State compliance

4 min read

An Easy Guide to State Compliance for Cannabis Retailers

November 6, 2017

Maintaining state compliance is by far the most important factor in keeping your marijuana dispensary open for business. Failure to comply with state laws and regulations will mostly likely end with an unexpected dispensary closure.

To avoid common state compliance pitfalls and missteps, we comprised an easy guide for compliance from which all cannabis retailers can benefit.

Inventory Traceability

Every cannabis retailer must provide accurate and transparent inventory traceability. Missing stock or unaccounted for flower will ultimately result in the downfall of any dispensary. The slightest discrepancy could lead to major fines, potential penalties, or a complete shutdown.

Unfortunately, the nature of the business tends to result in product loss over time. Whether it’s errors in the inventory count, poor packaging practices, or product theft by staff, it’s the responsibility of every cannabis retail owner to provide sufficient countermeasures.

Utilizing an industry specific POS software will track sales as well as the supply chain to ensure your inventory numbers are accurate on daily basis.

State Reporting

Reporting sales and expenses is essential to staying state compliant. While different states allot varying reporting periods, having the ability to generate accurate sales reports at a moment’s notice is key to staying compliant.

Most states use online reporting systems such as METRC. Implementing a cannabis retail POS software that automatically syncs with these reporting systems is highly recommended.

When investing in cannabis retail POS software make sure it includes an offline sales feature that can track sales and immediately sync all stored information once back online.

Retailer Business Licenses

As 2018 approaches, many California based cannabis retailers are preparing to apply for their business license. Compiling the necessary documentation, saving for the associated fees, and staying up-to-date on the latest legislation is necessary to make sure your application is in order.

While states like Washington and Colorado have already established their licensing process, California is just beginning to define how they will be issued. As of now, qualifying cannabis retailers will first receive their temporary business license that will be replaced by a permanent business license once the application has been fully reviewed.

Keeping your business license up-to-date will be imperative to staying compliant and running a successful cannabis retail operation.

Customer Purchase Limits

Almost every state with legal medical or recreational marijuana regulates the daily consumer purchase limit.  Processing transactions for customers who are purchasing various types of cannabis products can be tricky for budtenders. Product equivalencies can be confusing and the possibility of exceeding these limits are just too risky.

Enlisting a cannabis retail POS software specifically designed to meet the regulations of your state is paramount. Automated alerts will help dispensary staff avoid overages and keep your cannabis storefront compliant.

Packaging & Labeling

Regulations on product packaging and labeling are extremely detailed and elaborate. Selling products without all the appropriate information may seem minor but could very well end up costing your dispensary.

While most of these requirements affect manufactures the most, cannabis retailers that pre-package their flower are just as liable. Including health and safety warnings, source information, strain description, dosing directions, volume amount, and lab results are all potential requirements based on your state’s regulations.

This is why operating a cannabis software that will integrate with custom label printers will be invaluable. Printer compatibility will make it easy change to labels to meet compliance regulations and save you hundreds in printing costs from a third-party.

Paying Taxes

Yes, it’s as certain as death and taxes. While states like Washington and Colorado have been paying hefty sales taxes for some time, the new year will bring the same to the State of California.

Cannabis retailers who fail to stay tax compliant will suffer devastating fines and could be subject to having their business license voided. Fortunately, automating your sales tax is simple when using an advanced cannabis retail POS software. Input the percentages and taxes will automatically be added to the subtotal at checkout.

State compliance will continue to evolve over the next several years and cannabis retailers will need to adapt to meet changing regulations. Dispensary owners can alleviate the stress of compliance by installing an industry specific POS software that will continue to update with you.