Compliance & Integration: Selecting a Cannabis POS System


Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

With 29 states currently allowing the use of medical marijuana, and 9 of them permitting recreational use, with more considering legalization in their states, it’s only a matter of time before you can purchase marijuana as quickly as a bottle of aspirin in your local pharmacy or corner store. As the idea of growing and selling cannabis is slowly more accepted, it is important for would-be cannabis retailers to ensure they remain in compliance as the industry grows. Stricter laws and regulations will be added overtime and it is important to ensure you future proof your cannabis POS system as regulations are added.

A properly implemented POS for the Cannabis industry can likely save you a significant amount of time and hassle, track sales, and save you thousands from non-compliance fines or fees or leakage. While you may be able to use a POS setup for standard retail business, you may find it will lack functions that simplify operations typical to cannabis sales.

Below are some key features a cannabis POS should have to keep a dispensary growing and in compliance with the authorities.

Product Labeling

Cannabis products face a heavier burden than products of other retail sectors when it comes to labeling requirements. Your customer’s dispensary business will need to be able to track his/her inventory far beyond simple weight and strain information. Some states require labels to disclose lab tests done on cannabis products, along with testing dates, specific potency information, and even customer and package IDs which can be traced all the way back to the original batch of flower.

While it is possible to simply put your own POS together, it is safer and easier to go with a POS meant for cannabis as it will already take many of these labeling requirements into consideration already. This helps automate your POS labeling and eliminate human error in your processes while keeping you in compliance with labeling requirements.

Advanced Reporting and Automation

One of the most burdensome administration tasks to running a cannabis dispensary comes with the amount of reporting requirements needed to stay compliant. Failing to comply with any of these regulations can lead fines and fees that can weigh in quite costly or worse, the cancellation of your customer’s license and dispensary business. Colorado for example, requires daily mandated reports that track what was sold on a daily basis. They also require extremely high accuracy with regards to what and how much of the product was sold.

Ongoing inventory management is a concern for the same reason as the state ultimately wants to be able to track every cannabis sale all the way back through the production chain to the original grower.

Inventory mistakes that would be harmless in other retail sectors, such as minor errors in amounts weighed versus entered in the system, misplaced products, or products pulled from the wrong shelf can potentially be license-threatening issues.

Using a POS designed specifically for cannabis dispensaries provides you with a powerful set of tools such as report templates and automated reporting features that help combat these problems.  The reporting functionality and sales tracking capabilities will allow you to quickly and easily generate all the reports needed to stay in full compliance with the law at all times.

Many states that allow the sale of medical or recreational marijuana, but severely limit how much can be sold per person. This means your POS must be able to calculate the THC of various products at the point of purchase and check them against his/her states regulations to approve or deny the sale. Some states then require a breakdown by local, state, and federal taxes be printed on the receipt for each purchase. The consumer should then instructed to save these receipts at each purchase.

Ease of Integration 

Probably the second most important consideration for a Cannabis POS is its ease of integration with other hardware and software. It is important to know in advance that your POS is not going to be an all-in-one solution. You may fine you need to integrate it with other systems as your business and inventory grows. This growth will demand integration with more hardware that will be used in all areas of your dispensary, from shipping and receiving, to product processing, to the sales floor.

Computers, tablets, mobile computers for inventory tracking, label printers, scales are just a few of the devices that may need to be integrated with your POS system, and each one that you can’t make work will require the development of a special work-around or solution to compensate for it. It’s important to choose hardware manufacturers that offers some level of collaboration through R&D or SDKs to make this process easier.

You’ll also need to think about the various software your customer will want to connect such as ERP software, digital signage software for menus, or e-commerce solutions for both online and actual visiting customers. It is important to investigate whether the POS of choice offers an API to allow easy connection of multiple other software solutions. The API will be very important for connecting and ERP system or WMS system.

 

While this list of hardly extensive, it provides a few areas to consider pertaining specifically to regulations and compliance as well as integration with other hardware and software for future proofing your POS.

 

Previous The Digital Restaurant: What Works & What Doesn't
Next How Best to Leverage Your Partner Program