What to Look for in a Cannabis Point of Sale
As state after state legalizes cannabis for recreational or medical use, more governments are choosing METRC as their state seed-to-sale regulatory solution. At Flowhub, our core mission is to deliver modern point of sale software that makes METRC compliance a breeze.
Many businesses offer software integrated into the compliance platform’s API, but only Flowhub has been built from the ground up for the sole purpose of solving the problem of compliance. Our inventory management platform sets the platinum standard — with built-in guardrails, complete activity logging, and inventory standardization across your entire supply chain.
But don’t just take our word for it — first ask yourself What factors should I look for in choosing a POS?
Eliminating Compliance Worries
Not all states have chosen regulatory frameworks as exacting as METRC, but following success in Colorado, many have done just that. One benefit METRC holds over other solutions is that it offers an API that developers can use to make software products that integrate data into the system.
METRC can be a nightmare to manage manually. Keeping spreadsheet records of every transaction and uploading them is time-consuming and error-prone — there’s no way around that. Having lost or incomplete records is the easiest way to get audited.
While working in cannabis retail, Flowhub’s founder noticed these issues and built the first POS designed specifically for the industry — and METRC in particular. Compliance is now a one-click data push at the end of every business day.
When it comes to data that keeps your business legitimate, automation isn’t always preferred. Flowhub’s API integration allows you to push data, but doesn’t allow METRC to pull from your stores until you are ready. If recordkeeping errors occur throughout the day, you will always have the chance to identify and reconcile them before sending your closing report.
Solid Track Record
The cannabis industry is both new and rapidly changing, so verifying the stability of a company before you spend resources adopting a new platform is essential. Does your POS manufacturer work specifically within the industry, or has their software been retrofitted for it? Have they suffered extensive downtime, security breaches, or data loss? And furthermore — have they proven themselves capable of handling high-profile clients?
Our enterprise platform helped two of our earliest clients scale effectively to become some of Colorado’s largest cannabis retailers. Sweet Leaf and Native Roots, with 12 and 19 locations respectively, are true enterprise-class customers. Watch Sweet Leaf’s CEO give commentary on why Flowhub is essential for his business in this recent video:
Freedom to Choose Your Own Hardware
Be careful of selecting a vendor that requires you to purchase their proprietary hardware. Businesses can find themselves locked into a poor software platform because of the capital expense they laid out on hardware that is not compatible with other vendors. Well-designed software should not limit you to one machine or even one operating system, as long as it’s modern enough. Flowhub was designed to run on Mac or Windows, allowing you to have greater flexibility in your hardware selection.
7-Day Phone Support
An essential component of any software provider is continuous and knowledgeable customer care. Flowhub’s 7-day support team members all come not only from within the industry, but have previously worked with the software itself in a retail setting.
Centralized Data Means Clean Data
As Sweet Leaf’s CEO claims in the above video, enterprise-wide data consistency is essential for his business. Imagine how maddening — or borderline impossible — updating a different inventory database for each store would be with over a dozen locations. Flowhub’s central enterprise solution gives owners the ability to make changes across any and all of their stores, remotely, in a single action.
But inventory is not the only enterprise-level benefit our suite offers. Sales reports, employee data and permissions, and tax rates and discounts are all managed across stores from a central application. Together, these features make Flowhub the choice for those looking to grow their businesses.
Ease of Use & Built-In Compliance
On the implementation side, software must be well-designed both graphically and functionally to give budtenders the most enjoyable and efficient experience. Flowhub’s minimalist, modern UI is uncluttered and pleasant to look at, and is incredibly easy to teach. An automated queue that even provides purchase history for medical and loyalty recreational customers means that your employees can help an individual remember a favorite strain or product.
Training for compliance is key, and Flowhub POS also makes it easy for your budtenders to stay within the scope of the law. After a customer’s ID is scanned or manually entered, the system will automatically check their purchase limit and halt any transaction over the state requirement. Automatic label printing and child-proof container checks complete the picture, allowing your budtenders to focus more on customer interaction.
One of the unnerving aspects of operating in a METRC state is the potential to be audited for missing data. Cannabis, as we all know, is one of the few products to lose weight to evaporation simply as it sits on your shelves. Dropped flower and employee theft can also contribute to discrepancies that put your business at risk.
In Flowhub, every action is logged and timestamped. When employees know that, they act accordingly — one of our clients in Oregon found that their losses fell from 10% to 2% following the switch.
Room to Expand
On the flipside of state API integration, a modern software suite should offer an API of its own that clients and partners can use to create a pipeline for data exchange. Flowhub, for example, has been integrated with the cannabis CRM suite Baker to allow for automatic live online menus — no more disappointed customers who head to the dispensary across the street because the strain they saw online is no longer available.
We could go on about the features that set our platform apart — such as automated checkin hardware — but at the end of the day the decision of which company to go with for your POS should come down to your individual business goals. What kind of a cannabis operation are you trying to grow? Do you want to go multi-state and build a national brand, or are you the mom-and-pop shop serving a small town?
Flowhub’s enterprise-wide inventory consistency makes it the ideal choice for those trying to scale their businesses as efficiently as possible. At the same time, their worry-reducing METRC compliance can be perfect for those who are new to the rapidly changing cannabis industry.
Schedule a demo if you believe Flowhub may be right for you, and check back in soon for posts on cultivation — our grow platform is also an essential consideration for business owners in new METRC states.