GMB is the primary source for Google local searches and Google maps results — you need to be there!
If you are a brand new business, you’ll have to start by registering your business. If you are an already existing business and converting to a cannabis store, you’ll need to claim and update your listing.
These are the steps you need to take to claim your cannabis dispensary in Canada on Google My Business:
2. Enter the name of your business
This should be your exact business name — don’t embellish or add on anything! Google has many rules about how to represent your name and your listing will be suspended or removed entirely if you violate their rules.
There is an exception to this — you are allowed to add on your neighbourhood or city information if you have multiple locations and if people would refer to you like that. For example, The Westin Calgary or The Westin Vancouver are allowed because it’s how people make sense of the different locations.
3. Enter your location details
Before you do this, look up your address on Canada Post’s postal code lookup tool and then enter it exactly as it appears on the Canada Post site. For example, here is our address as reported by Canada Post:
Why is this so important? Many people write their addresses incorrectly and if you’re not writing your address exactly how it should appear, you are less like to be found for local searches.
For example, Edmontonians have a bad habit of adding dashes between the house number and street number, and then omitting the quadrant (NW) entirely. This causes big problems with Google and sometimes your business won’t come up at all. Google can’t be bothered to figure your local quirks out! Enter your address right the first time.
There is one more checkbox on this step — “I deliver goods and services to my customers.“ This is for businesses that don’t have a visitable office and instead come to their customers, such as lawn care companies, dog walkers, and movers. It is very unlikely that you as a dispensary will fall into this category, so don’t check this unless you’re absolutely sure it makes sense for you. You can read more details about Service Area Businesses on Google’s site.
4. Drag your pin
Now you need to drag your location pin to where you’re actually located. We have found that if you have a unit number (like we do), your map “pin” will be shown in the wrong place at first, like so:
Click and drag the pin to where you are actually located.
5. Choose a business category
The only business category you should select is Cannabis Shop.
6. Enter your phone number and website
You can proceed without entering this information and update it later if you don’t have a main phone line or website yet.
Make sure to add special tags (UTM tags) to your website so you can see how many visits you got from people seeing your Google My Business page. For example, our link in Google My Business is:
We recommend getting your permanent business number set up before entering one on Google My Business. Many other websites will copy this information and put it on their sites, and so if you enter a temporary number (such as your cell phone) it can be very difficult to change it later on.
7. Get verified
One of several things will happen at this point:
- If you’re using a verified Google account, the listing will be approved, no additional steps needed. Congratulations!
- If you are using a brand-new Google account, you will likely be sent a postcard in the mail, which will take 2 to 3 weeks to arrive. That postcard is very important — it has a code on it to verify your business on GMB.
- You could also be allowed to verify by phone in select circumstances. You can see more details on how that works on Google’s website.
8. Fill in more information
Finally you will be brought to the Google My Business dashboard. You’re not done yet! Make sure to enter:
- Your store hours.
- If your business is women-owned or led, click Highlights and choose that option.
- Add a business description, up to 750 characters.
- Services — broken up into sections, and each entry can have a name, a description, and pricing information.
- Add the date you opened (if you haven’t opened yet, don’t forget to come back and update this later!).
- Add photos. To start, you’ll need to add a profile photo (logo) and cover photo (like a header image on Facebook). You can also add a video if you have one! You’ll want to add photos regularly, and make sure that they accurately represent your business — include photos of the exterior, interior, your staff, events, and so on.
9. Don't ignore it
In order to show up for local searches, you need to regularly review and update your GMB. Respond to reviews (positive and negative), add new photos, make posts (we're working on a separate post about GMB posts!), and be sure to keep your hours updated, especially for holiday hours.
Setting up GMB for your dispensary is a must-do item you need to cross off your marketing checklist. If you stumble on a step or have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you.