How Mainstream Is Marijuana? Cannabis Franchises Are Available In Colorado

Photo Credit: Heath Korvola

A successful marijuana dispensary in Colorado is now offering franchises to entrepreneurs who want into the cannabis business but are daunted by starting from scratch.

Much like you can become a fast food franchise owner, it’s now possible to own an outlet for ONE Cannabis.

“We hope to help people compliantly operate their business, without having to learn the expensive lessons of growing a cannabis dispensary,” Christian Hageseth, CEO on ONE Cannabis, said in a news release.

Ambitious Goal

ONE Cannabis is working to open 50 dispensary franchises solely within Colorado over the next three years. Their plan is to eventually to take the brand national through franchises in states with legal medical and recreational marijuana.

The first challenge for interested entrepreneurs is obtaining a state license to open a dispensary. ONE Cannabis provides consulting services to help potential franchise owners navigate the application process.

ONE Cannabis is also approaching operating dispensaries likely to benefit from becoming a franchise. “Many independent dispensaries are generating revenues far below the industry average,” Hageseth said.

Part of the attraction for independent operators is the working relationships ONE Cannabis has nurtured along the cannabis supply chain for nearly a decade. Franchising also makes available ONE Cannabis’s experience reassuring landlords and banks reluctant to work with marijuana businesses that legal under state law but still illegal under federal law.

An Anticipated Move

Industry watchers have expected a strong move by someone into franchising dispensaries. The patchwork quilt of independent dealers has opened the door to ambitious entrepreneurs. It was only a matter of time before someone stepped forward to provide a degree of consistency and uniformity to marijuana dispensaries.

With no end in sight to federal prohibition franchising nationwide faces ongoing challenges but is a trend within states where cannabis is legal, according to cannabis-business attorneys. Washington now allows individuals to own up to five retail marijuana dispensaries, creating a situation that invites consolidation. California, which launched a legal recreational marijuana program this year, anticipates a large number of franchises.

With the “mainstreaming” of marijuana well underway, you can expect marijuana dispensaries to eventually go the way of McDonald’s and Jiffy Lube, a prediction that would have been fantasy just a decade ago.