As legal marijuana goes mainstream, more tech companies recognize the need for intuitive, cannabis-focused software solutions. Indeed, cannabis software has become one of the most profitable ancillary services in this budding sector. Not only do software companies provide an invaluable service to dispensaries, they’re one of the few cannabis-related businesses that stockbrokers could invest in. Since platforms like Weedmaps don’t touch the cannabis plant, they can legally go IPO before marijuana is federally legal.
Of course, since there’s so much “green” in cannabis software, you’d better believe there’s a lot of competition. While this is excellent news for consumers, it could make choosing the right software incredibly challenging.
At Cure8, we’re committed to helping cannabis entrepreneurs find the software infrastructure that’s right for them. Our team of IT professionals has years of experience helping businesses bloom with personalized software solutions. If you have any questions about integrating software into your dispensary, please don’t hesitate to request a consultation.
Why Do Cannabis Entrepreneurs Need Software?
The cannabis industry may have a relaxed vibe, but compliance standards remain incredibly rigid. State regulators won’t take kindly to dispensaries that don’t follow their rules. And, honestly, who could blame them? We are, after all, dealing with a federally illegal plant. If businesses want weed to be widely accepted, they must put compliance standards at the top of their priorities.
Unfortunately for dispensary owners, cannabis laws are far from static. It seems like every month lawmakers tweak something in their marijuana statutes. Plus, if you’re thinking about expanding into another state, get ready to comply with an entirely new set of rules!
This is where cannabis software comes to the rescue. High-quality software protocols automatically integrate with state-approved seed-to-sale systems like Metrc. Not only that, cannabis software can help with other issues like taxation, inventory tracking, and security standards. The right cannabis software should take all of the complexity out of state compliance.
While compliance should always be your primary concern, it’s not the be-all-end-all of cannabis software. After all, what’s the point of remaining compliant if you’re not turning a profit? Your chosen software should provide precise analytics on your business operations, which could help you develop a research-backed sales strategy.
With a high-quality software program, you could easily track employee performance and analyze consumer habits. Plus, you could enhance your customer experience with add-on features like rewards programs, SMS alerts, eCommerce, and even delivery services.
As you could see, cannabis software is far more than a helpful tool to remain legal. These systems could optimize your dispensary’s potential with useful analytics and convenient add-on features.
What Cannabis Software Solutions Are Now Available?
There are far too many cannabis software programs to list in just one blog post. However, everyone in the cannabis business needs to know about seed-to-sale tracking.
As the title suggests, seed-to-sale is a type of ERP system that follows the cannabis plant from planting to purchase via RFID tags. Seed-to-sale technology is the standard for compliance in all states that offer legal cannabis.
While every business needs to use seed-to-sale software, it can be incredibly time-consuming to enter all of the required info. Plus, you won’t gain any business insights after you plug in all of this data. Systems like Metrc are only designed to meet state standards; they aren’t there to help your business grow. For this reason, most entrepreneurs look for all-inclusive, cannabis-focused POS systems that automatically integrate with seed-to-sale.
Not only do these systems simplify compliance needs, they help entrepreneurs keep their business profitable. Cannabis-specific software could organize all of your store’s data flows, which should give you a sense of what’s working and what’s not. This valuable information can help you come up with innovative strategies to remain competitive in the cannabis space.
How Do You Choose A Cannabis Software System?
Now that you know what cannabis software is to your business, it’s time to think about how to pick from the many services currently available.
As we’ve said repeatedly in this post, you must ensure your software system is compliant with your state’s seed-to-sale system. Your company should also automatically update compliance standards as laws change. Cannabis law is perpetually evolving, which means you need a team that promises to stay on top of these changes.
Another compliance-related feature to look for is an ID scanning system. Not even the most liberal of states will take kindly to dispensaries that don’t verify each customer’s age. Be sure the scanners offered by your company have a high success rate and are easy to use in your store.
Once you’ve established your essential compliance and inventory standards, you should look into additional features that will help your business thrive. For instance, does your software system have an offline mode? What happens to all of your data in a blackout? Could your software solution operate in multiple locations?
You should also consider how your software system will fit in with your dispensary’s aesthetics. For instance, do you want your employees to take an Apple-style approach with handheld tablets? Or would you prefer to let customers browse your catalog on touchscreen displays? Take the time to figure out what software system creates the customer experience you’re aiming towards.
Of course, you could also look into online reviews of your software provider. However, it’s best to take these comments with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, there’s no way to verify the authenticity of e-reviews—and the most negative reviewers tend to be the most vocal.
Instead of focusing too heavily on reviews, it’s more instructive to see how your prospective provider reacts to customer complaints. Does your company have a robust customer service department? Do they seem responsive to people’s needs? Could you call a representative 24/7 when you run into problems? Even the best software systems experience glitches, but that’s no excuse for poor customer service.
What Questions Should You Ask A Cannabis Software Company?
After you’ve found a few companies that pique your interest, it’s time to break out your calculator and start comparing prices. While you don’t want to skimp on software service, you also want to make sure it fits your budget. Be sure to find out whether this software service covers the user or the number of dispensary locations. You should also ask whether setup and instruction are included with your purchase.
Often, cannabis software providers offer different pricing tiers to accommodate different business sizes. If this is the case with your company, be sure to read through everything that’s included with each policy and compare it with your priorities list.
After you’ve decided which companies “fit the bill,” ask whether they offer free demos. Trial-runs are a fantastic way to assess how a software system fits into your day-to-day operations. Take note of how easy it is for employees to learn this system and any persistent issues.
Lastly, you should ask whether your provider charges a cancellation fee. Even if you don’t foresee any issues with your provider, it’s always good to know how much it will cost to opt-out of your program.
Still Unsure Whether Cannabis Software Is For You? Give Cure8 A Call!
For many new entrepreneurs, searching for the right cannabis software can be a frustrating experience. With so many different companies vying for your attention, it’s almost impossible for non-tech savvy cannapreneurs to pull the trigger. At Cure8, we’re committed to simplifying the software selection process for cannabis business owners. Powered by IT firm Cure8 is a one-stop, software agnostic shop for all your tech-related needs. From POS and security to digital displays and label printers, we can provide you with everything your business needs to succeed. Our IT professionals will take the time to listen to your business goals and develop a personalized strategy for success.
If you’d like more info on all that Cure8 has to offer, be sure to give us a call at (855) 394-1420.