Whether we realize it or not, point-of-sale (POS) systems play a major role in our everyday spending habits, whether it's the clerk at the grocery store ringing up your weekly haul or the servers at a restaurant entering your order into their computer terminal.
POS systems are what streamline retail experiences and make purchasing your products more accessible. This is also the case for legal cannabis dispensaries.
However, POS systems vary depending on the industry and its needs. The system you’ll need to install in a dispensary will differ greatly from that in a grocery store or restaurant.
Cannabis retail POS is absolutely essential for both operating as a successful and profitable business and for adhering to regulations by integrating with your jurisdiction’s mandated track-and-trace/seed-to-sale compliance software.
When a state approves cannabis sales, regulators commonly introduce a seed-to-sale tracking system - usually either BioTrack or Metrc. A state-mandated tracking system means growers and retailers must chart a plant’s entire lifecycle, from the moment it’s planted until the final product is packaged and sold to patients and consumers.
Because of the central role in-person purchasing plays in cannabis retail, a POS system acts as the heart of your dispensary - keeping track of customers, inventory, sales, purchase limits and payments, along with reporting all the required information into the track-and-trace system.
Now that you understand the uniquely essential role a POS system will play in your dispensary, there are a few considerations that you should think about when considering the cannabis POS landscape.
You are going to be in a new business, in a new, highly regulated industry, with new employees who are likely working at a legal cannabis retail operation for the first time. Utilizing a POS system that you and your team can easily be trained on and that you the owner/operator can understand is a crucial component of both the start-up and scale-up phases of business.
Check out a budtender’s view of Dutchie POS.
No matter which state you operate in, your regulators will likely need to be aware of your store metrics in live time. This means having continual access to data such as your dispensary’s inventory, how much product you’re selling, how often products are being sold and who is purchasing what. This is why a POS system that seamlessly and automatically integrates with regulators’ software is an important time-saver that will avoid unnecessary manual effort and mitigate human error.
Learn more about Dutchie’s seamless integration with Metrc from Metrc’s Director of Product Management.
In a world where fewer people are carrying cash, you’ll want to offer your customer and patients the option and convenience of cashless payments. Understanding the integrated, cashless options available to you through your POS system is an important step in creating a normalized cannabis-buying experience for your customers, while also driving higher average order value, or AOV. Cannabis-specific POS systems are key for this factor, as they will be better equipped to adjust to the unique payment challenges that accompany the industry due to regulatory framework and a lack of federal legalization.
Learn more: Cannabis Banking Unraveled: Navigating Payments
Your dispensary may not offer ecommerce or delivery from day one, but you should be thinking about how your business will grow and change over time and how your infrastructure can be set up to accommodate that. A POS system that can easily integrate and launch these additional offerings and support the evolution of your business should be a consideration as you lay out the groundwork for your dispensary.
The POS system in your dispensary will be the engine that powers your business and maintains a positive experience for your employees, your customers and you as a new operator navigating an exciting and complicated industry. Make sure you choose a POS system that works best for your needs and hits on these key factors and you’ll have a clear advantage from the moment you open your dispensary doors.
As you continue to take crucial steps in launching your business, be sure to check out more of our resources covering banking, payments and insurance for cannabis businesses.