What’s the Best State to Start a Marijuana Dispensary

The cannabis business is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States today. The cannabis industry is estimated to have $10 billion in annual sales and will reach $24 billion in 2025.

Now that state laws have been eased and some states have legalized the use of marijuana, being part of this rapidly growing business is attainable. And if you want to experience organic high by being a marijuana millionaire, now is the best time to start up a marijuana dispensary.

Despite the challenges and regulations, there are still states that have become more lenient. Apart from a business plan, startup cost, permits, and licenses, location also plays an essential role in the cannabis business.

So, start picking up the right business location by checking the list below.

Here are some of the best states to start a marijuana dispensary to help you get started.


The state of Oregon is the 3rd state to legalize the recreational use of Marijuana. Running a marijuana dispensary in Oregon will save you 20% in sales tax compared to its neighbor Washington.

Here, your business can enjoy a 17% marijuana sales tax compared to Washington’s 37%. Not only that, Oregon also has the lowest cannabis business license application fee in the United States of just $250.


The perfect state to start a marijuana dispensary is in Colorado. Being the first state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, Colorado offers countless opportunities for cannabis of all forms.

Applications for licenses are easy and made convenient through online applications. Colorado is also one of the best places to grow marijuana.

However, Colorado’s price per gram is low compared to other states most probably because of the stiff competition.


Michigan comes third in the ranking based on ease of market entry, market entry cost, tax climate, and market opportunity.

Applying for a cannabis business permit will cost you $6,000 which is a little above the average cost of $5,000. The good thing about this state though is that it only imposes a 3% excise tax while the average per gram selling price is $9.74.


Although the population in Alaska is really low, the wild state comes 4th in the ranking due to the above-average per gram selling price which is $10.82.

Although marijuana growers pay $50/ounce in excise tax, Alaska does not have sales tax or income tax. Plus, the initial cost for the application is just $5,000.


The state of California may be tax heavy but offers excellent opportunities when it comes to market base.

Applications are open for cannabis business of all forms for an initial cost of $5,000. But be prepared to pay 15% of excise tax and sales tax for recreational use.

Other States to Start a Marijuana Business

  • Washington
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • Arizona

All these places are the top picks when it comes to legal environment (both for medical and recreational use), ease of cannabis business permit and licenses application, required capital cost, tax percentage for excise and sales tax, the demand, competition, and population.

Start market research now and choose the best location for your cannabis business.


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