How to Choose the Best Cannabis POS for Your Dispensary

Treez Team
Point of sale system screen shows a colorful menu with product images and prices, and a payment section with various options for transactions.

In our previous guide, we discussed all about what cannabis POS systems are, why they are important for dispensary functions and the benefits of having the right software and hardware in place to keep your business running smoothly. 

A cannabis POS system can have a huge impact on your business operations and profitability, and that’s why it is important to make the right choice. 

In this article, we’re going to walk you through a few parameters you should use to evaluate  cannabis POS systems built for dispensaries and tips on choosing the right one. 

Choosing the best cannabis POS system for dispensaries 

Based on the cannabis dispensaries we work with at Treez, here are some of the factors you need to take into account when choosing a POS system: 

Must-haves to consider in cannabis POS 

1. Metrc and BioTrack compliance 

Being able to keep up with state compliances, rules and regulations is key to running a cannabis dispensary business. Failing to do so can result in legal troubles, hefty fines, closure of your dispensary or getting permanently banned from starting one. A good cannabis POS system should be able to send real-time sales data to Metrc and BioTrack with the details the compliance requires you to submit at regular intervals. 

Treez directly integrates with state compliance tracking systems to automate reports and manifests. It also eliminates the need to update multiple systems of record to maintain a single source of truth. Additionally, it also automates compliance to-do lists for cannabis dispensaries. 

A illustration of a computer screen shows a purchase allotment dialog - enter customer purchase allotment, Metrc reconciliation, purchase limits, and compliance management

2. Product Inventory management 

A big part of keeping the dispensary business running smoothly is being able to meet consumer demand. Whether you have a cannabis dispensary in one location or multiple, keeping track of all stock is important. The cannabis POS system you choose must be able to update your inventory in real-time and also help you easily identify your top-selling and low-selling products. Its capability to predict consumer demand can also further help you with business planning! 

From product images and descriptions to lab results, a cannabis POS system like Treez enables your team to build out more accurate and informative product cards. This helps you maintain a single source of truth for product data, ensure customers find up-to-date product information, and ensure accurate offerings.

A Product Management big part of keeping the dispensary business running smoothly is being able to meet consumer demand. Whether you have a cannabis dispensary in one location or multiple, keeping track of all stock is important

3. Data and analytics 

To grow sustainably in a competitive market, it’s important to make data-driven decisions for your cannabis dispensary business. A good cannabis POS system comes with the ability to measure performance in real-time and generate in-depth reports. These reports should include the number of sales, revenue generated, profit margins, best-selling products, tax collection and remittance, and even budtender performance at retail outlets. 

A budtender smiles as their cannabis point of sale system's screen displays products for a customer. A visualization to the left shows strains, brands, and orders cannabis POS system records the items being purchased and the quantity of each.
A screenshot illustration of ACH payments, listing popular banks and a confirmation message for a cannabis order made at a dispensary through ACH payments

4. Digital cashless payment systems 

Taking and making payments in the cannabis retail is more complex when compared to other industries. Consumers cannot receive the benefits of traditional banking and credit cards while making cannabis product purchases. Therefore, the cannabis POS system you choose should offer multiple cashless payment solutions like PIN debit and ACH. 

5. Omnichannel sales 

Bridging the gap between online and brick-and-mortar customer experiences is important for dispensary business growth. Your cannabis POS system must enable you to give customers convenient order fulfillment options. 

Treez helps you unify in-store and online product menus to simplify the buying journey for customers, reduce confusion, and prevent duplicate orders. This goes a long way in improving customer experiences, and that helps drive more sales. 

A inventory screen is shown with a screenshot illustration of a paid order with a revenue source Treez

6. Loyalty and rewards 

The cannabis industry is growing rapidly and so is the competition for dispensary businesses - both online and offline. This is why it is important for dispensaries to focus on customer retention from the point of acquisition. A good cannabis POS system should enable you to record customer interactions and purchases, and reward them with store credits or custom discounts to encourage repeat purchases. 

7. Cash management 

Cash continues to be the most used payment method in the cannabis industry. But managing cash received at the point of sale can be prone to risks. This is why the cannabis POS system you choose should offer cash management features to streamline operations of the cash drawer. 

SellTreez POS protects your money and mitigates loss by helping you manage and reconcile cash drawers for every shift, customize settings to fit your operational practices, and manage vendor payments. This helps you keep a close watch on the movement of cash. 

A screenshot illustration of cash drawers and shift report, with a photograph of cash being exchanged

8. Reliability and uptime 

Another aspect to look into when choosing a cannabis POS for your dispensary is their track record of maintaining their uptime across the years - all seasons, celebrations, and occasions. A good place to start is taking a look at their status page where the companies usually report errors, fixes, downtimes and other business-critical issues to maintain transparency with their customers. You should also look into their response time through customer reviews and testimonials. For example, some of the cannabis POS systems used commonly recently had a massive downtime nationwide on the 4/20 holiday - always check news around the POS systems you choose. 

9. Vendor management 

If your cannabis dispensary works with multiple vendors or manufacturers/ growers, it is important to keep track of what you owe to each distributor, COGS and margins on the products sold. A good cannabis POS system will be able to give you a clear overview of the same. This may look different if you’re a vertical cannabis business that does production, distribution and retail. 

10. Ease of use and set up 

Whether you’re running the dispensary business alone or have a small team in place, it’s important to choose a cannabis POS that is easy to use. You and your team members should be able to use the system to ring up sales, record customer and product sales data, maintain inventory, generate performance reports, or even search for information. A good idea is to request a thorough demo of the cannabis POS system based on your personalized requirements. 

11. Cannabis POS system integrations 

While most cannabis POS systems try to build out all the features themselves, it’s important to also evaluate the integrations they have built. This is important so that the system can work easily with your existing cannabis technology stack like eCommerce CMS, marketing solutions, CRM and other tools. 

For instance, Treez partners with companies that deliver value across the cannabis technology industry. It helps you connect with the best of solutions eCommerce, online ordering, delivery logistics, marketing, customer loyalty, accounting, analytics, digital signage, and more.

A web of partner logo images show of all the API participants of Treez' point of sale system

12. Learning curve 

Apart from the ease of use, it is also important to take into account that there may be some degree of learning you need to set up and manage a good software. Take a look at what the cannabis POS company has to offer in terms of training - courses, product videos, how-to guides, blogs and other learning materials. 

13. Customer support and service 

As you start to scale your cannabis POS dispensary business, issues are bound to arise. This is where evaluating the best cannabis POS system based on their customer support and service they offer comes into play. Ideally, the cannabis POS company should have a dedicated team to tackle customer service requests. A good way to evaluate this is to test waters by submitting a request during a free trial or go through customer reviews on the subject. 

14. Customer onboarding 

Once a demo is completed, also seek the assistance the company offers in setting up the cannabis POS system for your dispensary. Ideally, the company should help you make the initial set up based on your current requirements, including the integrations you need and walk you through how to make use of all the features. This can help in getting started with the cannabis POS system sooner. 

15. Functionality updates 

The cannabis market is evolving rapidly. This means so will the needs of your dispensary business! It’s important to choose a cannabis POS system that has a track record of staying ahead of industry trends, updates and requirements. Choosing an outdated software can mean losing potential sales and profits, or even not being able to keep up with compliances. 

17. Customizations 

Every business has its own operational workflows and the same holds true for cannabis dispensaries. This is why it is important to have a cannabis POS system that can be customized to suit your requirements. From branding to the automation of workflows and reporting, a good cannabis POS system will let you customize aspects of your experience instead of having a one-size-fits-all approach.

18. Pricing 

While you should definitely consider the pricing of cannabis POS systems when shortlisting your options, take into account what you’re being offered. The features need to enable your cannabis dispensary operations across customer touch points and at the same time, ensure complete compliance with state rules and regulations. Not being able to manage any of the aspects well can cause heavy penalties that can result in you losing a lot more than what you spend on the cannabis POS. 

It is important to beware of free or cheap solutions, even if they are designed for cannabis dispensaries. They are possibly lacking in the features you need to level up. When it comes to such a vital part of your dispensary’s compliance, operations, and success, you shouldn’t cut corners.

In conclusion 

When choosing a cannabis dispensary POS system, we recommend choosing one that will enable you to run business operations efficiently and effectively. From the ability to take cashless payments, record sales, maintain records for state compliances, keep customer data segmented, run loyalty programs, to being able to manage staff, a cannabis POS system should be able to facilitate it all, including integrating with the best of breed solutions.

The cannabis POS system you choose can make or break the success of your dispensary business. 

Treez is one of the leading cannabis POS systems for dispensary businesses running their functions in-store and online. With its advanced set of features, it has the ability to build efficiency into your business and also easily manage multi-location dispensaries. 

Looking for the best cannabis POS system for your dispensary? 

Book a demo of Treez today to learn more about the best cannabis POS system

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