July 7, 2022

Tips for opening a Cannabis Retail store in Canada

Ryan Lalonde profile image
Ryan Lalonde

Are you considering opening a Cannabis store but don’t know where to start? Starting any business can feel overwhelming, but it can seem even more complicated in an industry like Cannabis, where many Federal and Provincial regulations exist. Don’t stress! Our team has put together a list of things to keep in mind as you begin the process of starting your Cannabis business in Canada.

Apply for a Cannabis Retail License

The approval process for a Cannabis Retail license can take a few months. Read the appropriate application requirements before starting your journey to know what you need. Also, note the fees associated with applying for a Cannabis license so you can budget appropriately. The sooner you find out what you need to do to apply for a Cannabis license in your province, the better off you will be in the long run.

Location, Location, Location

Picking the right spot for your Cannabis store is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business. When deciding where your store should be located, consider accessibility, visibility, and consumer traffic. You want to be in a high-traffic location where you know your store will be seen and easy to access by the surrounding community, most of which will make up a large portion of your customers. Also, be mindful of Cannabis stores already established nearby, so you aren’t competing for customers immediately. There are also location requirements dictating where your Cannabis store can and cannot be located by law. Do your research beforehand to know exactly what you are dealing with.


Opening a retail store comes with security risks. You want to ensure you have the appropriate security to make yourself, employees and customers feel safe. That being said, keeping your store secure from a protection perspective isn’t the only reason you need to ensure security for your Cannabis Store. As part of the Cannabis regulations in Canada, you must have visual monitoring devices capable of recording any unauthorized access inside and outside the store, intrusion detection systems, and more. You can read all about the federal regulations here.

Exterior + Interior Design

Once you have a location in mind, start thinking about the appearance of your store. What will the layout be? What do you want the experience to feel when a customer enters? What is the inside of your store going to look like? What type of signage will you need? As you begin putting these thoughts together, it can feel like a lot. If you feel overwhelmed, consultants and interior designers specializing in the Cannabis space can help you.

Research Cannabis Software

Your store is going to need a POS system. A Point-of-Sale (POS) system lets you accept payments and keep track of sales. Check out Cova and Greenline, they are two of the leading POS providers in the Cannabis industry, and they integrate seamlessly with Buddi’s free e-commerce and self-serve platforms.

Will you have a website for your Cannabis store? You should. Next, decide if you want to allow your customers to order online through your website. Allowing customers to order online will help increase your sales. Our e-commerce solution makes it easy for customers to view your available products on your website and place an order for pickup or delivery (where permitted). Our software fully complies with all Federal and Provincial Cannabis regulations in Canada, so you will have one less thing to worry about.