“It’s The Most Stressful Thing I’ve Ever Done” – Matthew Kopelman, Founder of Score 420


Embarking on a journey into the cannabis industry isn’t for the faint of heart. With issues like regulatory hurdles, intense competition, and financial constraints, it demands more than just passion. It requires resilience, strategic thinking, and a thorough understanding of both business and the law. Join us as we delve into the story of Matthew Kopelman, whose venture, Score 420 Dispensary, has not only survived but thrived amid these challenges.

The Role of Money in Cannabis Regulations

The Influence of Financial Power

It’s no secret that money talks, especially in regulated industries like cannabis. Matthew Kopelman sheds light on how financial influence shapes regulations, often tipping the scales in favor of well-funded entities. This disparity creates a tough playing field for smaller businesses, often putting them at a disadvantage compared to deep-pocketed competitors.

Taxation and Regulation

Kopelman advocates for a taxation and regulation model similar to alcohol, emphasizing transparency and fairness. By doing so, smaller dispensaries can compete effectively without being crushed under the weight of exorbitant taxes and compliance costs.

“Tax cannabis like alcohol, not like some illicit drug. It levels the playing field and brings in more tax revenue,” says Kopelman.

*Consider this*: The legal cannabis industry contributed $17.5 billion in sales in the U.S. alone in 2020, with projections suggesting exponential growth. Ensuring fair tax regulations could unlock even more potential, benefiting local economies and creating jobs.

The Rigors of Running a Dispensary

Daily Operations and Time Management

Running a dispensary isn’t a 9 to 5 job, and Kopelman knows this all too well. From managing inventory and ensuring quality assurance to handling logistics and regulatory compliance, it’s a 24/7 commitment.

Quality Assurance and Lot Management

One crucial aspect Kopelman highlights is the meticulous process involved in quality assurance and lot number management. It’s not just about selling cannabis; it’s about ensuring each product meets stringent quality standards, which involves a labor-intensive process of intake, quality checks, and proper labeling.

“Imagine handling thousands of products, each needing its own lot number and quality checks. It’s exhaustive but absolutely necessary,” he explains.

Marketing in a Saturated Market

With competition increasing, especially in states like New Mexico, marketing strategies can make or break a business. Kopelman employs a multi-faceted marketing approach, utilizing platforms like Weedmaps, billboard advertising, and special promotions to attract and retain customers.

The Power of Specials and Pricing

One effective strategy Kopelman discusses is offering mixed-and-match options for joint packs and including taxes in the price, making the cost transparent for customers.

“Customers appreciate knowing the full price upfront. It builds trust and satisfaction,” he asserts.

Expanding Horizons: New Ventures and Challenges

Geographic Expansion

From Albuquerque to New Jersey and Massachusetts, Kopelman has ambitious plans for expansion. But it’s not just about opening new locations; it’s about navigating different state laws, sourcing reliable local staff, and understanding market demands.

New Opportunities

The cannabis market is burgeoning, and new territories bring fresh opportunities. States like New Jersey are poised to become significant players in the industry, offering a lucrative market for businesses willing to invest the time and resources.

While expansion is exciting, it’s not without its challenges. Different states have varying regulations, and adapting to these is crucial for maintaining compliance and avoiding hefty fines.

“Each state is a new challenge. It’s exciting but requires thorough research and local expertise,” Kopelman says.

Personal Struggles and Resilience

Financial Struggles and Perseverance

Kopelman’s journey wasn’t a smooth ride. From cashing out his Roth IRA to facing legal hurdles, the path was fraught with challenges.

From Homelessness to Prosperity

Kopelman’s story is one of resilience. Facing financial hardship, he lived in his car at one point, making deliveries to keep his business afloat. His resolve and determination saw him through tough times, eventually leading to the establishment of multiple successful dispensaries.

“Sleeping in my car wasn’t the hardest part. It was staying motivated and focused on the bigger picture,” he recalls.

Legal Hurdles and Community Acceptance

Winning respect in the cannabis industry, particularly in communities skeptical of its benefits, was another challenge. But with perseverance and strategic use of resources, Kopelman managed to earn his stripes.

“Respect wasn’t given; it was earned, inch by inch, over time,” he shares.

Navigating a Competitive Market

Pricing Strategies and Customer Attraction

In a saturated market, staying ahead means offering value. Kopelman emphasizes the importance of pricing strategies, arguing that offering high-end products at competitive prices is key.

The Added Value of Transparency

Including taxes in the listed price not only simplifies the buying process but also builds trust. Customers know exactly what they’re paying for, which can significantly enhance customer loyalty.

“The transparency in pricing isn’t just a marketing gimmick; it’s about building trust,” asserts Kopelman.

Facing Competition Head-On

Surrounded by other dispensaries, Kopelman remains focused on unique selling propositions to stand out. Mix-and-match deals, specials catering to both recreational and medical users, and a focus on customer experience are some of the strategies employed.

“Being surrounded by competitors makes you sharper, more innovative,” he claims.


How does Matthew Kopelman manage quality assurance in his dispensaries?

He uses a meticulous process of intake, quality checks, and proper labeling to ensure each product meets stringent quality standards.

What marketing strategies does Kopelman use for Score 420?

Kopelman employs a multi-faceted marketing approach, including platforms like Weedmaps, billboard advertising, and special promotions like mix-and-match deals.

Why does Kopelman advocate for taxing cannabis like alcohol?

He believes this would level the playing field for smaller businesses and increase tax revenue by making compliance less costly.

How does Kopelman handle the competitive market in New Mexico?

By focusing on pricing strategies, offering unique deals, and ensuring customer transparency, Kopelman stays ahead of the competition.

What were the personal challenges Kopelman faced in his journey?

From financial struggles and homelessness to legal battles and gaining community acceptance, Kopelman’s journey was filled with obstacles that he overcame with resilience and determination.

What are Kopelman’s expansion plans for Score 420?

He plans to expand to states like New Jersey and Massachusetts, navigating different state laws, sourcing reliable staff, and understanding market demands.


Matthew Kopelman’s journey is a testament to the grit, perseverance, and strategic thinking required to succeed in the cannabis industry. From advocating for fair regulations to mastering daily operations and navigating expansion, Kopelman offers invaluable insights into what it takes to thrive in this burgeoning yet challenging market.

“The cannabis industry isn’t just about plants; it’s about people, processes, and perseverance,” Kopelman concludes.


Where To Find Matthew Kopelman:


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.

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