Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of dispensaries choose the right dispensary software to manage their retail operations and regulatory compliance.

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Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read more


Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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LS Retail

LS Retail is a retail management system consisting of point of sale (POS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). Key features include inventory management, customer management, retail accounting, e-commerce, warehouse management ... Read more


Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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IndicaOnline is a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution that helps users process transactions and manage daily operations for medical marijuana businesses and dispensaries. Key features include patient and physician verificatio... Read more


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iVend Retail

iVend Retail is a cloud-based, omnichannel retail management solution that helps businesses manage various aspects of a brick and mortar retail shop and e-commerce store. It covers from point-of-sale (POS) to back office to head o... Read more


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Greenline is a cloud-based retail management solution that allows cannabis dispensaries to manage their point of sale activities. Key features include inventory management, POS registers, sales tracking, reporting and compliance a... Read more


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PayPal is a digital payment platform that enables businesses and individuals to pay and accept payments through an online portal without revealing any financial details. The solution is suitable for businesses of all sizes. P... Read more

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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

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Quickbooks Point of Sale

QuickBooks Point of Sale is a retail point of sale system suitable for various small businesses such as clothing and shoe stores, small franchises, sporting goods stores and gift shops. It offers inventory and customer management ... Read more

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WooPOS is a cloud-based 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' contact information... Read more

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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

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3dcart is a cloud-based e-commerce solution that helps businesses build online stores with built-in shipping and payment functionalities. Businesses can create online stores using their own designs or premade website themes. ... Read more

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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Paladin POS

Paladin POS is an on-premise point-of-sale (POS) solution designed for small and midsize businesses. It offers return order management, checkout, discount management and customer loyalty program management functionalities within a... Read more

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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

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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

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Buyers guide

Last Updated: June 2, 2021

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).


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.