September 13, 2022

Getting Started with Cannabis Point of Sale Systems

September 13, 2022

For dispensaries, a cannabis point of sale (POS) system is the most important tool in their retail arsenal. From front to back-of-house, a POS is what makes ringing up sales possible, allowing dispensary staff to easily complete the checkout process with a customer.

In many cases, your POS system also serves as the retail management platform on which to run your entire dispensary. This means the right solution doesn’t just ring up sales; it manages your inventory, generates valuable business insights, and helps you provide a satisfying customer experience.

As a result, it's incredibly important to not only find the right POS solution for your dispensary—you also need to set it up for success at the start. In this article, we’ll walk you through exactly how you can do just that, including:

  • Finding the right retail solution provider
  • Determining the store setup you’d like to have
  • Deciding who will set up your POS
  • Having a POS expert set everything up for you
  • The steps involved in setup

1. Find the right cannabis POS provider

Consider this the foundation upon which the setup process will be built. Before getting into the technical details, ensure you have a solid POS system picked out. Do your research and weigh your options to make sure that the solution is a good fit for your business. The right retail software and hardware will make everything much easier.

We won’t dive into too much detail about the POS buying process, but if you need a thorough resource, check out our Cannabis POS Buyer’s Guide, which discusses how to:

  • Define the needs of your dispensary
  • Select the best hardware and software
  • Evaluate various solutions side-by-side

Already have a POS system that you love? Awesome! We’ll explain the general setup process below.

2. Determine your ideal in-store setup

The steps you need to take to get your POS system up and running depends on your dispensary’s setup and processes. Consider the following:

  • What devices will you need to ring up sales? (computers, tablets, etc.)
  • How many registers do you need?
  • Which payment methods will you accept?

Answering the above will help you prepare the materials and equipment you need which will make things easier for you and the people who will set up your POS system.

3. Get help with implementation from your POS vendor

Cannabis retail operations are much more complex than the traditional retail framework, which means it’s a good idea to seek assistance from your POS vendor when it comes to software and hardware implementation. Most solution providers offer onboarding services to get dispensaries up and running as quickly as possible.

These services can include things like:

  • Training your team
  • Uploading your inventory
  • Migrating your store data
  • Configuring your settings
  • Integrating the solution with other applications

How to set up a cannabis POS system in 6 steps

1. Launch the software and log in

The first thing you need to do is to run the software. With cloud-based POS software like Dutchie POS, there’s no installation required; you just need to be using a computer with internet access. Simply launch your browser and go to your store’s URL.

From there, you’ll need to login and configure your account. This step typically includes entering your business details such as your store name, where you’re located, how many outlets you have, etc.

Most POS software will have prompts or walk-throughs to guide you through the setup process. Prepare the info you need, then follow the instructions.

2. Enter or upload your products

Once you’ve launched the app and established your account, you’ll need to set up your inventory. If you only have a few items to sell, you can enter them manually into the system. If you have a large catalog, then you can upload your inventory info in bulk. Most modern POS systems will allow you to do this using a CSV product list that contains the following fields:

  • Product name
  • SKU
  • Supply price
  • Retail price
  • Product description
  • Product category
  • Brand name
  • Supplier name
  • Quantity

3. Set up your user accounts

Now, let’s talk about the different users of your POS system. A point of sale typically allows you to set up accounts or profiles for your team members who would be operating the system. They include:

  • Admins
  • Managers
  • Budtenders

Depending on your system, you may also have the option to set user permission levels, which enable or restrict users from accessing certain features or information. For example, while administrators may have full control over the software, budtenders might only have access to the sell screen.

Go over the different roles in your dispensary and configure your users accordingly.

4. Set up your hardware

The equipment that you need varies depending on your store set up. Some retailers require several devices, including payment terminals, cash drawers, barcode scanners and receipt printers. For others, having an iPad and a payment terminal is enough.

The exact steps for setting up your retail equipment depends on the specific device, so consult with your provider to figure out the right way to go.

Generally speaking though, setting up equipment like payment terminals involves:

  • Switching on the device
  • Connecting it to your Wi-Fi network
  • Pairing it to your POS system

5. Set up your payments

Once your payment equipment is connected to your POS system, you’ll need to configure your software’s setting so it recognizes your payment processor. Once again, the specifics will vary depending on payment provider, so consult with your POS provider to figure out what steps to take.

If your POS system integrates with your payment processor, this process should be fairly straightforward, and will likely involve going into your POS systems’s settings and adding the right payment types.

Pro tip: Choosing an integrated payments solution like Dutchie Pay can drive bigger basket sizes and boost customer retention.

6. Connect your POS with other business apps

One of the best ways to get the most out of your POS system is to integrate it with the apps that you’re already using. Your retail business will function better if the applications that you’re using are all “talking” to each other.

Depending on your retail POS software, you may be able to integrate it with your:

  • Ecommerce platform
  • Marketing automation solution
  • Loyalty program

Check with your provider to learn about the different apps that you can connect to the system and how to do it.

The bottom line

The answer to the question of how to set up a POS system will vary, depending on the retailer. The steps and time it takes to get your system up and running will depend on the size of your dispensary, the complexity of your operations, and how generally tech-savvy you are.

In any case, the best way to figure out how to do it for your business is to evaluate your requirements and work with your POS provider to determine the right course of action.

Need help selecting and setting up your POS system? Choose Dutchie POS—contact us for a demo today!

About the author
The Dutchie Squad