How to open a Dispensary in Oregon

Oregon is one of few pioneering states that led the way for the medical cannabis movement in the United States. It has had medical cannabis since 1998 and, as of July 2015, marijuana is being regulated for legal recreational use as well. The list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Oregon is vast. It includes cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia (wasting syndrome), severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.

Aside from making arrangements with cultivators and other vendors, opening a marijuana dispensary in Oregon is very similar to any other, with a few slight variations. Below is an in-depth look at the information needed to get a successful cannabis business up and running in Oregon.

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    What kind of cannabis business can I open in Oregon?

    The Oregon Liquor Control Commission allows the below businesses to operate legally within the state. General requirements exist that specify all applicants should be at least 21 years of age and have passed a criminal record check for an excluded felony offense.

    What kind of cannabis business can I open in Oregon
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    • Retail marijuana stores
    • Marijuana product manufacturers
    • Marijuana cultivators
    • Marijuana testing facilities
    • Marijuana distributors
    • Marijuana extraction services

    Measure 91 legalized the recreational possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 and older July 1, 2015. Currently, the recreational marijuana market in Oregon is up and running, bringing medical patients and recreational users safe, regulated cannabis. Oregon legalized medical cannabis in 1998 – setting the standard for many other American states.

    Oregon’s marijuana market

    Oregon’s marijuana market
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    A February 2017 report by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, projected that applications for recreational cannabis businesses far surpassed the initial estimates of around 800-1200 applications. At the time the report was published, over 2000 application have had already been submitted.

    There are currently 418 registered medical marijuana dispensaries and nearly 1,200 recreational shops throughout Oregon. In 2016, the market size was $5.8 billion, which can be expected to continue to increase in the coming years.

    License requirements

    The state of Oregon provides a lot of useful resources for prospective marijuana business owners on its official website. Applicants are expected to submit a detailed record of their business, including name, legal entity, state registration number and contact information if they want to be considered for the initial stage of licensure.

    Furthermore, the state requires proof that the business has adequate funding for its initial working period. During this stage, you are also expected to pay all the associated fees, which amount to a $4750 licensing fee and a non-refundable $250 application fee. The application will not be processed until payment has been received by the state.

    Applicants will need to provide valid government documentation and undergo a criminal background check. A statement from local authorities and a map clearly showing the storefront location are also needed to verify that the proposed business is not located in residential zones. Authorities will also need a signed School/Dispensary Proximity Affirmation Form documenting that the proposed location of the dispensary is not within 1,000 feet of any educational facilities or other dispensaries.

    Financial requirements

    The costs for starting a marijuana dispensary in Oregon vary depending on a lot of factors, including which county and city you are in. The licensing fee amounts to $4,750, and there is also a refundable $250 application fee. On average, opening a dispensary will cost around $200,000 at a minimum, meaning that prospective business owners should possess at least $400,000 in their budget.

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    How much does a marijuana dispensary in Oregon make?

    Marijuana dispensaries can make anywhere from $50,000 annually up to millions, or even tens of millions of dollars.


    The amount of time needed to launch a cannabis business can often take a year or more. You’ll need to do things such as get finances in order, acquire necessary licenses, and source suppliers and employees.

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      Looking to start a marijuana dispensary in Oregon? These consulting companies provide a wide range of services – including helping with state licensing requirements and applications and running and stocking your business.

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