff actively engaged with customers, going the extra mile to remember important events like birthdays and offering personalized discounts or recommendations. They prioritized building relationships and creating a supportive and friendly atmosphere for customers.

The buying experience was optimized with the right location and convenient amenities such as parking. Ensuring product availability and a diverse range of options contributed to a positive customer experience. By excelling in these service-oriented areas, the 18-location dispensary cultivated a loyal customer base, resulting in exceptional Google reviews and increased revenue.

4. Talent Acquisition: Building a Capable Team

Recruit and Retain Top Talent to Drive Success

Expanding your business to 18 locations necessitates a strong and capable team. While our primary interaction was with the marketing team, the 18-location dispensary prioritized talent acquisition across all departments. An effective talent acquisition strategy helps to attract qualified individuals who will contribute to your dispensary’s growth and provide excellent service.

Recruiting specialized talent such as general managers, budtenders, accountants, and lawyers play a significant role in establishing a strong foundation for each location. The dispensary focused on finding individuals with expertise in their respective fields. By diligently recruiting and hiring the best candidates, they ensured that their team possessed the skills necessary to provide exceptional service and maintain operational efficiency.

A common pitfall is underestimating the importance of hiring the right people. Hiring inexperienced or underqualified individuals can harm your dispensary’s reputation and hinder growth. By investing time and resources into talent acquisition, the 18-location dispensary was able to showcase their expertise, retain high-performing employees, and consistently deliver exceptional service.

5. Learning and Implementing Expert Advice

Embrace Expertise and Continuously Improve

The final lesson learned from our partnership with the successful 18-location dispensary is their openness to learning and implementing expert advice. In their collaboration with us, rather than being rigid or dismissive, they were receptive to new ideas and willingly implemented our recommendations.

Recognizing the value of external expertise, they understood that leveraging the knowledge and experience of specialized agencies like ours was crucial to their success. This mindset allowed them to combine the feedback from upper management with industry expertise, resulting in strategic and effective decision-making.

By embracing an open mind and actively implementing expert advice, the dispensary was able to stay ahead of competitors and continually improve their operations. It is essential to understand that successful growth requires collaboration and a willingness to learn from those with expertise in the field.


Q: Is it necessary to have 18 locations to achieve success in the dispensary business?
– Growing to 18 locations is not the only path to success. The number of locations should align with your strategic goals and the viability of each location. Focus on quality, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency instead of solely aiming for quantity.

Q: How long does it take to open and manage multiple dispensary locations?
– The timeline for opening and managing multiple locations varies based on several factors, including local regulations, talent acquisition, and operational requirements. It can take months to years to establish and sustain multiple locations successfully.

Q: How do I ensure consistency across all 18 dispensary locations?
– Consistency can be maintained by establishing standardized processes, training programs, and regular communication. Clear guidelines and regular audits ensure that each location adheres to the same high-quality standards.

Q: How can I grow my dispensary business with a limited budget?
– Growing your dispensary business on a limited budget requires strategic planning. Focus on optimizing existing operations, leveraging cost-effective marketing strategies, and prioritizing customer satisfaction. Building a loyal customer base through exceptional service can positively impact your growth without substantial financial investment.

Q: What are the potential challenges of scaling a dispensary to 18 locations?
– Scaling to 18 locations presents various challenges, such as managing operational complexity, talent acquisition, regulatory compliance, and maintaining consistent quality across all locations. Addressing these challenges requires strategic planning, effective communication, and operational efficiency.

Q: Are there any legal considerations when opening multiple dispensary locations?
– Yes, opening multiple dispensary locations involves legal considerations that differ based on regional regulations. Consult with legal experts familiar with cannabis laws in your jurisdiction to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues.


Growing your dispensary business to 18 locations requires a well-thought-out strategy, operational efficiency, exceptional service, a strong team, and the willingness to embrace expert advice. By adopting the lessons learned from a successful 18-location dispensary, you can position your business for scalability and success. Remember, it’s not just about the number of locations, but the quality of your operations, customer service, and talent acquisition that make all the difference. With careful planning and continuous improvement, you can create a dispensary empire that thrives in an ever-growing industry.

Article By

Brandon Quan

About The Author: A digital marketer with over 7 years of experience, Brandon Quan is wildly known as the top marketing expert within the Cannabis Industry.

More Cannabis Marketing Resources:

Skip to content