Cash Management Made Simple for Cannabis Dispensary Owners

by Mike Coner

Managing an all-cash business requires extra planning and security.

North American marijuana sales are projected to top $20 billion by 2021. The vast majority of those payments will be made in cash.

Cannabis industry organizations don’t have access to institutional financial tools like everyone else does. The fact that the United States federal government still sees cannabis as a scheduled narcotic means that banks and payment processors are unwilling to work with cannabis businesses.

This puts cannabis dispensaries and their partners in a tight spot. Having large piles of cash sitting around makes them susceptible to theft and robbery. Cannabis dispensary owners often have to travel for hours with large sums of cash in-hand to pay taxes and municipal fees to local and state authorities.

Cash Management Tips for the Cannabis Industry 

Cannabis industry business owners have a clear need to implement secure cash management strategies. The more comfortable dispensaries are with cash-related company policy, the greater the peace of mind dispensary owners can enjoy.

  • Start With Employee Cannabis Compliance. Your employees are your first line of defense against non-compliance and security vulnerabilities. Employees who see large amounts of cash lying around with no solid accounting structure in place will be tempted to steal. Effective training, combined with a transparency-oriented company culture and proper accounting methods, will reduce the risk of employee theft.
  • Manage Employee Permissions. If your company has few internal controls, it will be much harder to identify internal theft when it occurs. Your employees will know this and take advantage of that fact. Deploy a robust role-based point-of-sale (POS) system so that every action an employee takes is registered verified against his or her permissions.
  • Close Your Registers with Blind Reconciliation. Blind drawer reconciliation is a process that prompts employees to count the entire day’s transactions before closing a register. The employee then reports the total into your point-of-sale system. If there is a discrepancy, it will appear immediately.
  • Adhere to Standard Operating Procedures. There should be a clearly defined procedure in place for any situation where employees have to handle cash. This is especially true for managing discrepancies, where loose and ambiguous language can lead to money disappearing without a trace.
  • Invest in Security Talent and Technology. Most jurisdictions require cannabis dispensaries to hire on-site security guards. Make sure you choose a reputable firm with experience operating in the cannabis industry – don’t skimp on security costs!
  • Invest in Secure On-Site Storage. Your cash safe is one of the most important security tools in your arsenal. When selecting a safe, look for features that will maintain security even if the passcode combination is compromised. For example, some safes use two-factor authentication or take 20 minutes to open. Both of these options are worth considering.

Automation is key to maintaining a secure and efficient infrastructure. An automated point-of-sale system goes a long way towards tightening your cash-related processes. Tightly scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs perform the same function when outsourced to a highly reliable third-party vendor. Take every step to ensure your dispensary’s cash reserves are safe!

ezGreen Compliance features cash management at a glance 

ezGreen Compliance POS has developed custom features for clients with shift reports, cash drawers, main vault, vendor debt and audit logs.  Your executive team and controllers can also request any data set for pre-configured custom reporting for the main vault, inventory, COGS and Metrc sales reports.  

Managing an all-cash business requires extra planning and security.

North American marijuana sales are projected to top $20 billion by 2021. The vast majority of those payments will be made in cash.

Cannabis industry organizations don’t have access to institutional financial tools like everyone else does. The fact that the United States federal government still sees cannabis as a scheduled narcotic means that banks and payment processors are unwilling to work with cannabis businesses.

This puts cannabis dispensaries and their partners in a tight spot. Having large piles of cash sitting around makes them susceptible to theft and robbery. Cannabis dispensary owners often have to travel for hours with large sums of cash in-hand to pay taxes and municipal fees to local and state authorities.

Cash Management Tips for the Cannabis Industry 

Cannabis industry business owners have a clear need to implement secure cash management strategies. The more comfortable dispensaries are with cash-related company policy, the greater the peace of mind dispensary owners can enjoy.

  • Start With Employee Cannabis Compliance. Your employees are your first line of defense against non-compliance and security vulnerabilities. Employees who see large amounts of cash lying around with no solid accounting structure in place will be tempted to steal. Effective training, combined with a transparency-oriented company culture and proper accounting methods, will reduce the risk of employee theft.
  • Manage Employee Permissions. If your company has few internal controls, it will be much harder to identify internal theft when it occurs. Your employees will know this and take advantage of that fact. Deploy a robust role-based point-of-sale (POS) system so that every action an employee takes is registered verified against his or her permissions.
  • Close Your Registers with Blind Reconciliation. Blind drawer reconciliation is a process that prompts employees to count the entire day’s transactions before closing a register. The employee then reports the total into your point-of-sale system. If there is a discrepancy, it will appear immediately.
  • Adhere to Standard Operating Procedures. There should be a clearly defined procedure in place for any situation where employees have to handle cash. This is especially true for managing discrepancies, where loose and ambiguous language can lead to money disappearing without a trace.
  • Invest in Security Talent and Technology. Most jurisdictions require cannabis dispensaries to hire on-site security guards. Make sure you choose a reputable firm with experience operating in the cannabis industry – don’t skimp on security costs!
  • Invest in Secure On-Site Storage. Your cash safe is one of the most important security tools in your arsenal. When selecting a safe, look for features that will maintain security even if the passcode combination is compromised. For example, some safes use two-factor authentication or take 20 minutes to open. Both of these options are worth considering.

Automation is key to maintaining a secure and efficient infrastructure. An automated point-of-sale system goes a long way towards tightening your cash-related processes. Tightly scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs perform the same function when outsourced to a highly reliable third-party vendor. Take every step to ensure your dispensary’s cash reserves are safe!

ezGreen Compliance features cash management at a glance 

ezGreen Compliance POS has developed custom features for clients with shift reports, cash drawers, main vault, vendor debt and audit logs.  Your executive team and controllers can also request any data set for pre-configured custom reporting for the main vault, inventory, COGS and Metrc sales reports.  

Sources:
https://www.covasoftware.com/blog/how-to-manage-cash-at-a-cannabis-retail-store
https://www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com/2019/03/follow-the-money-managing-cash-in-cannabis/

https://flowhub.com/learn/blog/cash-management-tips-for-cannabis-retailers

Cash Safety Tips for Marijuana Dispensaries

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