The legal cannabis industry is complicated, and increasing regulations are only making it more so. The laws differ between the states, and it’s only a matter of time before regulation takes place on the federal level.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia are currently using the Metrc marijuana inventory tracking system, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Montana, and Oregon.
If you’re the operator of a dispensary in a Metrc state, you have no choice but to use this system. However, there are a great deal of misconceptions where the system is concerned, including whether or not it’s the only software you’ll need and how much it costs.
This article will answer your basic questions about Metrc and what you can expect when you use it.
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The costs involved in using Metrc differ from state to state, with some charging minimal fees and others charging no fees at all. According to Metrc’s website, the costs to use their system in Alaska, Nevada, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Ohio, and Oregon are as follows:
In Nevada, the state covers the first year of support fees, while in California, the cost of tags is included in the state license fee. In Montana and Michigan, the state covers the cost of the tags and the support fees. Michigan licensees are only responsible for the shipping and handling costs of the tags. There is also no mention of any fees or costs to use Metrc in Colorado, Massachusetts, and Louisiana.
Metrc’s cloud-hosted software is run by the state, so the service is free for use by dispensaries and there is no software you’ll need to download. There is also no hardware you’ll need to worry about purchasing, installing, or maintaining. As long as you have an internet connection, you’ll be good to go.
Metrc is a fantastic reporting system, but it is still just that—a reporting system. It’ll help you stay compliant with your state’s laws, but as the operator of a dispensary you know there’s a lot more involved in staying licensed and profitable than mere compliance. Especially when you consider the fact that your competitors may already be using the latest technology.
Using a third-party cannabis software solution in conjunction with Metrc software will take your dispensary to the next level. This is the edge you’ll need to stay one step ahead of the competition.
These software systems are designed to work with Metrc, so after the initial setup, you’ll be able to enter data into the system directly without having to log into Metrc. Staying compliant and being able to easily prove it is just the beginning when it comes to the benefits of pairing Metrc with one of these systems.
On top of compliance, there are other benefits to using this software, including accountability in human resources. You can use this software to give access to certain employees while limiting access in others. You’ll be able to run a report that tell you exactly who did what and when, and this will protect you from theft and loss.
The software will also give you a glimpse into your customers’ buying habits so you can adjust your products, prices, and promotions accordingly. You’ll be able to log-in and instantly see which products are selling the best and which of your employees is selling the most.
Dispensary POS systems typically cost in the low to even mid-five figures over the course of a year. While less expensive systems are available, these can be prone to system outages, placing your data and compliance at risk. However, a dispensary POS system can more than pay for itself when fully implemented and utilized by your staff.
A reliable POS system can cut your payroll by removing the need for full-time employees managing compliance. It can also reduce friction between your dispensary and regulatory authorities by streamlining your record-keeping. The value of using a quality dispensary POS system becomes apparent once you consider the critical tasks it can handle and the potential savings it offers.
As more states move toward legalization, it’s only a matter of time before all 50 states require cannabis operators to report to a state compliance system. Don’t wait until you’ve been fined for noncompliance to implement cannabis POS software.