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Agiliron

Agiliron is an all-in-one Retail Management System which allows you to manage all orders, inventory and CRM records, from all channels, in one place. Agiliron also integrates with many of your existing business tools like Quickb...Read more about Agiliron

4.5 (41 reviews)

11 recommendations

Paladin Point of Sale and Inventory Management

For over 40 years, Paladin Data Corp. has been helping independent retail businesses run better. Paladin point of sale (POS) and inventory management software automates time-consuming inventory chores and provides business owners ...Read more about Paladin Point of Sale and Inventory Management

4.6 (21 reviews)

7 recommendations

iVend Retail

iVend Retail by CitiXsys is an integrated POS software application delivered on cloud. Our SaaS platform empowers retailers to provide exceptional customer experiences throughout the entire shopper journey. iVend Retail includes c...Read more about iVend Retail

3.9 (15 reviews)

3 recommendations

LS Retail

LS Central is a unified POS and ERP software solution built on Microsoft Dynamics technology. It brings together several functionalities in one application such as financials (the Microsoft Dynamics ERP), point of sale (POS), stor...Read more about LS Retail

4.3 (125 reviews)

1 recommendations

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Route4Me

Route4Me is a cloud-based fleet management solution designed for small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include route planning and routing guides. It allows users to type-in or upload customer addresses and plan a r...Read more about Route4Me

GoFrugal

Gofrugal POS is a hybrid point of sale (POS) solution that helps retailers across various industries, to manage their distribution and billing routines and automate financial transactions. The solution can be deployed either on-pr...Read more about GoFrugal

WooPOS

WooPOS is a Windows-based and Hybrid solution that helps small to midsize businesses in the retail industry manage inventory and streamline point-of-sale operations. The centralized platform enables users to record clients' contac...Read more about WooPOS

Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop, formerly 3dcart, is a comprehensive cloud-based eCommerce solution that helps businesses create online stores with all necessary functionality already built in. Businesses can create online stores using their own desig...Read more about Shift4Shop

Onfleet

Onfleet is a cloud-based fleet management solution that offers route optimization, auto-dispatching, delivery analytics, and customer communications. iOS and Android apps provide real-time driver tracking, proof of delivery, chat,...Read more about Onfleet

CashFootprint Point-of-Sale

CashFootprint is a retail management solution that offers point of sale (POS), inventory management, customer management, loyalty programs and reporting. The solution helps small and midsize businesses organize and automate retail...Read more about CashFootprint Point-of-Sale

Tookan

Tookan is a cloud-based delivery management solution that helps delivery businesses manage fleets and automate dispatching operations. It lets users assign tasks to delivery agents as per their schedules and track the live locatio...Read more about Tookan

MultiFlex RMS

MultiFlex RMS General Merchandise is a cloud-based retail management solution for single and multi-location retail stores. Key features include point of sale management, accounting, inventory, staff management, CRM and marketing. ...Read more about MultiFlex RMS

RMH Store

Retail Management Hero is a point of sale (POS) solution for small to midsize businesses and single-store operations in industries such as convenience, grocery, apparel, sporting goods, wine and spirits, gift and specialty. Both c...Read more about RMH Store

IndicaOnline

IndicaOnline is a cloud-based cannabis point-of-sale (POS) solution that helps marijuana businesses and dispensaries process transactions and manage daily operations. Key features include patient and physician verification, invent...Read more about IndicaOnline

Mi9 Retail Suite

Mi9 Retail is a retail management solution suitable for businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include point of sale (POS), inventory management, analytics, e-commerce and order management. Mi9 Retail can be used...Read more about Mi9 Retail Suite

tillpoint

Tillpoint is a cloud-based business management and electronic point of sale (EPOS) solution for retail stores, restaurants and the hospitality industry. The solution provides modules for inventory management, accounting, table man...Read more about tillpoint

Aravenda Consignment Software

Aravenda is a cloud-based consignment management software that enables resale businesses of all sizes to create, run and manage custom eCommerce stores. The platform includes an inventory management application for Shopify store...Read more about Aravenda Consignment Software

MCS Rental Software

Giving businesses full control of their rental operations, MCS-rm rental software maximizes asset utilization and minimizes operating costs, while increasing workforce productivity/revenue and improving strategic decision making. ...Read more about MCS Rental Software

Pulse Commerce

Pulse Commerce is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) system for small to midsize retailers, including jewelry stores, pharmacies and apparel. Pulse Commerce offers integrated POS, inventory management, customer management (with com...Read more about Pulse Commerce

Lead Commerce

Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and a...Read more about Lead Commerce

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Being heavily regulated, the cannabis retail industry poses a number of challenges for the owners of medical or recreational dispensaries.

The sheer number of regulatory compliance related to security, age restrictions, documentation, packaging and staff protocols make it highly likely that a dispensary owner may miss some rule. This will result in hefty fines or even having your dispensary license revoked.

Dispensary software records all the necessary information digitally, so that you can easily manage industry compliance. It will also ensure that you have access to the required documents and reports during a compliance audit.

To help dispensary owners find the right software for their dispensary, we've written this buyer's guide that covers all the necessary information. Read on to find out about the features of this software, its benefits and market trends that owners should know and follow.

In this guide, we'll cover:

What Is Dispensary Software?

Common Features of Dispensary Software

What Type of Buyer are You?

Market Trends to Understand

What Is Dispensary Software?

The demands of a cannabis dispensary are significantly different from those of a general retail business. For this reason, a regular retail management solution will not suffice for a cannabis dispensary. As a dispensary owner or manager, you need dedicated dispensary software to manage your operations.

Dispensary software is a retail management and point-of-sale (POS) solution tailored to the needs of a cannabis retail business. This type of software helps dispensary owners do the following:

  • Manage inventory for single or multilocation store dispensaries.

  • Record data, such as age of the buyer and the quantity of purchase, to prepare reports at the time of audit checks.

  • Schedule store employees and manage shift timings.

  • Manage dispatch and delivery of inventory and products.

  • Store transaction data to create real-time financial reports such as profits, losses and expenses.

dashboard-in-cannabis-dispensary-POS

Reporting dashboard in cannabis dispensary POS tool, Cova (Source)

Common Features of Dispensary Software

In this section, we've covered the key software features that a dispensary software buyer should be aware of at the time of purchase. Thoroughly understand the usefulness of these features in your business to select the right dispensary software.

Compliance management

Get alerts when transactions don't comply with the rules regarding customer age, purchase limits or transaction time (i.e., whether the transaction was made during work hours or not).

Reporting

Get business reports on sales volume, profit and loss and general accounting. This feature also generates specific reports on compliance management that are important during compliance audits.

Inventory management

Track the location and status of your inventory in real time. Get real-time insights on stock levels and set alerts for these, so you can reorder before running out.

Customer management

Keep a record of your customers and their purchase quantities to avoid selling more than the permitted limit. You can store details, such as name, age and location, and use them to flag the store operator if they exceed the limit at any time.

Customer loyalty program

Reduce your customer attrition rate with a customer loyalty program. Offer benefits and rewards to encourage repeat purchases.

Multilocation support

Manage your inventory, staff and customers across multiple dispensary locations. This feature is beneficial for dispensary owners who run both medical and recreational dispensaries.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

When purchasing a dispensary software solution, you need to understand all the necessary compliance requirements so you can be sure to choose a solution that adheres to them. In this section, we're covering three common types of dispensary businesses and the compliance challenges for each type and the software features that address them.

Medical dispensary. The first thing you need to ensure is that all your buyers have a valid medical cannabis card. In addition, many medical marijuana dispensaries are also regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Such dispensaries should invest in software that is compliant with HIPAA standards.

Recreational dispensary. These are unlike medical dispensaries, where only medical cannabis cardholders are authorized to purchase products. Recreational dispensaries should conduct the initial eligibility verification process, such as age and quantity of purchase, on their own. For this reason, they need a solution that records customer details such as name and age, quantity of purchase and details of a state-issued ID card, such as a driver's license.

Medical and recreational dispensaries. If you operate both recreational and medical dispensaries, you'll have to manage various compliance rules for different customers. For instance, the legal minimum age for a medical marijuana buyer (in states where purchases are legal) is 18 years old, but for a recreational marijuana buyer it's 21 years old.

The THC content of cannabis products is also different for each type of dispensary. For this reason, dispensary software buyers who operate both medical and recreational dispensaries need a solution with procurement and selling features such as barcode scanning, inventory management and customer management.

Market Trends to Understand

The cannabis retail industry is evolving quickly, and so is the dispensary software space. To keep up with all the advancements in this space, you should be aware of the following market trends:

Fraud detection to be integral in dispensary software. Employee-led theft and fraudulent activities have legal and financial consequences for the business. A recent such incident at a Colorado dispensary resulted in a loss of about $10,000 to the business.

As a result, dispensary software vendors are including fraud detection features such as cash drawer management and employee access permissions. Some software vendors also offer theft-detection in their inventory management module, which alerts dispensary owners about discrepancies in stock levels.

Based on our estimates, vendors will continue to develop and enhance their fraud management functionality to be an exclusive offering in their solutions by 2020-2022.

Dispatching to be an important integration. Integrations with dispatching and fleet management systems help dispensaries track the movement of their products from the farm to the warehouse, and warehouse to dispensary. As cannabis retail businesses grow and sales volume increases—increasing the number of shipments—we expect to see an increase in the demand for dispatching functionality by 2020-2025.

Real-time compliance management to see wider adoption. Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting and Compliance (METRC) integration lets dispensaries share their real-time compliance data with the government's regulatory agencies. This integration saves time and effort for managing regulatory compliance. As it gains popularity and investor funding, we believe that it will see increased adoption by 2020.

Marijuana industry to become e-commerce-savvy. With rapid growth in the number of online buyers, e-commerce is becoming increasingly important for a dispensary. We anticipate an increasing demand for e-commerce integration in dispensary software by 2020.