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How to choose a compliant point-of-sale (POS) system for your cannabis retail business

What are the most important factors to consider when choosing the right POS for your dispensary? There's a wealth of information out there on different solutions and providers, but what are the top issues to focus on?

Here’s a step-by-step checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything in your search and implementation.

First, assemble a list of your needs. What qualities and features do you want your POS to have? Creating and referring back to this list will help you make the choice that will work best for your business. POS functionalities vary widely from cash management to built-in compliance and even Metrc integration.

Second, review all information available about the POS online. Ask your friends and associates for recommendations.

Third, vet the POS company closely. Get a demo. Talk with sales teams. Sure, they’re trying to sell to you, but they are the experts in how the POS works and interacts with traceability compliance software like Metrc.

Things to consider:

  • Is the POS approved by your state’s traceability compliance provider? In CA, you are not required to have a POS that is integrated with Metrc – it is a matter of preference. You must decide if you are comfortable uploading files to Metrc or if you prefer to have an integrated system that uploads information automatically.

  • Data flow between Metrc and POS – how complete and efficient is the API integration?

  • Is the user interface friendly and does the data flow efficiently? Does all the data you need to sync flow between solutions?

  • Will there be an adjustment period? Does the POS have good user support?

  • Does the POS meet all the requirements you included on your list of features and qualities?

  • Will the solution grow and scale with you for the next few years? How many products do you sell today? How many will you sell in a year? Three years?

  • Can the POS handle changing sales tax rates?

Whatever solution you land on, make sure you feel supported by its provider and have a great working relationship with the implementation team.

Traceability compliance is an important part of the health of your business’s overall health. Without your cannabis license, you cannot operate. Don’t let something as manageable as choosing a POS system expose you to the risk of enforcement action down the road.

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