It started with a few states doing medical marijuana. Then more joined in on the movement. Before we knew it, we had a few states trying out recreational cannabis legislation. At the end of 2016, the cannabis industry in the United States was worth over 6.7 billion dollars. While some see this industry in a predatory light (not unlike tobacco or alcohol which spends millions on congressional lobbying each year), others see it as a bit of a safer alternative to tobacco, alcohol and prescription medications. These people have adamantly defended all legislation that decriminalizes marijuana from the very beginning. No matter what one’s opinion on this industry is, it seems to be here to stay and exponentially growing with each busy year that passes.
With any growing industry that has retail outlets, POS software is very important to consider. POS stands for point of sale. POS is typically used to describe a combination of hardware and software that a retailer runs at what point of their physical operations? You guessed it; at the point where the actual sale takes place. With cannabis being such a new industry, little details like POS systems have gone overlooked. When you have fancy, new retailers popping up and specializing in a product that is technically illegal at the federal level, POS systems are more important than ever before.
The concept of POS is so important within the cannabis industry that the market should be overflooded with industry-specific options. Yet this is not the case at all. Why is industry specific POS so important with recreational marijuana? There are many reasons really.
Being illegal at the federal level means that state allowed cannabis operations are heavily regulated. What’s an important spot to check for red flags and make sure that other regulations are met? You guessed it; at the point of sale. Hardware systems could even be preloaded with a package that is specifically designed to streamline the red tape for whatever state a retailer operates in. A client profile could easily be constructed for each customer and all the proper things could be checked for at the register, as each sale is occurring.
While the market is not overflooded, industry-specific options have been popping up. Expect a lot more over the next decade. In the beginning, there will likely be a transitional period where many retail shop owners simply use their current POS system of choice simply modified in a fashion that assists them with the grey areas of selling cannabis to consumers.
As more and more states become recreational marijuana states, expect the regulations to loosen up. This would be especially true if the federal government ever changes its position towards the industry. As regulation loosens up industry-specific POS systems will serve the purpose they should. What I mean by this is that industry-specific systems will enhance the selling process for cannabis products and not just simply serve as a safety net for making sure that these sales are done according to complex legislation.