How Software Developers Can Ensure Cannabis Dispensaries have the POS Hardware They Need

The best point of sale (POS) software won’t provide maximum value without the right hardware to support it.

cannabis technology

In the retail space, cannabis dispensaries are relatively new – and many dispensary owners are new to running a business. Their primary focus is often on the quality of the products they sell, and they devote less attention to their business IT systems and point of sale (POS) technology. But they need to.

Cannabis is a highly regulated industry with laws that vary from state to state and include strict penalties, such as high fines and loss of business license. Those laws prescribe what must happen at the point of sale, such as meticulously weighing and labeling products, printing purchase information on receipts, and logging specific data for auditing.

Cannabis Dispensary Software Addresses Challenges

The software you develop for this industry addresses cannabis dispensary compliance, but it also gives business owners the tools they need to operate efficient businesses and provide positive customer experiences. Beyond ensuring cannabis dispensaries are compliant with the law, your software solution addresses challenges, such as:

Cash management

Although legislators are working to change banking laws to give cannabis businesses the same access to banking services that other merchants have (e.g., business checking accounts, accepting credit cards), dispensaries operate primarily as cash-only businesses. Cannabis dispensaries, often limited by state regulation in number and location, can do a high volume of business, leading to cash drawers that overflow.

Developers can help with cash management by automating drawer openings, using access control measures to secure drawers, and giving cannabis dispensaries the ability to use multiple drawers.

Online orders

Cannabis dispensaries maintained – or in many cases, increased – their business during COVID-19, but customers looked for ways to keep their distance and minimize contact with store employees and other customers.

Providing your cannabis dispensary clients with the ability to accept online orders and effectively communicate those orders to staff and label them for pickup is essential for efficient operations, accuracy and compliance, and customer satisfaction.

Inventory traceability

Cannabis dispensaries are responsible for tracking inventory down to a fraction of a gram. Using scales with the right sensitivity is critical for compliance.

Pole display

Customers, as well as cannabis dispensaries, are responsible for the amounts they can purchase and for keeping records. Therefore, they want maximum visibility into their transactions. A pole display allows them to watch as each item is weighed and scanned so they know their purchase is compliant.

Receipt printing

Like most other aspects of running a cannabis dispensary, receipt format is also regulated. Along with the date and time of purchase, the receipt must clearly state how much of each product the customer purchased and show the taxes and any discounts.

Software developers partner with printers to ensure receipts print correctly, so it’s vital that a dispensary uses a printer certified to use with their system. Dispensaries may also struggle to find counter space for a hardwired printer. It’s smart to partner with a vendor such as Star Micronics that offers both Bluetooth and hardwired printers compatible with your software to give your cannabis dispensary clients the greatest flexibility.

Getting the Right POS Hardware to Your Clients

From cash drawers and pole displays to receipt printers and scales, your cannabis dispensary customers need the right hardware for the functionality your software is designed to provide. However, software developers often can’t devote time and resources to delivering hardware. Forming and managing vendor relationships, stocking products, shipping orders, providing support and honoring warranties is far outside most software developers’ comfort zone.

The solution is partnering with a hardware fulfillment service. Your hardware fulfillment partner will work with you to identify the specific hardware brands, models, and numbers your cannabis dispensary clients need. Then, they’ll establish a microsite, branded for your company, where business owners can go to purchase their hardware.

It’s convenient for cannabis businesses. They only need to visit one site to find exactly what they need and can get the answers to their questions with a call to the hardware fulfillment company’s help desk (not yours). And, because a hardware fulfillment company forms strong vendor relationships and orders large volumes, they’ll likely be able to offer your customers better pricing than they would have if they made the purchases on their own.

Additionally, hardware fulfillment companies may offer pre-configuration so that a cannabis dispensary can use their touchscreens, scales, printers and more right out of the box.

As a software developer, you know your customers have the hardware they need for the best UX with your software – and you’ll also receive revenue from each purchase, based on the terms of your agreement with your hardware fulfillment partner.

Stay Focused

Developing cannabis dispensary software for a highly regulated, high-volume business is demanding and requires your full attention. Leave hardware sales to a company whose priority is providing your clients with precisely the right devices and peripherals they need.


Zack Martin is Vice President of Sales and Business Development for, the go-to hardware sales solution for software companies, ISOs, ISVs and franchises. ShopPOSPortal creates custom branded microsites (free of charge) for companies who don’t want to deal with hardware but also want to provide compatible hardware products at the best prices to their customers. The microsite includes only certified hardware products to use in conjunction with each company’s software/systems.