5 Best Cannabis POS Systems (Point of Sales)

By Eric Ives
October 10, 2019

Keeping track of sales, managing inventory, and getting data on customer trends are all necessities when running a business. Rather…

Keeping track of sales, managing inventory, and getting data on customer trends are all necessities when running a business. Rather than tearing your hair out by doing everything manually, you need to invest in a Point of Sales (POS) system. However, things are a little different if you own marijuana business.

The existing banking regulations and additional taxation add an extra challenge. These issues also mean that industry-standard POS systems such as Square or Clover may be insufficient for your needs. There are elements of weed retail that make it essential to have a customized POS tool.

If you’ve ever tried to read all about the regulations and compliance standards within the cannabis industry, there’s a fair chance you’ll end up with a migraine! Fortunately, modern-day POS systems are capable of generating inventory audits, avoiding mistakes that can cost you dearly, and will send the necessary reports automatically.

A high-quality POS system saves you a lot of time and stress, enables staff to maximize sales, improves customer experience, and helps you with recordkeeping and compliance. Although you can buy a standard POS system for your dispensary, you’ll soon find that it lacks the functions that make operations easier and it will fail to boost the efficiency and profitability of your cannabis sales.

In this article, we outline a few things to look for in a cannabis POS system and provide you with five of the best systems available for cannapreneurs at present. Before we begin, are you sure you are avoiding one of these five common bookmaking mistakes?

1 – Cash on Hand Doesn’t Reconcile with What is Shown in Your Books

One of the easiest ways to avoid this issue is by conducting regular cash counts. Let’s assume that your business is involved in a lot of activities such as sales, collection of tax, and vendor payments. If so, you need to perform a weekly cash count and create separate schedules for off-site collection, and the safes you have on-site (we really hope you have safes). The faster you find discrepancies, the easier it is to rectify the situation.

2 – Inaccurate Accounts Receivable

This happens when you (or your bookkeeper) don’t apply cash receipts to the right account receivable. Alternatively, you may not be applying these receipts to any account receivable. If you have a bookkeeper, give them clear information and make sure the invoice number is written on the payment receipt.

3 – POS Receipts Don’t Match Sales Figures in Your Books

This one is potentially awkward. An error of this nature could be due to an employee helping themselves to the cash. If you believe this to be the case, put someone you trust in charge of collecting cash, and a different trustworthy person in charge of reconciliation.
There is also a simple and non-fraud reason for this issue. Occasionally, an employee may simply forget to enter a sale or a return in the system. Daily cash receipt counts, which are compared to POS system receipts, can solve this particular problem. It is also advisable to create weekly or monthly reports where POS receipts are compared to receipts in the books.

Finally, inventory management is made easier with sales receipts.

4 – Incorrect Payroll Figures

As a cannabis business owner, you must ensure that payroll expense and payroll taxes are correct. If the report from the payroll processor isn’t accurate when set against the payroll ledger, there is a problem. One reason is that staff are either not entering their hours or are entering them twice. Make sure you check the hours submitted by your team and ensure that all payroll data from the processor is identical to what is on the accounting ledger. 5 – Incorrect Sales Tax Calculations Sales tax is a nightmare for your bank balance, and a pain in the ass to calculate. Unfortunately, you are responsible for ensuring that your business pays the appropriate taxes; these vary according to state.

5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Cannabis POS System

1 – Make Sure it Complies With METRC
‘Compliance’ is a word that will eventually be drummed into your brain as a marijuana business owner. Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance (METRC) is a regulatory compliance system. It monitors weed production from its beginning to its sale. It identifies and tags marijuana and associated products. Whatever POS system you choose, it must work well with your state’s weed tracking and reporting systems. When considering a POS system, make sure it provides tracking information to METRC automatically. Consider the steps you must take when filing the necessary sales and inventory reports. Look at things such as features for improving accuracy, automatically generated reports, and security of data.
2 – Ease of Use The industry is complicated enough as it is!
There’s no point investing in sophisticated POS software if your employees require a degree in IT to use it. The best systems are simple to set up and ensure it is easy for your staff to do their jobs. Ease of use means your employees don’t get confused and make mistakes. When a system is simple to use, it also speeds up the checkout process, which makes for satisfied customers. The best systems make it child’s play to add new employees, reduce the possibility of making errors, and provide outstanding support and uptime. It is never a bad idea to ask for a demo to find out which interface is most suited to your company’s needs.
3 – Reliability & Stability
We have heard horror stories about POS systems experiencing security breaches, which resulted in service outages lasting up to a week. Imagine a scenario where you’re unable to log any transactions, access reporting functions, or view customer data. When a dispensary has a service outage, it loses sales during the period in question, not to mention the loss of associated records and customer loyalty points. Aside from the enormous level of lost revenue, you anger your customer base and end up with a compliance nightmare.
As a result, the stability of a platform, not to mention its operational features and security backup, should be among the most important things to consider. If operational reliability is compromised, other features simply don’t matter.
As no POS system can guarantee 100% uptime, it is wise to create a set of emergency policies and procedures to fall back on if something happens to the system. High-quality POS systems have an offline mode which enables you to make sales even without internet or connectivity. Otherwise, you’ll need a pen and pencil which makes you look like a convenience store from the 1950s.
4 – Scalability
If you’re serious about becoming a successful cannabis business, you’ll need an online presence. It is also possible that you’ll branch out and add more physical locations. Either way, you need a POS system with centralized features to help you manage sales from your different locations or purchases made online. Ideally, your POS system will have Built to Scale features that make it easier to open a new store, manage staff working at several different locations, and ensure compliance. These features also allow you to compare the sales figures for each location. If one place is lagging, you’ll know all about it, and be able to conjure up ways of boosting sales.

5 – Easier Inventory Processing
Keeping track of products that are under constant state supervision is a stressful task. Pretty much every POS system these days automates inventory management. On your end, it needs nothing more than setting up the system based on how you receive your items and operate the sales floor.
Whenever marijuana products arrive at your dispensary, your POS system should be able to track every sale regardless of how it is made. At the close of business, you then scan the remaining stock, compare it with sales, and generate the reports that make you compliant with state laws.
Good inventory management also provides a better experience for customers. A cannabis POS system provides detailed sales trend data which you can check to ensure your dispensary is catering to the needs of customers. When you know the products that best maximize revenues, you enjoy better cash flow because less money is tied up in inventory. You’ll also have your customer’s favorite strains in stock almost all the time. Without further ado, let’s look at cannabis POS systems worth considering.

5 of the Best Cannabis POS Systems

1 – Green Bits

You are guaranteed to be METRC compliant with Green Bits. This company is said to help process up to $2.5 billion for dispensaries each year. It is available for use in 13 states, but to find out the cost, you need to contact the firm for a quote which is based on your specific list of requirements.
Features include:
  • State reporting systems which help you maintain 100% accuracy.
  • A transaction limit to ensure you don’t exceed the state limit.
  • Customer verification.
  • A weigh station.
  • An online menu as Green Bits is integrated with Weedmaps and Leafly.
  • 99.9% uptime.
  • An extremely responsive support team.
  • Employee management, including budtender performance reports.
  • Inventory audits.
  • Minimal training required.
You can also satisfy customers with a customizable loyalty program and automated discounts for product specials and happy hours. You can access Green Bits through your desktop, laptop, or phone which enables you to manage your business on the move.

2 – COVA

This POS system featured in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, where it was heralded as one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the whole of North America. It is available for use in eight U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. COVA can be yours from $449 per month.
Features include:
  • An average transaction time of 1.4 seconds!
  • An offline mode that allows you to process customers when your Internet is down.
  • Customer queuing; this allows customers to sign in and wait until one of your team is available.
  • Compliance with authorized hours of operation.
  • A support team noted for a lightning-fast response; average wait time is apparently 13 seconds.
  • Ease of use; COVA claims new users learn how to use the POS system in an average of 5 minutes.
  • Built to Scale; ideal if you plan on expanding your business.
  • Real-time inventory reporting to meet customer demands.
  • Age verification scanner.
  • Automated discounting.
You can bring COVA with you on the road and boost revenue with a host of specific features. If you need to reduce operational costs and streamline your business, this POS system is ideal. COVA also states that its clients save around 50 hours a month when auditing inventory.

3 – Meadow

This POS system describes itself as a “reliable dispensary software with efficient workflows designed to boost revenue.” It also claims to help cut costs, save time, and provide you with important data. If you are interested in Meadow, you will have to get in touch for a quote.
Features include:
  • Accurate cycle counting, so you know how much product is available, what is being sold, and what you need to reorder.
  • It is iPad compatible so that you can take orders on the move.
  • Real-time inventory updating.
  • Supports UPC barcodes.
  • Syncs with METRC.
  • Provides tailored reports to help you create an efficient business strategy.
  • A flexible loyalty system which offers redeemable points.
  • Allows customers to order online with ease.
  • Syncs your delivery system with your retail POS and inventory.
  • Enables customers to avoid queues.
Meadow claims it provides 99.999% uptime, which is as close to 100% as you’re likely to get! The company has a tiered pricing system, which means you can add more features if and when your business grows.

4 – Flowhub

This is yet another POS system which claims to be the most compliant software for cannabis dispensaries. Aside from a $1,000 onboarding fee, it will cost you at least $499 per month to use Flowhub.
Features include:
  • METRC integration to ensure compliance with state law.
  • Limit the access your staff have to specific features and assign responsibilities to individual team members.
  • Manage several dispensary locations with ease.
  • Look at revenue in real-time, track cash drawers, and provide registers to specific employees.
  • A built-in loyalty system which enables you to create a customized customer rewards system.
  • Detailed inventory reporting which enables you to uncover and fix any discrepancies between physical and digital inventory.
  • Create a global catalog of all products.
  • Smart cart limits that prevent you from exceeding state limits.
  • Speed up inventory management cycles.
  • A 95% call answer rate; its support team is available 365 days of the year.

One key feature of Flowhub is the ability to turn off the connection between the POS system and METRC to reduce data anomalies. It claims that the software allows you to process sales 15% faster than with a standard system.

5 – WebJoint

According to the creators of this POS system, it is the most advanced METRC-integrated system for marijuana delivery services. It works well for smaller dispensaries due to its reasonable rates; pricing starts from $199 a month.
Features include:
  • Cannabis tax modules that help you navigate local, excise, and custom tax regulations.
  • Tracks products and packages across several storage locations.
  • Syncs with your POS and eCommerce website.
  • Integrated with METRC.
  • All purchase orders, transactions, and inventory reconciliation are a click away.
  • 256-bit encryption to protect data.
  • Tracks individual performance of team members.
  • Tracks marketing ROI and keep records of customer purchasing trends.
  • Guaranteed 99.9% uptime.
  • Advanced business reporting in the form of charts, tables, and graphs.
WebJoint integrates with Zodaka for cashless payment options, Xero for simple accounting, and Tookan to provide two-way communication with the company.

Final Thoughts on Cannabis POS Systems

The sheer level of state laws, taxes, and restrictions alone can make your step into the cannabis industry a living nightmare. Without a reliable POS system, you’ll find it incredibly difficult to run an efficient and profitable dispensary. It is also a mistake to rely on a ‘standard’ POS system because it may not fulfill all of the unique requirements associated with the weed sector. With a dedicated cannabis POS system, you will find it much easier to meet the stringent laws of your specific state. A good POS speeds up transactions, keeps your records accurate, helps track employee performance, and rewards loyal customers. Ultimately, it will boost your bottom line and reduce the number of headaches you face each day.
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