6 min read

8 Tips for Choosing the Right Vendors

September 15, 2017

Most dispensaries designate one day out of the week to meet new vendors looking to sell their recent crop or product. Vendor days are a great opportunity for retailers to meet new growers with quality product. However, there are few things you should know before purchasing several units for your dispensary. In this article, we'll discuss eight tips that can help you select vendors who are reliable, loyal, and know how to grow.

Vendors Marijuana

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1. Strains that Sell

Strains with recognizable names tend to sell out fast because patients know what to expect from the product. Blue Dream, AK-47, and White Widow are well known strains that customers trust and retailers want to keep in stock. While these are just a few examples, it's important for dispensaries to use vendors who are proficient at growing well-known and highly desired strains. Vendors who consistently provide premium flower are definitely the ones you want coming back to your dispensary. 

2. Lab Tested

Vendors who really take pride in their product understand how important it is maintain quality standards. This is why many vendors have their flower tested even before they present it to retailers. The results of the test can help growers set a nice but fair price for the product. If the product tests high in THC or CBD, retailers will also have the advantage of advertising and relaying this information directly to the patient.

Dispensary POS systems, such as IndicaOnline, are able to include test results into the product profile, which then display on digital menus. Many patients understand the signifcance of lab tested flower and will likely purchase the product based on these results when browsing through products. If a vendor shows up with verified lab results of quality flower, it's probably best to keep them on file for future purchasing.

3. Measure the Margin

States that have been approved for medical marijuana for a number of years typically have industry standard price points that vary slightly based on the quality of the product. However, it's always important to understand the margin of sales when purchasing products from vendors. Often times, vendors who are new to growing flower willl overprice their product in an effort to recoop investment costs. Not only will the margin not make sense, but the quality might be substandard as well.

Seasoned vendors understand they are selling wholesale and generally price their product fairly. This is so it can be sold retail at pricepoint that benefits both dispensary and vendor. Overpriced product that has a hard time selling is an indication that the asking price was set too high. Often times this product must be discounted at a loss to the retailer. Choose vendors who offer a fair price based on the caliber of the cannabis.

4. Accurate Counts

While there is a lot of money to be made in the medical marijuana industry, not everyone is out to earn it honestly. Building trust with a vendor only comes after a proven history of producing an accurate quantity of flower. The most important thing for retailers to remember when working with new vendors is to weigh the product before the purchase.

If the product weight is accurate, the next step is careful inspection of the flower. Large stems, ample shake, spider mites, and mold are all things to look for when inspecting potential product. These problems can easily skew the scales leaving the retailer to suffer the losses if a mistake is made at intake. Accurate counts of quality medication is the best way to identify vendors who will continue to stock your shelves and generate sales.

5. Trim Job

Yes, the trimming and curing process can be painstaking for DIY growers but a tightly trimmed bud is essential when creating an appealing product. There are machines that can take the headache out of trimming flower but they're often costly so it's important to remember it's an investment. Well manicured flower is a desirable attribute when choosing a vendor for your dispensary.

Nothing is more offputting than leafy buds and tons of shake. This is why it's so important to inspect the product carefully, because even if the quality is good, it could take your staff hours to re-trim multiple units increasing the cost. After purchasing from a vendor, retailers should be able to weigh the product and stock the shelves with minimal effort. 

6. Customer Satisfaction

A strong indication you may have a top notch vendor on your hands is customer satisfaction. When a customer returns raving about a new strain, sometimes with friends in tow, it's best to take note which vendor grew this particular strain.

Word of mouth is by far the most powerful influencer when it comes to selling any product, and a quality product can sell out within days or even hours amongst the tight-knit cannabis community. A vendor who has flower that produces this type of response is one you might even consider putting on payroll.

7. Concentrates and Edibles

When it comes to concentrates and edibles, the vendor market is starting to become saturated. This is why it's important to be selective and trust products with a proven track record of high volume sales. Many of the top edible brands have already established themselves in the market, however concentrate vendors still have the opportunity to make a lasting impression.

Since there are a few techniques to manufaturing concentrates it easy for vendors to set themselves apart. Solvent base extraction, BHO, an dry sift are some of the common way to make different types of cannabis concentrates. Whether its wax, oil, hash, or keef when purchasing concentrates from vendors it's important to learn about the product. Know what makes it unique before putting it on your shelf.

8. Vape Vendors

Vaping has become big business in recent years and it's easy to why. Vapes offer a discreet but highly efficient way to medicate. However some products have been recalled due to batteries over heating, catching fire, and even exploding. This is why it's extremely important for retailers to educate themselves on vapes that have had problems in the past. Stocking vapes that are safe and effective should be the goal of every retailer.

The next aspect to look at is the quality of the oil inside. The best way for a retailer to select the best vape vendor is to start off doing consignment and see which vape customers like the best. Based on these results, place an order with the vendor and be sure to inquire about returns, product developments, and wholesale costs.


These are just a few tips to remember when deling with external vendors. There are new products entering the cannabis industry all the time, so the best advice is to some research and be open to new opportunities. Once you've found some quality growers to provide top-notch flower, be sure to foster those relationships and take interest in their business.

Establishing mainstay vendors for the concentrate, edible, tincture, and vape market can more challenging but after dialing in what products are pleasing customers you'll have a premium selection to offer patients. If you need help keeping track of all those vendors you can of course use IndicaOnline POS software to manage your vendor contacts.