starting cannabis business america legal

10 Best Places to Start a Cannabis Business in the U.S.

Starting a cannabis business in the US takes a lot of planning, effort, and patience.

However, it’s doable if you choose the best US state for such a business.

According to some of the most recent statistics, the cannabis industry is among the fastest-growing industries globally.

Therefore, it’s a perfect time to start this type of business.

Cannabis state laws are becoming increasingly lenient, while the demand for recreational and medical cannabis has never been higher.

The best way to see just how great a cannabis business can be, take a look at the Toronto Cannabis Dispensary

If you want to start your cannabis dispensary, here are the ten best US states for such a business.

1. California

California is one of the most successful legal US states, with the most prominent cannabis business growth.

This state should be your option number one when considering opening your cannabis dispensary.

Aside from a considerable consumer base, all things cannabis perform well here. 

From delivery services and cannabis farms to fully developed dispensaries for both recreational and legal cannabis sales, the Golden State is doing just fine.

While starting your own business can be costly, California offers plenty of opportunities for cannabis dispensaries.

2. Colorado

Being the pioneer of legal cannabis among all other states, Colorado cannabis dispensaries and stores are perfect for your marijuana business.

So far, Colorado’s cannabis business brought in over $1.5 billion in sales, so you do the math. 

Applying for a dispensary here is easy, and the state offers licenses for professional cannabis operating services, transporters, testing facilities, product manufacturers, growers, and retailers.

3. Washington

Washington is also known under a different name – America’s biggest cannabis state.

This is one of the reasons why so many to-be cannabis entrepreneurs consider this state.

All cannabis products are high on demand here, from oils and creams to edibles, concentrates, and flowers. 

The only obstacle that may stand in your way is getting a cultivation license.

However, if you manage this obstacle, there’s one more to think about – the highest tax rate of 37%.

4. Oregon

In 1973, Oregon was the first state in the US to decriminalize cannabis possession.

It was the third state to proclaim the recreational use of cannabis as legal.

It’s not hard to conclude that the marijuana industry is alive and booming in Oregon

One of the perks of choosing this place is that starting and running a cannabis dispensary in Oregon is more affordable than in, let’s say, Washington.

The sales tax is lower, but the cannabis licensing has been on hold for a while now.

5. Nevada

Not all businesses have to be in the top three states.

If you want to pass on the Big Three, Nevada is a good choice, because of Las Vegas alone.

Nevada is known for its fast-growing population, and cannabis is quite popular around here. 

The state recently legalized cannabis, and both sales and excise taxes are still relatively low.

This is simply perfect for starting your own cannabis business without having to worry about fierce competition. 

6. Massachusetts

Despite being the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis, Massachusetts is quickly taking a prime position in the cannabis business world.

Now is the perfect time to start your cannabis dispensary here.

If you apply for a cannabis business license today, you can get approved in less than three months. 

MA is big on medical marijuana, with cannabis dispensaries all over the place.

Aside from starting your dispensary, you can also consider supplying dispensaries and stores as the alternative.

7. Arizona

In the last couple of years, cannabis sales in Arizona grew by 50%.

The cannabis industry is huge here, with plenty of great business opportunities.

However, there is a catch.

While dispensary licensing is currently available, you have to be a resident to apply. 

If you become a dispensary owner, you’re free to manufacture and cultivate cannabis products.

The competition is still low, making Arizona simply a perfect place for realizing your business idea.

8. Alaska

Alaska is known for its recreational dispensaries.

Even though it is the third state with the lowest population, Alaska is doing fine in the cannabis business. 

Alaska offers licenses for testing facilities, manufacturing, and cultivation, as well as cannabis retail stores.

You can research all fees and licensing applications online.

9. Maine

Maine has been in the recreational cannabis business since 2016.

However, the state only made licensing for recreational dispensaries available a few months ago.

It’s still a place with low competition, so the time is right to achieve your cannabis business goals.

10. Michigan

Last but not least is Michigan.

The state has a well-organized cannabis business, with a vast medical cannabis industry.

If you want to open a dispensary, look for the license application online, but have a business plan ready.


  • Tammy Taylor is a full-time content marketing specialist. He has been closely studying cannabis industry trends for quite some time. He has worked for various genres as a writer and when not working, he likes to work out, try new foods, and play with his dog.

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