For most legal states, Metrc is the typical seed-to-sale software tracking supplier, although it is not the sole choice.

Learn how to report to Metrc, the difference between plant and package tags, how to interpret Metrc receipts, and how to manage inventory in Metrc by reading on.

Metrc is the organization in charge of reporting.

It is your obligation to keep your Metrc account correct and up to date on a daily basis. This should be done using an application program interface (API) in your POS (API).

The following is a high-level explanation of Metrc’s operation:

A package must be registered in Metrc online dispensary before it can be delivered to your store. Your Metrc account must be updated every night when you sell through that package:

  • The transaction’s date and time
  • (For those with a medicinal marijuana card, this is “Patient.”)
  • Units sold Unit of measurement Price Patient ID Metrc package from which the sale occurred

Your Metrc inventory will be lowered by the quantity of product sales you report. The inventory in your actual store, POS, and Metrc should all be the same. Make sure you have a system in place to keep track of any discrepancies (both identifying and resolving them).

When you push this sale to Metrc, the package in your Metrc inventory is deducted by 28g. 972g has also been added to Metrc’s inventory.

Purchase limitations in states with 30-day purchase limits are modified based on this purchase.

Plant tags and parcel tags made of Metrc

Plant tags and package tags are the two main identifiers in Metrc.

The facility name, license number, application identifier (for medical or recreational use), tag order date, and unique plant identification number are all printed on plant tags.

Plant tags for recreational marijuana are blue, while plant tags for medical marijuana are always yellow.

Tags for packages are similar: Every package has a tangible sticker like this. It’s a 24-digit package number rather than a plant number. There will be only one product in each bundle.

Cultivation, production, and processing permits, as well as dispensary licenses, are all available in numerous states. Metrc reporting is necessary regardless of where you work in the seed-to-sale process.

Accepting your first cannabis product shipment

A manifest must be received and reviewed before physical inventory may be brought into your store. The supplier creates the manifest; the requirements are the same whether the supplier is you or someone else.

Metrc contains the manifest. It contains information on the product’s harvest, weight, unit of measurement, price, and so forth.

You are in charge of reviewing the manifest and accepting it if everything is right. When the delivery arrives, you’ll physically verify it to ensure it’s precisely what you purchased.

You then accept it in Metrc, indicating to the system that you are the legal owner of this inventory.

You can now fill your shelves and begin selling the product.

Select the best layout for your marijuana business.

Layout encompasses more than just the outward appearance of your store. It’s the shopping experience your customers have.

The goal is to strike a balance between a safe store inventory (simple to track, audit, count, and fill orders) with a lovely layout and experience. In the past, it was either one or the other. Modern dispensaries, on the other hand, are meeting both goals.

As a new dispensary, you want your marijuana products, particularly the flower, to be visible and accessible. Customers should be able to taste and investigate your product offerings before deciding which option best meets their demands.

As you prepare to establish your dispensary, here are some things to think about in terms of design and functionality:

Flexibility: Can you add a terminal on a busy day if necessary? Is your store, on the other hand, quite small and limited?

Is there room for growth in your current space? Take some time to consider the future and how your current location might evolve to accommodate your growing firm or changing market.

Future recreational opportunities: The current trend is to legalize medicinal marijuana first, followed by recreational marijuana after a few years. That’s wonderful since it expands your consumer base, but it may necessitate adjusting the way your store appears or functions to accommodate both medical and recreational customers. Some dispensaries divide their stores in halves, functioning with different permits, tags, inventory, and so on.

Increased traffic, particularly foot traffic, may result in complaints from those who do not favor cannabis. Customers will have a better experience if they can park safely and easily.

There are four common dispensary layout models.

We’ve come up with four different methods to organize your store. The solution you select is mostly determined by the workflow you require and the type of customer experience you wish to provide. Before deciding on a plan, make sure you understand the laws that govern how you keep and display your products.

Consider your potential customers as well. They may not return if there is too much stuff for them to look at. If there aren’t enough options, they may leave. Distinct client types have different preferences when it comes to consuming (for example, medical patients often prefer higher CBD and methods that are easy to consume versus connoisseurs often have an affinity toward flower or concentrates).

Finally, think about whether you want to go pre-packaged flowers or deli-style flowers (where you weigh out with every transaction). All of these factors play a role in deciding whether to go with the Bank, Pharmacy, Mobile, or Kiosk model.

The banking model

For medicinal cannabis dispensaries, this is the most common arrangement.

A customer checks in, waits in the waiting room, enters the secure room, and then completes the sale with the help of a budtender.

Model of a pharmacy

Customers enter a waiting room, pass through a security entry, and work with a budtender at a terminal, similar to the bank paradigm.

Instead of providing you the product after the transaction, they give you a receipt (and possibly labels) to take to the inventory control room.

Model for mobile phones

The customer enters the store, checks in, and then walks through the store, which is filled with merchandise exhibited along the walls and in protected glass cases. Sales salespeople (also known as budtenders) are always on the move, carrying a tablet to capture orders before heading over to a terminal to complete them.

The sales associate may take live merchandise from secure cases, load it into a basket, and transport it to a terminal where your order will be processed.

Kiosk design

Instead of walking to a terminal or being greeted, you sign in and proceed to a kiosk, where you can enter your own order/create your own basket, which is then transmitted to a terminal where a budtender can complete the order.

Which dispensary layout is ideal for your business?

As the market matures, we should expect to see more hybrid methods and creativity in dispensary layouts.

Employ qualified dispensary personnel and keep them.

Any workforce is crucial to the success of your medical marijuana dispensary or recreational retail store. It’s not uncommon for your dispensary to have high turnover in the first few months.

You should ideally have the following people on your team:

  • Budtenders and sales associates are the public face of your dispensary. This is the most underappreciated but crucial function in your company’s success. Make sure that budtenders not only have a passion for cannabis and a want to help people, but that they are also well-versed in laws and regulations. Because budtenders have a four-month average tenure, it’s critical to think about staff retention.
  • Make sure you have good employees, treat them well, and keep turnover to a minimum.
  • General manager: This person is in charge of your store’s daily operations, hiring and training employees, and ensuring state reporting compliance.
  • Greeter/receptionist: This individual is your dispensary’s initial impression, checking IDs, confirming age, and greeting customers.
  • Security: This person protects your dispensary, its employees, and its clients, and may be the same person who serves as a greeter. Because many customers aren’t accustomed to seeing security in stores, make sure this individual is polite and welcoming.
  • Inventory manager: Because of the rules around cannabis, inventory management is likely to be a separate profession. This person is in charge of inventory management and audits.
  • This person is in charge of ensuring that all regulations are obeyed. Even when things change, they’ll be paying attention to legislation and ensuring that your team is properly taught and that your organization is in compliance.
  • Purchasing/vendor manager: Because you’ll have various suppliers, having someone in charge of vendor contracts and negotiations, vendor inventory, and so on is beneficial. This is sometimes its own function, and other times it is controlled by the general manager.

If you don’t know what you’re doing with software, get someone who does, even if it’s a consultant. Because this is a digital business, you’ll need to know how to troubleshoot issues like printers, hardware, and integrations, especially when you’re first starting out.

Compliance is a recurrent topic across all roles. Every member of your dispensary staff should be aware of marijuana restrictions, such as purchase limitations, and the importance of adhering to them. Cannabis is a heavily regulated industry, and failing to follow the rules might jeopardize your business and livelihood.

Create employee management SOPs to ensure that you’re effectively and consistently hiring, training, onboarding, reviewing, promoting, and managing your staff.

The secret to keeping dispensary employees is to treat them well. As well as paying decently. As a business owner, you should think about perks as well. While most dispensaries provide medical insurance, others pay for dental, vision, and 401k or stock options.

Bonuses, paid parking, commuter perks, employee discounts, paid vacation, paid training opportunities, and other incentives could be included. For many people, this is a job, and benefits are a part of that. Your employees will stay if they feel cared for, treated fairly, and have opportunities for advancement.

How much should dispensary employees be paid?

Vangst, a cannabis recruiting portal, has revealed average payscales for budtenders, general managers, and compliance specialists.

Staffing Tips for Dispensaries: Must-Have Cannabis Retail Employees

You’ll notice that pay scales differ depending on region, such as high-growth areas, as well as experience. When you’re starting out in a new area, recruiting experienced employees can be difficult. If you can discover someone with cannabis retail experience who recently relocated to your state, recruit them.

Take into account your network, hardware, and cannabis technology stack.

It’s crucial to have a beautiful store and wonderful personnel, but you also need to think about your network, hardware, and technology partners when starting your cannabis dispensary.


It’s common to think that your wifi will always be available, yet an outage may be disastrous for our company. The first step is to ensure that you have the finest coverage possible in your area and that as many components as feasible, such as printers, are hardlined. That way, even if your internet connection goes down, you’ll be able to print labels.


You’ll have a lot of upfront fees, just like any other firm. While it may be tempting to save money or postpone expenses until your dispensary is up and running, hardware is not one of those places where you should cut savings. Don’t scrimp on the store’s hardware. Make sure your machines have enough RAM to handle the transaction quickly. For additional information on selecting the correct gear for your dispensary, read our dispensary hardware recommendations.

You’ll also need to consider payment terminals and dispensary payment processing solutions if you plan to accept debit card purchases, which we recommend because it can increase cart size by up to 30%. The cannabis payments guide is an excellent place to begin learning about the state of non-cash payments in the cannabis industry.

Consider the aesthetics as well. If you’re going to design a gorgeous store, make sure the hardware matches. Also, be sure the POS you choose is compatible with the hardware you want to use – some cannabis POS software requires specialized gear, so switching later could result in significant capital costs or limit the software you can use if you chose the hardware first.


We all know how to print, so it appears to be an easy consideration. Printing a label or receipt for a retail cannabis firm, on the other hand, is very specific and comes with a long list of requirements.

You have a label for each unit you sell. It’s best to have a designated area where you can label all of your products, both when fresh product packages arrive and as you sell them to clients. Keep a separate printer for each terminal to reduce the chance of marking the wrong goods. Don’t scrimp here.

Stack of technology

This refers to all of the software you’ll be working with. It’s a given that you’ll have a POS designed specifically for the cannabis sector. But what additional technology would you like to see in your store? What about digital menus? Kiosks with self-service dispensaries? What are loyalty programs? Do you want to order ahead of time or have it delivered?

These additional features can improve your store’s aesthetic, establish your brand/image, improve customer experience, and increase loyalty and income. There are a plethora of cannabis software alternatives to think about. Make sure they’re all compatible with your hardware and POS software.

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