Point of Sale Systems For Marijuana Gives New Meaning to Retail Therapy
(Editors note: When we first wrote about point of sale for marijuana stores, in 2010, the only prospective buyers were medical dispensaries. With Colorado now a place where pot/tea/mary jane/weed/ etc can be sold for recreational use, POS systems geared toward marijuana sales should get a big boost. Should we add a category for “Marijuana POS” in the POS Software directory? Use the contact form link on the footer menu to share your thoughts, or sign in on the “Entry” tab at the bottom of the page and leave your comments below. )
Medical marijuana has been legalized in 20 states and Washington DC, and everyday more people are visiting their regular doctor to obtain a prescription or in many cases, special doctors whose sole practice is issuing pot prescriptions. This phenomenon has lead to a significant jump in the number of pot dispensaries across the country. From a point of sale viewpoint, a dispensary is a unique animal, a hybrid between a pharmacy, medical office and cafe.
Cafe Cartel Systems, Summit CPU, and Maxx Merchants are among the growing number of resellers now offering customized point of sale solutions for this industry. CCS has approached this industry just as they would any other; identifying inherent problems and issues and addressing them.
This controversial industry comes with strict regulations. Both federal and state agencies keep a watchful eye on these ‘pot cafes’ to ensure they aren’t being run as fronts for drug dealers. Because of this, the chief concern for owners and operators is compliance. CCS’s POS system helps them remain compliant (and prove it if necessary).
Documentation. Each dispensary is essentially a pharmacy selling prescription drugs. The dispensary needs to be able to identify and file customers to track their purchases, and ensure the validity of their ID cards and prescriptions. The CCS POS system is programmed with over 70 printable reports accessed straight from the terminal and has the capacity for custom reports as well. The customers are happy because the dispensary has their information right on hand in a secure local server with paperless documentation and signature, and the feds are happy because any necessary report can be printed at will from the terminal.
Inventory. All cafes are required by law to report their inventory, sources and costs. Whether growing their own or buying from a authorized dealer, the dispensary must at all times have an accurate account of inventory available, the purchase or growing cost and a list of suppliers. Additionally, marijuana is purchased wholesale by the ounce yet sold by gram, further complicating manual inventory updating. The CCS solution allows inventory inputting direct from the scale and converts the units automatically.
Most pot cafes also offer food items cooked with the medicinal marijuana (yes, we are talking about pot brownies). The precise amount of inventory in each food item must be accounted for and tracked. The CCS system has a ‘recipe inventory’ feature that automatically updates the marijuana inventory each time a food item is purchased.
Price tracking. Hundreds of different grades and strains of medical marijuana are available and the the marijuana is priced according to a non-linear structure; as the quantity decreases, the price goes up, but not proportionately which makes manual tracking and pricing very complicated. The CCS system is designed to account for this structure, decreasing the effects of human error on the Company’s bottom line.
Loyalty Programs. Most dispensaries employ a loyalty program wherein in they give small amounts of strains for free with purchase. For example, the customer is getting 2 grams for the price of 1.8 grams. Tracking these ‘compassion gifts’ is important for two reasons. First, they must be accounted for in inventory records. Second, they are tax-deductible. Without a POS system, keeping track of these gifts is near impossible and often results in inaccurate inventory lists which may eventually lead to a dispensary being shut down.
CCS offers full training and support with their medical marijuana system; just as they do with their conventional retail and hospitality systems. They claim to have systems to fit any budget.
In the medical marijuana industry or any other, finding the right POS system for your business can leave you feeling like a dope. Features are important, but if you don’t have the proper training to execute those features, they won’t do you any good. Think about your needs and what it is you really want from the system then evaluate your choices based on your goals. When you find the right fit for you, you’re sure to walk away with a good buzz.
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