Legalization of cannabis is something that is happening across many states and it is only a matter of time before it becomes legal nationwide. When we talk about the use of cannabis for medical purposes, globally it is legal in over 35 countries, most states in the US, and in many European countries. As far as recreational use is concerned, it is currently legalized in a small number of states throughout the US compared to medical use, but there is a noticeable trend that recreational use is decriminalized.
Also a few months ago, the UN commission reclassified cannabis, so it is not surprising that more and more cannabis dispensaries are opening. Within a few years, there will probably be as many as there are pharmacies. If that’s why you want to take the opportunity and now open cannabis dispensary while the competition is not so great yet, the most important thing you need to know is which point of sale system to choose. We will help you and give you tips for choosing the right POS system because running a cannabis dispensary is different from any other business you may have been involved in so far.
1. Look for simplicity
Above all, the POS system should be simple. The goal is to process purchases as quickly as possible, not to make long queues as result of complicated POS and make customers frustrated. If your staff is constantly having trouble finding the right menu, product, or any other thing which is included in software, then this is not the right POS system.
The entire interface should be designed so that each employee can find what he needs within seconds. Since it will be too late to check this when you already buy a dispensary point of sale system, then you have to do it before you buy it. And how are you going to do that? Request a demo version from the manufacturer and test it. Only then will you have a real insight into whether everything is simple. This way you avoid having to pay for training for your employees or on the other hand creating a bad reputation for yourself that the service is very slow.
Dispensary compliance is something you must pay attention to when looking for a POS system for cannabis dispensary. Compliance is important for every retail, but it is not nearly as important for anyone as for a cannabis retailer. POS must allow you to make everything very accurate and precise.
The bureaucracy is different and that is why POS should help you reduce paperwork. Inventory management, documents, sales should all be available, accurate and well secured. Such data should be encrypted. Another important thing is that the POS system is constantly updated as soon as compliance requirements change. Since compliance requirements change frequently, the POS should automatically update each time this happens, otherwise you may run into a problem without even realizing it.
As experts on this topic, Flowhub is a great resource to answer some or all of the questions you should ask when choosing are can you transfer inventory between rooms and stores, does the system work with a barcode scanner and so on.
Although these are businesses that have the same niche, this does not change the fact that everyone has their own special requirements. That is why the cannabis dispensary POS system must be customizable, in order to meet the needs of every single dispensary.
Whether you have the ability to do everything to be customized you will check in the demo. Also ask if the demo gives all the features or the full version will have something extra. Each dispensary should be able to do branding and similar marketing moves. That’s why POS has to meet those requirements, because it doesn’t matter that you don’t have a design team behind you, branding is very easy to do only if there are options that allow you to implement it all.
As you already know by now, whatever dispensary hardware or software you have purchased, at one point issues arose. This is completely normal and does not mean that the quality of what you bought is bad or compromised, but it is a normal occurrence.
Such problems will be solved very easily and quickly if there is support. And that is crucial for the smooth functioning of your dispensary. If any minor or even major problem occurs and the whole system stops working, it can close the dispensary for a whole day and longer. This will cause you great losses, both financially and in the field of reputation.
But when support is available, they have already encountered all kinds of problems and then they will solve it very quickly. So don’t miss to check customer service. Check what customer service experiences other users have had, and also check business hours. Because customer service can be great, but if it only works a couple of hours a day or a couple of days a week, then you can definitely run into a problem. Strive for such support which works at least 6 days per week and best option is 24/7 support.
5. Subscription plan
The POS system for your cannabis dispensary will cost you and that is something you already know because there is no free POS system that is at all reliable. After analyzing the prices, which will definitely play a role in your decision, check the subscription plan. You may be attracted by the price that will be presented on a monthly basis, but you will not notice that below it, there is info written in small letters that it is the price if you pay whole year subscription at once or if you sign a multi-year contract.
We’re not saying such an option is bad, it may be something that suits you, but most business start-ups prefer it to be a month-to-month subscription plan that can cancel anytime. You are not sure how your business will develop, it may fail and you decide to close it, and then you must continue to pay the annual subscription.
Starting a cannabis dispensary is definitely a more complicated process than starting some other retail business. However, this should not discourage you because once everything is set up properly, you will be happy with your decision. The dispensary pos system is one of the primary things you need to pay attention to, especially for success in cannabis sales, operations, revenue, and profits, while remaining compliant with state and federal cannabis laws.