The world of marijuana sales has changed dramatically since the trend of medical and recreational legalization began nearly 25 years ago. Selling weed can indeed be quite profitable. That doesn’t mean it is easy, or a fast trip to bling-town. Just like any other legal or illegal business, it is not a hobby; it is a business – that is, if you expect to generate substantial cash.

Once again, prices are all over the map (literally) on legal weed. It is a dynamic market, even with the onerous regulations which often hobble it in many locations. Most times, prices reflect what the shop had to pay the processor, and before that, what the processor had to pay the grower.

But the reality is that marijuana retailers face many challenges regular stores don’t. With restrictions on inventory and advertising, along with a product that is still federally illegal, it is not the easiest business to start in the world. Also, note that businesses in this industry face banking issues since most banks won’t touch marijuana profits. There are security issues, almost always requiring expensive solutions. Well-trained bud tenders are expected to be recruited, hired, and compensated.

Expensive inventory tracking software and supply chain problems are a fact of life. Special lawyers and accountants, versed in cannabis law, have to be on staff. And marijuana businesses can’t use the normal tax write-offs used by other businesses owing to federal prohibition.

However, even with all of those challenges, a legal weed dealer can do okay. According to industry reports, consumers spent a combined $1.5 billion on cannabis in 2016, up 66 percent from 2015. Recreational sales tripled in Oregon from February to August 2016. While figures from Washington state and Colorado show that 2017 sales are at levels considerably above those of 2016.

Have it in mind that recreational dispensaries and combo recreational/medical stores more or less have marijuana profits of 21 percent, according to Marijuana Business Daily. But marijuana profits can vary widely based on the regulations of each state and municipality.

How to Make Profit Selling Weed as a Legal Marijuana Dealer

Prior to the legalization of medical and/or recreational cannabis in most states of the Union, the only way to become a marijuana dealer was on the black market. Indeed dealing with marijuana is a completely different game now in the states where it has been legalized medically or recreationally.

However, getting started selling weed now is a lot more difficult than buying a quarter pound and a box of sandwich bags. But the opportunity is still there for anyone ready to work for it, and the upside is that you can now actually get rich selling weed without risking a prison sentence. Tips to put you through include;

  1. Know the Rules

First, you have to understand that compliance is the name of the game in legal cannabis markets. Take your time to read the laws and the rules, and if you know them backward and forwards, you will always be able to find work in the cannabis industry.

  1. Research Your Market

You probably know, from a buyer’s standpoint, the market price in your area for a quarter, a half, maybe even an ounce. But what’s the going rate for a pound or more? You should better find out.

And while you are at it, you should also have a good handle on how much competition you should have, and what they are charging. Note that if you want to maximize your profit and can find the right customers, you might be tempted to stock up on the high-quality green.

If your experience has been primarily with ditch or brick weed, you should better know the going rates (wholesale and retail) for top-shelf Kush before bargaining with a supplier or finding out that you are selling below the market.

  1. Know the Strains and Products

The illicit market did not offer much in the way of choice. Dealers could sell basically anything since consumers couldn’t just go down the street to a dispensary. However, currently, you need to understand numerous strains and their effects (or, better yet, understand the effects of various cannabinoids profiles), as well as a host of products like edibles, concentrates, and topical.

  1. Have the Right Equipment

Indeed, you are going to need a scale, but your kitchen scale is not going to cut it. Do yourself a favor and acquire the highest-quality digital scale you can afford, and make sure it reads out in tenths of a gram. Paying for accuracy may not seem like the most important investment you could make when you are handling your own stuff, but you certainly don’t want to be giving your customers more bud than they are paying for.

Another piece of equipment that could be even more important than a scale, is a burner phone that you should change out regularly.There are two reasons to have a burner. Some dealers are ready to do business 24/7.

But the last thing you probably want is customers who are partying late into the evening (or even worse, those who are desperate for a meet-up) calling your house at all hours of the day and night when you are relaxing, entertaining, or trying to get some sleep. Giving customers your burner number makes nothing but sense.

  1. Network

Have it in mind that you can now do it without worrying about the police or drug agencies! Irrespective of whether you are looking to get hired or looking for investors for your canna business, you have to seek them out. Industry conferences and job fairs can be excellent ways to connect, but also expensive. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, seek out industry-oriented groups and pages on social media and engage — and this is key — constructively.

  1. Choose the Right Places to do Business

Never have a customer come to your apartment or house. Before you know it, someone (cops, competitors, robbers) you are not expecting and don’t want to see will find their way to your house, too. You also don’t want your neighbors to start gossiping and speculating about the strange people who keep showing up on your doorstep.

Also, no one likes skulking around parking lots, grubby diners, or street corners, but it’s part of the job if you are selling in small amounts. Just be sure the research you did includes mapping out any “turf” that you might be inadvertently invading while you are out peddling your weed.

A good alternative is to provide delivery service, so you minimize the dangers of street dealing as well as the dangers of being spotted by the cops or reported to them.

  1. Provide Good Customer Service

If you don’t want to be available to your customers 24 hours a day, make sure they know when you will be available – and make sure you are available, with a product to sell, when you say you will be. It’s way too easy for them to find another dealer if they decide you are unreliable.

Weigh, weigh again and weigh a third time; your rep will suffer or disappear if people spread the word that you shorted them. Be fair with your pricing and don’t hit customers with big, last-minute price increases; they will feel ripped off.

Either let them know in advance that the price had to go up (and explain why), or eat the difference the first time and tell them that the next bag will be more expensive.

Conclusion

Venturing into the weed business has changed a lot since the ’90s. Before any kind of medical or recreational legalization of cannabis, you had to cultivate a stable and highly trustworthy network of both suppliers and customers.

Even then, making money dealing weed was difficult, with the threat of arrest always looming. However, breaking into the cannabis industry may be more of a challenge than becoming a weed dealer 20 years ago, but the opportunities are now nearly unlimited.

Solomon. O'Chucks