opening a dispensary Louisiana

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How to Open a Dispensary in Louisiana 

January 26, 2023

Are you interested in learning how to open a dispensary in the 18th US state that was named after King Louis XIV? Then this is the very article. 

Louisiana was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1978, though it still does not allow recreational use. Luckily, since government officials are thinking about legalizing an adult-use market, this might change soon. 

Governor John Bel Edwards approved HB652, a decriminalization measure that will stop people from being imprisoned in Louisiana, on June 14, 2021.

Only Individuals with a qualified recommendation from a doctor have permission to possess and use medical marijuana, and only state-licensed pharmacies may sell medical marijuana in Louisiana.

It should also be noted that before 29 June 2015, when governor Bobby Jindal signed the re-enactment of the 1991 Alison Neustrom Act, only 3 medical conditions had been considered qualifying for medical marijuana possession: Spastic Quadriplegia, Cancer, and Glaucoma. The bill made it possible to add more conditions to the list.

For more detailed info about Louisiana marijuana laws, click here. 

How to Get a Dispensary License in Louisiana

The key point when learning how to open a dispensary in Louisiana is that Marijuana is permitted for medical use only, which is regulated by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy. It controls the dispensary program, which at the moment only pertains to current pharmacies and not marijuana-related businesses. These are the only types of businesses allowed to dispense medical marijuana, which will be grown by a single cultivator statewide. 

The application process must begin with a comprehensive appreciation of the requirements laid out by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, which oversees the licensing for medical marijuana dispensaries.  Your first step should be researching the next application window, then you’ll be ready to follow this step-by-step guide to streamlining your application:

  • Submit an application to the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy. This application must include detailed information about the proposed dispensary, including location, ownership, and operations.
  • Pay a non-refundable application fee set by the Board of Pharmacy.
  • Provide proof of financial stability, including a business plan, financial projections, and evidence of access to funding.
  • Provide documentation of compliance with all local zoning and land use regulations.
  • Submit fingerprints and undergo a criminal background check.
  • Provide evidence of compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
  • Successfully completed an on-site inspection of the dispensary by the Board of Pharmacy.
  • Obtain a certificate of occupancy from the local building department.
  • Receive a license from the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, which must be renewed annually.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Dispensary in Louisiana?

Fees are the following: compulsory $5000 application fee and $150 licensing fee, which supports the processing and evaluation of your application. Again you will have to wait for the next application window date of which is still unknown.

Can I Open A Dispensary in Louisiana Now?

Currently, interested parties will not be able to open a marijuana business in Louisiana.

How to Create a Business Plan for Your Dispensary in Louisiana

Creating a business plan for a dispensary in Louisiana will involve several key steps. Here is a general outline of the process:

  • Research the market: Study the local market for cannabis dispensaries in Louisiana and identify any potential competitors. Look into the local laws and regulations that apply to dispensaries in the state.
  • Define your target market: Identify the specific customers you will be targeting with your dispensary, including their demographics, needs, and preferences.
  • Develop a marketing strategy: Based on your research and understanding of your target market, create a plan for how you will reach and attract customers to your dispensary.
  • Outline your financial projections: Develop a detailed plan for your dispensary, including projected income and expenses. Be sure to include a realistic projection for the costs of setting up and running the dispensary.
  • Create an operational plan: Outline the day-to-day operations of your dispensary, including staffing, inventory management, and security.
  • Create a clear vision and mission statement: Clearly state the dispensary’s goals, objectives, and purpose.
  • Review and update the plan regularly: Review and update your plan as needed to ensure that it remains relevant and accurate.

It is also important to seek legal and financial advice when creating a business plan for a dispensary, as laws and regulations can change frequently.

How to Stay Compliant in Louisiana

When involved in the cannabis dispensary business in Louisiana, you face many challenges, and one of the significant stages is choosing the right technology partner. 

Metrc is the most trusted and experienced provider of cannabis regulatory systems in the United States. The state of Louisiana requires all cannabis retailers to be compliant with this particular system. The biggest challenge of compliance is knowing all the regulations and providing all the documentation to the regulatory system; however, with IndicaOnline, you never have to worry about doing the work manually. IndicaOnline is fully integrated with the Metrc system and will assist you in the reporting process. 

IndicaOnline is dedicated to offering cannabis retailers cutting-edge compliance technology that offers statewide tracking and reporting from seed to sale and reduces the room for human error.

Using IndicaOnline software, you never have to worry about all the restrictions and regulations your state sets. IndicaOnline receives all the updated specifications immediately from Metrc and modifies your operations. 

The only thing you need to do is to implement IndicaOnline’s POS software that is tailored to your dispensary business. To ensure compliance, you must keep track of your inventory, enforce purchasing restrictions, and confirm that all your customers are of legal age. The system is designed to help you through it all and more.

Choose the Right Location to Open a Dispensary in Louisiana

In Louisiana, the distribution of marijuana pharmacies is organized into ten distinct regions. Each region holds a single license for operation. To prevent saturation, dispensaries must be situated at least 15 miles apart, except in areas where the population exceeds 350,000. In this instance, dispensaries must be located at least 10 miles apart and within a 5-mile radius in municipalities.

It’s vital to investigate local and municipal regulations regarding where different types of businesses can be located in relation to schools and other restricted areas. Often, owning the property is a requirement before applying for a license.


In conclusion, the cannabis dispensary market in Louisiana presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter a growing industry. Additionally, by creating a detailed financial plan and outlining the day-to-day operations, the dispensary can ensure its long-term success. With a clear vision and mission statement, the dispensary can differentiate itself from competitors and stand out in the market. By keeping up with the laws and regulations and regularly reviewing and updating the business plan, the dispensary can continue to thrive in the Louisiana market.

At IndicaOnline, we are dedicated to simplifying the process of establishing and managing a dispensary in Louisiana. Our expert team is committed to ensuring the seamless operations of your cannabis dispensary through the utilization of custom software solutions tailored to the unique needs of your business, from conceptualization to implementation. This allows you to devote your attention to fostering the best customer experience by providing them with the service they deserve.