by Tommy Truong of KayaPush
In Oklahoma, the cannabis business is thriving. Yes, the controversial plant that users were prosecuted for using so very recently, is on a roll. You could even say, there is a cannabis rush.
In this article, we will cover how you can go about opening a dispensary, including how to acquire a license, and some laws you should be aware of. And we will also touch on how to set up your dispensary operations and software! Let’s dig in!
What do you need to open a dispensary in Oklahoma?
The process of opening a dispensary should go smoothly if you fill out an application form and follow the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s guidelines. Although the costs of opening a cannabis dispensary in Oklahoma are significantly lower than elsewhere, it is critical to have accurate information and to review some of the most relevant regulatory constraints.
Let’s start at the beginning, if you intend to learn how to open a dispensary in Oklahoma for commercial purposes, you must be at least 25 years old before proceeding. You must also make the following items available:
- Proof of Oklahoma residency
- A tax ID number, as well as a general business license
- Valid identification documents
You’ll need to assess your commitment after you’ve got everything in place. Not only must you be informed of current cannabis production and sales regulations, but also of proposed legislation and revisions that may shortly come into force.
Now that you’re certain you’re ready to make this big move, it’s time to proceed to the next step: finding a suitable property.
You should check the following:
- Rent cost
- Cost of license
- Licensing application fee
- Employee salary
- Transportation and storage of product
How to get a dispensary license In Oklahoma.
Licenses for growers in Oklahoma come in the form of a certificate and are issued through the OMMA website. The charge to producers, processors, and dispensaries for applying for a license is $2,500. You must provide the following to apply:
- A business plan
- A financial plan
- An inventory control plan
- Patient education
- Record keeping
- Security plans
There are distinct rules in every state in the United States about opening dispensaries. Each state sets its own standards. You will need to study the rules that apply in Oklahoma.
The general requirement for opening a dispensary in Oklahoma is that you undergo marijuana dispensing training and acquire a license.
How to keep your dispensary compliant in Oklahoma.
You must abide by all of Oklahoma’s strict marijuana regulations to keep your dispensary compliant. These include:
- Complying with Metrc
- Operating under a recognized license
- Enlisting compliance software’s assistance
- Consider a compliance manager
Marijuana dispensaries in Oklahoma are prohibited from selling more than the following amounts in a single transaction:
- Three ounces of cannabis
- Concentrate of one ounce
- 72 ounces of cannabis
Oklahoma dispensary owners, like any other legitimate business, must pay taxes and ensure that they give the following information:
- All cannabis-related information with other permitted firms
- Details of batch numbers that show the weight of cannabis acquired at wholesale
- The number of plants that have been approved for relocation to other locations
- Batch numbers showing the weight of cannabis sold
- Record of all items that have become obsolete
Substantial fines are imposed for noncompliance. There is a $5,000 punishment for a first infraction while a second offense will result in license revocation. Because of this, you are going to need the assistance of technology to automatically update you if the OMMA cannabis rules change.
Understanding Metrc in Oklahoma.
Metrc is an integrated system for tracking and tracing marijuana products in real-time. Every plant and its wholesale shipment has a unique tag attached by licensees. To uniquely identify each plant, these tags use readable text, barcodes, and radio frequency identification (RFID) chips for easy identification.
Metrc is already being used in Oklahoma following the state’s legalization of marijuana. The OMMA can only see and track inventory once it has been entered into Metrc by a commercial licensee.
To get started with Metrc in Oklahoma you should:
- Watching their training videos and schedule training.
- Request online access and complete the New Business System Metrc training with your dedicated Metrc Account Manager.
- Connect all of your employees with Metrc and make sure they have the permissions they need for their jobs.
- Request Metrc plant tags, package tags, and other UID tags and document the physical receipt of requested Metrc UID tags.
- Assign UID tags to your cannabis items.
- Access the Beginning Inventory Guide in Metrc for proper guidelines and references to other important factors.
What are the dispensary laws in Oklahoma?
Cannabis laws in Oklahoma are the guidelines that every cannabis dispenser must heed while dispensing medical marijuana. Every prospective cannabis retailer will be guided by these same rules, and it is one of the first things you discover when learning how to operate a dispensary in Oklahoma.
Some of these rules include:
- To legally sell cannabis, you’ll need a state-issued license, but CBD oil made from industrial hemp is permitted without one.
- Patients must first obtain an authorized medical marijuana card to acquire and consume medicinal cannabis.
- Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $1,000.=
- Individuals under the age of 18 are only allowed to enter a dispensary with an adult who has a valid medical card.
- The sale of fewer than 25 pounds of marijuana is a felony punishable by a two-year prison sentence and a $20,000 fine.
Who can your dispensary sell to in Oklahoma?
Only medical cannabis patients (or their caregivers) with valid patient licenses can shop at an Oklahoma dispensary. Medical cannabis is available to Oklahoma residents over the age of 18 who have a physician’s recommendation.
A physical medical marijuana ID card or the state’s database can be used to verify a patient or caregiver. Out-of-state persons or companies are not permitted to purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries. Licensed processors can sell to other licensed processors and licensed dispensaries.
Oklahoma dispensary market size and opportunity.
Despite its accomplishments, the cannabis industry in Oklahoma is still in its infancy, and the environment is rapidly changing. Marijuana laws in the state are continually changing to make it more accessible.
Another feature that distinguishes Oklahoma from other states is that it allows cannabis smoking and vaping anywhere that tobacco can be lawfully consumed, such as on the sidewalk or in a bar that allows smoking. As a result, Oklahoma has morphed into an industrial cannabis state with a variety of dispensary options.
There are only a few challenges to overcome. Any sort of cannabis — from raw flowers to topical lotions, from oils and gels to vaporization and patches — can be sold by anybody who pays $2,500 for a dispensary license.
Cannabis legalization has resulted in a significant expansion in legal cannabis cultivation and distribution, as well as an explosion of related service providers in many states. Cannabis has become a lucrative business prospect for many inhabitants in the state.
What cannabis software do I need to run a dispensary?
To run a compliant dispensary in Oklahoma, you will need the following business software:
- A compliant POS system
- Scheduling and time tracking software
- HR software
- Dispensary payroll software
- A Website
- Inventory management software
- Security system
What should I look for in cannabis software?
POS compliant system.
One of the most important technologies in a dispensary is a point-of-sale system. A compliant POS system will make sales transactions easier for your dispensary’s staff and provide the greatest payment options for customers. A POS can help run the following tasks:
- Regulate inventory control and legal compliance
- Manage customer check-in and ensure that your customers follow the daily sales tracking guidelines
- Assists you in automatically rejecting transactions for people who are not authorized to buy.
- Integrate with the Metrc system, and keep you compliant.
- Integrate with your workforce management system and give you sales insights.
- Integrate with your scheduling software and provide labor forecasts for scheduling.
- Produce all sales and customer reports for the approval of cannabis authorities.
Dispensary payroll software.
Integrated dispensary payroll software will assist you in managing your employees’ pay. It manages all expenses and interfaces with other systems such as personnel administration and payroll tax deductions. It makes direct contributions to the IRS and compensates employees via direct deposit.
Another benefit of using an integrated payroll system is that you can integrate your company’s payroll with the rest of your workforce management suite; performing tasks like approving clocked hours to payroll, and running payroll in the click of a button. Dispensaries who used this type of system report saving 5 hours per week on running dispensary payroll.
Scheduling and time tracking software.
Also known as workforce management software, integrated scheduling and time tracking software makes creating staff schedules, and managing staff hours very hands off. With this type of software, you are able to create schedules remotely, and staff can request shift swaps or time off. With time tracking, staff can sign into work using facial recognition technology, and staff-approved hours can be streamlined to payroll – so staff who clock into their shifts, get paid with the click of a button.
Dispensary HR software.
Recruiting, hiring, interviewing and onboarding can take up a lot of time. Especially when staff have important documents they need to sign, and criminal record checks that need to be completed. With dispensary HR software you can automate recruiting, and onboarding, by having staff onboard themselves and sign digitized documents.
A Security system.
A good security software system with cameras to monitor what goes on inside and outside your dispensary should be paramount to ensure your dispensary remains compliant. You will need a system where you can monitor all the affairs of your dispensaries at one glance without being in different places at the same time.
Inventory management software.
You require some software to help you manage your inventory, and the process of placing orders and confirming inventory counts from your vendors. You’ll also need a system that will remind you when new orders are needed when it detects product shortages.
If you are in a state that allows e-commerce for dispensaries, a website should be a top priority for competing for top rankings in today’s market. Because of technological advancements, you may now open an e-store where customers can buy cannabis online and have it delivered to their doorsteps.
Your website should be able to collect KYC information from your consumers to verify their identities and eligibility to acquire cannabis products, so you can be confident you’re following the cannabis serving guidelines. If you deliver a cannabis product to someone who isn’t eligible for it, you’ll be breaking the rules guiding cannabis consumption, and this might be a huge risk for your new business.
Metrc, also known as Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance is a regulatory compliance system and was built to keep track of cannabis cultivation, preparation, and packaging. Basically, Metrc is a database for tracking cannabis from seed to sale, and identifying it using RFID tags.
In Oklahoma, you must submit data to Metrc to run a compliant dispensary. Reporting to Metrc can be done manually, however cannabis-specific POS systems are offering a Metrc integration, meaning it is done automatically for you as you sell your product.
What else do I need to know?
Now that we have covered all the technical and operational bases, the rest is up to you.
Other key parts of opening a dispensary include considering where your store might be located, what your brand value and vibe will be, and how your product and store will look.
Marketing should also be a consideration, as well as staff training, and company culture.
Many new cannabis entrepreneurs hire consultants to help them navigate these areas.
For now, we hope this has been a helpful way to get you started.
Tommy Truong is the Director of Partnerships at KayaPush; the cannabis software helping dispensary owners manage their HR, scheduling and payroll all from one easy to use platform. KayaPush also integrates with leading dispensary POS systems, giving you an end-to-end solution.
Tommy loves hot sauce, fried chicken, and running with his Boston terriers.