Cannabis Dispensary Opening and Closing Checklist and Best Practices to Follow

Treez Team
A person holds a binder with a checklist on it, and checks off opening and closing duties for their cannabis business

Right from applying for licenses to selling in your store to meeting compliance requirements and ensuring the entire staff follows clear guidelines, running a cannabis dispensary is not easy. And one of the key aspects of running its operations effectively is - opening and closing the dispensary each day. 

At this point, there is not just a possible shift of hands, but also as per compliance tracking, the start of a whole new day of customer interactions and transactions. 

That’s why we recommend having a cannabis dispensary opening and closing checklist in place. It ensures everyone knows the standard protocol to be followed and remains accountable to it. 

What is a cannabis opening and closing checklist?

A cannabis opening and closing checklist lists out the key steps that each team member assigned to the front office and back office needs to follow before a customer walks into the dispensary and when the day is closed for sales, respectively. 

An opening checklist helps the budtenders record their zero point of orders and sales, marking the start of a day to record the purchases made in the working hours. The closing checklist is what results in a summary of the day, helping budtenders not just track their performance but also ensure the data recorded during the working hours is recorded accurately and synced with state tracking and compliance platforms. 

Think of it as providing a physical checklist to the several steps that your staff has to keep a check on to run the operations at your dispensary smoothly. 

Do you need an opening and closing checklist? 

While you can always train your hires to follow a protocol, having a checklist eases the following scenarios: 

  • Training new employees can be a daunting task. A checklist helps immensely and gets your newly appointed staff up and running in a short time during the training period. 
  • Your cannabis dispensary has to be clean during the entire time the store is open to keep your dispensary inviting. A closing checklist ensures that the dispensary is cleaned every day on time. 
  • With a checklist, no one has to rely on their memory to do a task. Following a checklist and ticking off items done for the day is a great way to stay on top of everything. The checklist helps complete every task the day before the next shift arrives. 
  • A checklist is important because it keeps your staff accountable. While it helps to delegate tasks, when it's mentioned in a checklist who is responsible for what, there is no room left for errors or confusion. 
  • Having an opening and closing checklist for your cannabis dispensary also ensures the data is accurately recorded to measure business growth and budtender performance accurately. 

Different types of opening and closing checklists for cannabis dispensaries

While the number and type of checklists may depend on the scale you’re running a cannabis dispensary at, here are some we absolutely recommend having in place. 

Store Opening checklist

Store inspection checklist

Store security should be a top priority; hence, it’s the first on our list here. Ensure the security of the store is not compromised by any means before you begin operations for the day.

  • Check door and windows to ensure there's no forced entry
  • Keep the doors locked until business hours commence
  • Check if the alarms are working properly
  • Switch off all the alarms once you enter the store

Front-of-house team opening checklist

  • Unlock the front door
  • Keep the floors clean
  • Ensure the racks and shelves are arranged
  • Turn on your cannabis POS
  • Set the music, lighting, and overall mood of the store
  • If there’s any special offer for the day, update it in the POS
  • Ensure the glass doors and windows are smudge-free

Electronics checklist 

Switch on all your electronic devices and appliances to ensure that all the devices are working well, and if not, you have enough time to address it before customers start arriving at the store. Few things that you should check during the opening and closing of the stores:

  • Lights
  • HVAC
  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • Sound systems
  • Electronic displays

POS system checklist

  • Turn on your POS system at the beginning of the shift
  • Check if the POS system is working and all details are updated
  • Take an update on the stock levels
  • Order products that are low on stock
  • Enter cash flow details and sales made during the day 

Management opening checklist

While the management team ensures the dispensary operations, a handy checklist will help your operations team stay on top of things.

Taking inventory stock

  • Prepare staff for the day and set daily sales goals
  • Review the staff roaster
  • Check cash in the cash drawer
  • Supervise the dispensary and ensure everything is in place

Closing the store checklist

Back-of-office team closing checklist

  • Sanitize the floor
  • Clean the windows and doors
  • Empty the trash bins
  • Count cash and lock the cash drawer

Closing the store

  • Close all the display cases
  • Remove products to safe storage that can't be kept on the main floor or the shelf.
  • Restock empty shelves
  • Logout from the POS software and secure it

Management closing checklist

  • Ensure everything has been cleaned up
  • Check cash drawer
  • Lock the door and ensure the security system is working
  • Ensure all staff have left the store

Address any lingering issues

If there has been any dispute or misunderstanding between staff, confusion of job duties, customer complaints, or failure to meet sales goals, the management team must solve it as soon as possible. Leaving lingering issues unaddressed can lead to bigger problems later. 

Operational checklist

While your opening and closing checklist will help you to run your daily operations smoothly, this checklist will help you to stay compliant and run your dispensary legally.

  • Check if you have all local state permits/licenses to run your business
  • All the permits are up-to-date
  • All the licenses and permits are easily accessible to key management members in case they needed
  • All your business documentation is readily available, and you can provide them in case any authorities need to check
  • Description for screening and validation process for customers is in the place

Best practices to follow for opening and closing your cannabis dispensary 

It’s important to note that a dispensary opening and closing checklist will need to be edited or added to as time goes and compliance requirements change. But here are some best practices to follow: 

1. Brainstorm ideas

Include all your key staff members to discuss and brainstorm tasks that you need to complete in each shift. This will ensure you don't miss any tasks while creating the checklist.

You can create a checklist for each task needed per shift or a separate checklist. For example, checklists for store opening, closing, operations, cleaning, etc. 

2. Create templates

Using templates can help you save time while creating checklists. Also, keep the language simple and easy to understand so that anyone can decipher what needs to be done by looking at the checklist without anyone’s intervention.

3. Training your staff

Creating a checklist is not enough. You need to train your employees to read, understand, and execute tasks from the checklist. So once your checklists are done, give your employees a walkthrough to help them understand how to use the checklist.

4. Keep it up-to-date

Your checklist should be dynamic. As your dispensary grows and operations change, you must also update your checklist to keep the processes optimized. So re-visit your checklist every six months to review and make changes whenever necessary. 

While checklists will help optimize your store opening and closing processes, a cannabis POS system will allow you to stay up-to-date on your inventory stock. 

Investing in a cannabis POS will help your budtenders know which stock is low in number during shift change, which products sold more, and which products need to be restocked. 

A POS can also help the management team to understand the trend, which products sell more, which are the busiest hours in the store (so that you can manage your store better), which products are on seasonal demons, and so on - basically, helping you take care of the tasks on the checklists above with ease. 

Want to streamline the opening and closing of your cannabis dispensary? Invest in the best cannabis POS today. 

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