How to Open a Dispensary in Puerto Rico 

6 min read

How to Open a Dispensary in Puerto Rico 

April 18, 2023

If you’re interested in participating in the growing cannabis industry, you might be wondering how to open a dispensary in Puerto Rico. Cannabis dispensaries in Puerto Rico have become a prominent feature of the state’s landscape, offering individuals access to medicinal marijuana products. Since the legalization of medical marijuana in 2015, Puerto Rico has seen a steady rise in the number of dispensaries operating throughout its territory. These dispensaries are designed to provide individuals with safe, reliable, and legal access to high-quality cannabis products for their medical needs. As a result, many patients in Puerto Rico have found relief from a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy, among others. In this context, the emergence of cannabis dispensaries in Puerto Rico represents a significant step toward promoting the health and well-being of its residents. 

How to Get a Dispensary License in Puerto Rico 

If you’re looking to enter the medical cannabis industry in Puerto Rico, obtaining a dispensary license is crucial. While it can be a complex and time-consuming process, ensuring compliance with local regulations and operating a legitimate business is necessary. Here are the general steps to follow when seeking how to get a dispensary license in Puerto Rico:

Research The Requirements

Before applying for a dispensary license, one must understand the legal requirements for operating a medical cannabis dispensary in Puerto Rico. These requirements can vary depending on the location and jurisdiction, so it’s important to do your research and ensure that you meet all the necessary criteria.

Register Your Business

Once you clearly understand the requirements, you’ll need to register your business and obtain the necessary permits and licenses. This includes registering your business with the Puerto Rico Department of State and obtaining a local business license.

Obtain A Permit From The Department of Health

To operate a medical cannabis dispensary in Puerto Rico, you must obtain a permit from the Puerto Rico Department of Health. This involves submitting a detailed application, including information about the proposed location, security plans, and other details.

Meet The Security Requirements

Dispensary owners must meet strict security requirements, including installing surveillance cameras, hiring security guards, and implementing strict access control measures.

Pass An Inspection

Before opening your dispensary, you must pass an inspection by the Department of Health to ensure that you meet all the requirements and regulations.

Pay The Fees

There are various fees associated with obtaining a Puerto Rico dispensary license, including application fees, annual renewal fees, and other costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Dispensary in Puerto Rico 

The cost of opening a dispensary in Puerto Rico can vary depending on various factors, including the location, the size of the dispensary, and the services provided. However, certain expenses are common to most dispensaries. Here are some of the costs associated with opening a dispensary in Puerto Rico:

Application Fees

The application fee for a medical cannabis dispensary permit in Puerto Rico is $20,000. This fee is non-refundable, regardless of whether the application is approved or denied.

Legal Fees

It is advisable to hire an attorney with experience in the medical cannabis industry in Puerto Rico to guide you through the process. Legal fees can vary depending on the case’s complexity, but they are typically around $5,000 to $10,000.

Real Estate

The cost of real estate is one of the most significant expenses when opening a dispensary. The price of renting or purchasing a suitable location will depend on the location and the size of the dispensary. The monthly rent for a dispensary can range from $5,000 to $20,000.


The cost of equipment needed to open a dispensary in Puerto Rico can range from $50,000 to $100,000. This includes security cameras, safes, display cases, point-of-sale systems, and other necessary items.


The cost of staffing a dispensary will depend on the size of the dispensary and the number of employees needed. The average salary for a dispensary employee in Puerto Rico is around $30,000 per year.

Overall, the cost of opening a dispensary in Puerto Rico can range from $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the size and location of the dispensary. It’s essential to carefully plan and budget for these expenses to ensure the business’s success.

Create the Comprehensive Cannabis Business Plan to Open a Dispensary in Puerto Rico.

Here is a cannabis business plan for opening a dispensary in Puerto Rico:

Business Description

It would be wise if a dispensary would be located in a high-traffic area with easy access for registered medical cannabis patients where they will be offered various cannabis products, including flowers, concentrates, tinctures, edibles, and topicals. 

Market Analysis

The medical cannabis market in Puerto Rico is rapidly growing, with more than 123,000 registered patients as of 2021. The market is expected to continue to grow as more physicians become certified to recommend medical cannabis to their patients. The limited number of licensed dispensaries in Puerto Rico creates an opportunity for new entrants to capture a market share. 

You may use a variety of marketing channels to reach our target audience, including social media, email marketing, and local advertising. You can also build partnerships with physicians and medical professionals to promote your dispensary as a trusted source of medical cannabis products. 

Financial Plan

You should consider total start-up costs for the dispensary, including legal fees, licensing fees, rent, equipment, and inventory. 


By considering all the topics above, you can offer high-quality products and exceptional customer service and become a trusted source for medical cannabis products in the region.


BioTrackTHC offers technology-based solutions that enable businesses and government agencies in Puerto Rico to track their products from production to the point of sale. These software systems help businesses comply with regulations while also monitoring data for various purposes, such as inventory management.

How to Choose the Best Dispensary Location in Puerto Rico 

Choosing the best dispensary location in Puerto Rico can significantly impact your business’s success. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a dispensary location:

Zoning Regulations

Make sure to check local zoning regulations before choosing a location. Dispensaries are typically required to be located in specific areas, such as commercial or industrial zones, and may be subject to specific distance requirements from schools or other sensitive areas.


Evaluate the level of competition in the area. Avoid areas with a high concentration of dispensaries or where there are already established dispensaries with a loyal customer base.


Choose a location with high visibility to attract customers. Consider areas with high foot or vehicular traffic or a location on a main street.

Safety And Security

Ensure that the location is safe and secure for your customers and employees. Consider the crime rate and the availability of security measures like surveillance cameras and alarms.


Think about the accessibility for all customers, including those with disabilities. Ensure that the location complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

Rent and Operating Costs

Evaluate the rent and operating costs associated with the location to ensure that it is financially viable for your business.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose the best dispensary location in Puerto Rico that will help you attract and retain customers and build a successful business.


In conclusion, the cannabis industry in Puerto Rico has shown tremendous growth and potential in recent years, with a rapidly expanding medical cannabis market. As more physicians become certified to recommend medical cannabis to their patients, the demand for high-quality cannabis products and education is expected to increase. The establishment of licensed dispensaries in Puerto Rico has created opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter the market and offer patients safe and legal access to medical cannabis. With the right business plan, location, and operational strategy, a cannabis dispensary in Puerto Rico can be a profitable and fulfilling venture while providing a valuable service to patients in need. However, if you are wondering how to open a dispensary in Puerto Rico, it is crucial to adhere to local regulations and operate with integrity and responsibility to ensure the business’s long-term success and the community’s betterment.

Start your cannabis business today!