3 min read

Why Retailers Need a Marijuana Compliance POS System

January 2, 2018

It’s official, California dispensaries can now legally sell recreational marijuana to customers 21+ years old. While consumers are already lining up to purchase their favorite cannabis products, retailers are adjusting to new regulations and taxes. Now is the time for dispensaries to implement a marijuana compliance POS system that can simplify the changes from both the city and state.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control has already issued over 400 temporary licenses and are currently reviewing another 1800 applications. As the Bureau continues to issue both medical and adult-use licenses, retailers will need a cannabis point-of-sale system that can tackle all operational procedures of a marijuana business.

In this article, we’ll address the major compliance concerns for cannabis retailers moving forward.

Excise and Sales Taxes

While thousands of dispensaries have rushed to submit applications for their business licenses, many of them are still uncertain of how the new tax structure works. There are three different customer categories and each has its own sales tax percentage. A 15% excise tax added to every transaction and is paid to distributors rather than the State of California.

It’s easy to see why there is so much confusion around the new cannabis taxes but fortunately a marijuana compliance POS system can automate these calculations. Once dispensary owners figure out the state and local sales taxes that apply to their location, they’ll be able to enter these percentages into the tax presets and continue making sales. The new taxes will be applied to all purchases and allow budtenders to service customers without interruption.

METRC Reporting System

One of the most important aspects of compliance will be reporting sales and inventory through a track and trace system. The State of California selected METRC as the online reporting platform for marijuana dispensaries. All cannabis retailers who have obtained an annual business license will be required to report inventory and sales numbers every 14 days.

METRC is still in the process of developing their online reporting portal for California but it is expected to be operational by late January or early February. Rather than spending hours manually entering all of the sales and inventory data every two weeks, you’ll want to invest in a marijuana compliance POS system that can send these reports automatically on a daily basis. IndicaOnline will be at the forefront of integrating your POS system with METRC’s reporting platform.

Customer Verification and Limitations

There are certain areas of compliance that have zero tolerance for infractions and selling cannabis to minors definitely falls into that category. It’s imperative to have a way to verify a customer’s age and medical recommendation if applicable.

Utilizing a marijuana compliance POS system, such as IndicaOnline, will allow retail staff to verify age using an identification swiper. Verifying a medical patient’s recommendation is easy using integrated verification services so you never have to worry about unknowingly serving customers that could cost your business.

California cannabis regulations also mandate specific daily sales limits that cannot be breached. These limitations vary depending on the type of customer but with advanced POS software, staff are notified immediately if a customer goes over the allowed amount. Preventative measures such as these are designed to keep marijuana dispensaries compliant and well within the law.

Packaging & Labelling Requirements

Eventually cannabis retailers will receive all of their marijuana flower from suppliers already packages in compliant child-proof containers with compliant labelling. Unfortunately, there will be a brief transition period wherein retailers will be responsible for packaging and labelling cannabis to stay compliant.

Dispensaries who are faced with this issue can cut cost by printing compliant labelling in-house. Printing labels using a marijuana compliance POS system is simple and customizable. Adding mandated warning text and symbols is easy and cost effective.

Staying compliant with state and local regulations could prove difficult for cannabis retailers operating with outdated and antiquated POS software. Updating your marijuana compliance POS system with IndicaOnline is paramount for dispensaries that want to remain profitable and efficient in the new recreational market. Sign-up for a free trial to take advantage of all the benefits our POS software can bring to your business.