How to Open a Dispensary in Oklahoma

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How to Open a Dispensary in Oklahoma in 2024

Opening a cannabis dispensary in Oklahoma requires a medical marijuana store license. To apply for this license, prospective marijuana dispensary owners in the state must submit all necessary paperwork online through the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) Portal. Before applying for a license, it is important to confirm that cannabis businesses are permitted in the municipality where one plans to open and run a marijuana dispensary.

Why Open a Dispensary in Oklahoma?

The demand for medical cannabis in Oklahoma is trending higher. Hence, more dispensaries must be opened to meet consumers’ growing needs. Since medical marijuana was legalized in 2018, the state’s medical marijuana market has been flourishing, with almost 2,700 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. A sizable increase in local and state sales tax revenue (over $70 million in 2021 and 2022) was reported by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA).

Over 375,000 patient cards have been issued in Oklahoma, which represents about 10% of the state's population. This indicates a high demand for medical cannabis products. The Oklahoma medical marijuana market has a lot of potential, making it a desirable location to open a cannabis dispensary.

Types of Dispensary Licenses in Oklahoma

Oklahoma issues a medical marijuana store license to dispensaries operating in the state. Licensees can sell medical cannabis to other licensed dispensaries as well as registered medical cannabis patients, caregivers, and research license holders.

How to Get an Oklahoma Dispensary License

To obtain a dispensary license in Oklahoma, an applicant must be at least 25 years old and a resident. The following steps should be taken to meet Oklahoma dispensary license requirements:

  • Establish a legal business entity and register it with the secretary of state
  • Pay the application fees
  • Pass a criminal history background check
  • Prepare all relevant information and submit a completed application on the OMMA portal for review. If the application is accepted, a provisional license will be issued to the applicant, who is required to pass a final inspection before being granted a full license

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is responsible for reviewing applications and issuing dispensary licenses.

Information and Documents Required for a Dispensary License in Oklahoma

A dispensary license applicant in Oklahoma requires the following information and documentation:

  • Information regarding the proposed site of the dispensary, including the applicant's ownership or tenancy interest in the property, as well as the floor plans and landlord information for leased buildings. Copies of the building's occupancy certificate, rental agreements, leases, planned deeds, leasing information, and purchase agreement will also be needed
  • A business plan
  • Recruitment, safety, and security plans
  • The criminal background history check of the applicant
  • Proof that no public or private school's property line is within 1,000 feet of the nearest perimeter wall of the dispensary
  • A Certificate of Compliance obtained from the city or county
  • Tax permit
  • Residency proof for at least two years
  • Details about all the owners, members, and board members must be provided throughout the application process
  • Financial plan
  • Inventory management plan
  • Plan for staffing and patient education

What Plans Do You Need to Open a Dispensary in Oklahoma?

Before starting the dispensary license application process, a prospective Oklahoma marijuana dispensary owner should thoroughly evaluate the cost implications and create a business plan. The following information should be in such a business plan:

  • Executive summary and business profile
  • Product description outlining the cannabis products and strains the dispensary intends to sell as well as how the owner intends to acquire them
  • Competitive and market analysis
  • Execution plan
  • Financial highlights outlining anticipated costs and potential earnings
  • Customer study looking at the target market's demographics and customer segmentation
  • Requirements for license applications
  • An overview of the qualifications and experience of the management and leadership team members

When requesting a dispensing license in Oklahoma, applicants must also present site and operating plans. Information about the following must be included in the site plan:

  • Design and floor plans, including prohibited areas, patient consultation rooms, point-of-sale locations, and entrances and exits
  • Secured delivery space
  • Parking
  • Equipment needed for security and storage

The operating plan must include:

  • Access control systems
  • Theft and loss prevention measures
  • Training procedures
  • Security surveillance systems
  • Detailed security measures to protect the transit, delivery, and tracking of marijuana items and the chain of custody of marijuana products

Are There Municipal Requirements for Opening a Cannabis Dispensary in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma permits municipalities to adopt ordinances to regulate the operation of cannabis stores within their borders. For instance, a municipality may object to license renewal if it finds that a medical marijuana dispensary is operating outside of the required setback distance, per the Oklahoma Administrative Code. It is essential to understand a municipality’s requirements for cannabis businesses and find out if obtaining a permit to operate a dispensary within their boundaries is required.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Oklahoma Dispensary License?

Obtaining a dispensary license in Oklahoma takes about 90 business days.

Where Can You Locate a Cannabis Dispensary in Oklahoma?

A cannabis dispensary may be located in any space designated for commercial purposes in Oklahoma. The location of a marijuana dispensary must be approved by the OMMA as part of its site plan. In general, the following locations are off-limits to dispensaries in Oklahoma:

  • Areas with undue concentration of cannabis stores
  • Areas within 1,000 feet of the property line of a school, child care facility, any retail marijuana hospitality, and other commercial facilities
  • Residential districts

Can Licensees Have More Than One Dispensary Location in Oklahoma?

No. A dispensary license is valid for only one dispensary location in Oklahoma.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Marijuana Dispensary in Oklahoma?

The cost of opening a marijuana dispensary in Oklahoma can range from $500,000 to $1 million or more, depending on its location and size. Such costs will include the following:

  • Lease: Depending on size and location, the yearly rent for a dispensary facility, including up-front renovations in Oklahoma, is between $100,000 and $150,000
  • Application fee: A $2,500 non-refundable application fee
  • Operational costs: An average of $100,000 to $150,000 per annum
  • Inventory costs: These will vary depending on stock and store size. The costs of inventory may range from $50,000 to $100,000
  • Marketing and advertising costs: Depending on the channels adopted, the cost of marketing and advertising might range from $5,000 to $20,000
  • Security: Depending on the size of the dispensary, the cost of security systems can range from $10,000 to $50,000
  • Staff expenses: Depending on the number of personnel required, wage cost is between $100,000 and $250,000 annually
  • Miscellaneous costs: These are additional costs associated with running a dispensary, including insurance, legal fees, tax, accounting services, and utility costs

Do You Need an Insurance Policy for a Cannabis Dispensary in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma-licensed cannabis dispensaries are not required to have insurance policies. However, having an insurance policy for a dispensary is important because it offers a financial safety net in the event of unforeseen losses. Dispensary owners in Oklahoma should consider the following insurance coverage:

  • Commercial property insurance: Helps cover the cost of damage done to business property
  • Business interruption insurance: Kicks in when an unforeseen circumstance, like damage to key business property, forces the business to temporarily close
  • Product liability insurance: This pays legal fees if a customer sues a dispensary for harm caused by a product
  • Inland marine insurance: This protects a dispensary’s property while it is being transported or kept off-site

Cannabis dispensary insurance premiums in Oklahoma are influenced by factors such as:

  • The type of insurance coverage
  • Coverage limits
  • Dispensary location
  • Dispensary size

How to Get a Grant to Open a Dispensary in Oklahoma

  • Equipment financing: This is a type of loan used to acquire equipment required for processing cannabis and other dispensing activities
  • Loans from friends and family: Friends and family are a valuable source of low or no-interest financing
  • Equity Financing: On the private market, there are financiers eager to support marijuana-related businesses, including dispensaries. These investors demand an equity stake in the business in return for a loan
  • Self-funding: This choice is the most common among cannabis business owners. Cannabis dispensaries can be funded independently by people or enterprises with sufficient capital
  • Loan: There are various sorts of loans that can be used to finance dispensaries. These include term loans, real estate loans, and inventory loans

Does Oklahoma Have a Social Equity Program for Cannabis Dispensaries?

No. There is no Social Equity Program for cannabis dispensaries in Oklahoma.

Does Oklahoma Tax Marijuana Dispensaries?

Yes. The agency in charge of collecting cannabis taxes is the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC). The OTC collects a 7% marijuana sales tax on behalf of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. It also collects a 4.5% state sales tax on all physical commodities, including marijuana sold in dispensaries.

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