How to Get Your Cannabis Brand Into Dispensaries

By Liam Noonan


State by State cannabis legalization continues to spark life into weed businesses across the Country. The U.S. Green Rush should get another giant catalyst once federal cannabis legalization arrives.

Seemingly overnight, cannabis brands of all kinds popped up in stunning amounts. In California alone, there are over 9,700 active cannabis licenses and businesses. In some places, the market is already oversaturated. That means you need to be able to deftly showcase your brand to dispensaries and convince them your product will sell. 

Building your weed brand, but not sure how to get it on to shelves? We’re here to help with a step-by-step guide on dialing in a brand and selling your products to dispensaries.

1. Research The Market 

Dispensary shelves are crowded and you need to give retailers a reason to stock your brand. You can start thinking about the best way to set yourself apart with some market research. Spying on the current state of the market will help you get valuable information like what your target consumers like, holes in the market, and any customer pain points with existing brands.

Market research is also a vital way of understanding more about the local markets where you wish to sell your product. For example, consumers in Southern California have many different preferences than those in Northern California. Dispensaries understand this and their goal is to find products that match the regional cannabis culture.

2. Seek Out Quantitative & Qualitative Feedback

When you create a product it can be difficult to take a step back and look at your product through a subjective lens. That’s why product feedback is a vital step towards dialing in your branded goods. If potential customers like the product, then odds are dispensaries will too. 

You can even try preliminarily reaching out to dispensaries to see if they would be interested in test buys. In this case, retailers may be willing to stock a small amount of product to see how it sells before they place a large order.

3. Ensure Your Product is Legal and Compliant

The laws and regulations vary from state to state with some being stricter than others. For example, some states make it so consumers cannot see the actual flower in the package whereas in places like Oregon, the flower is often displayed in big glass jars. 

Compliance is a big deal and legal dispensaries won’t risk putting your product on the shelf if they’re it doesn’t meet your state’s testing and quality measures. You can learn more about each State’s compliance laws here. Another important aspect of compliance is ensuring 

4. Knock Your Packaging Out of the Park

This may sound blasphemous, but the quality of your product often matters far less in-store than the quality of your packaging. Yes, the connoisseurs will always seek out the top brands, but the average consumer will care more if your packaging is pretty or not.

A perfect example of this done well is Lowell Herb Co. If you’re from California you’ve probably heard of, seen, or used their products. They have the #1 best-selling pre-roll in CA and a lot of that has to do with their beautiful and eco-friendly packaging. They even include a tiny set of matches with each pre-roll package! 

Aside from how the packaging looks, many consumers also care about its environmental impact. Some people even make their in-store dispensary decisions based on, which brands are the most sustainably produced and packaged. You can check out some fabulous companies providing eco-friendly cannabis packaging here

As mentioned previously, each State’s regulations and compliance laws vary to some degree. Packaging is no different and you’ll need to make sure your brand and how it is presented are completely legal within the state you’re trying to sell. 

5. Improve Your Social Reach and Influence

This one should sound pretty straightforward. The more influence and reach your brand has on social media can play a huge your in your ability to get on shelves. There’s no one single way to build up your social reach and different brands will benefit from different strategies. For example, educational content might work best for one brand whereas partnering with an influencer might be better for another. 

You may even decide to work with a social media agency that can help you manage social channels, find influencers, shoot content, build your following. At the end of the day, our favorite piece of advice is to find a compelling story to tell about your brand and find a way to showcase it on your accounts.

6. Consider Working With a Distributor

You can network and speak with dispensary buyers yourself, but it’s often much easier to just work with a distributor. It will cost money upfront, but if you choose the right company, they’ll provide you with the connections and expertise to get your brand on the right shelves. 

Some of the biggest distributors out here in California are Continuum, Nabis, Calyx, Humboldt Distribution Company, and plenty more. 

How Much $ Do Growers Make Selling to Dispensaries?

Now that you know how to get your product on shelves, you probably want to know how much money you can make. This obviously differs from state to state and brand to brand. Some additional things that influence pricing are the size of your operations, the quality of the products, and the types of retailers you are selling to. 

According to Nugistics, the top 10% producers make $20,000,000 to $200,000,000 in annual sales with an average of about $1,050,000. With that being said, if you are a master grower with impressive strains under your belt, there’s not much limit to how high you can scale your business.


At the end of the day it is extremely difficult to sell your products to legal dispensaries if your branding and marketing strategies aren’t on point. If you sign up with a distributor they may already offer marketing services. On the other hand, we at Stoned Root offer affordable cannabis content marketing services to help grow your online traffic, educate consumers, and tell your brand’s story.

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Creating quality content is hard, but we can help. Reach out to us today for a free quote and consultation!