Top Mistakes Dispensaries Make in Cannabis Inventory Management

by Santos, Osiris

Protect your dispensary against these common mistakes.

Cannabis dispensaries rely on accurate and organized inventory management just as much as any other retail business does.

In fact, industry regulations demand an even more exacting approach to inventory management than most other retail stores. You need to track every product coming through your store and report every transaction to state authorities.

It’s clear that maintaining regulatory compliance and keeping good stock records are intertwined. Doing one better empowers you to approach the other with greater clarity and efficiency.

But cannabis dispensary owners still make plenty of mistakes. These span the range from mere time-wasters to deep, foundational problems that will eventually threaten the existence of the business itself.

Prepare yourself to meet the challenges of running an efficient dispensary by avoiding the most common mistakes dispensary owners make.

Common Inventory Management Mistakes in the Cannabis Industry

Our compliance experts commonly see dispensary owners making the following mistakes. Take a close look at your inventory management processes and determine if you are making the same ones yourself.

  1. Using a Generic Point-of-Sale (POS) Solution

Yes, you can technically run a successful dispensary without an industry-specific POS device, but you will spend an inordinate amount of time entering and verifying compliance data. Eventually, the time you spend doing this will far outweigh the cost of investing in a system that automates the process for you.

  1. Failing to Secure Inventory Space

Poorly organized and badly secured inventory spaces make tempting targets. If an employee believes that he or she can get away with copping a product or two from your warehouse shelf, you can bet that at some point, they will.

This is one of the most important reasons why you need to hire an experienced, trustworthy inventory manager. This person’s responsibilities will include securing inventory access and issuing compliance infractions to employees.

  1. Counting Inventory Irregularly

Performing regular inventory audits is good practice. Performing irregular audits based on the whim of the moment is, at best, a waste of time. Without a clear routine for identifying methods your dispensary uses to count inventory, there will be no disincentive to product diversion.

In order to improve security and streamline inventory processes, inventory audits need to be consistent and well-ordered.

  1. Using the Wrong Inventory Management Method

There are multiple types of inventory management methods. The one that most cannabis dispensaries have the greatest success using is called FIFO – First-in, First-Out. When you sell your merchandise in the same order it was received, you make sure you don’t end up having to throw away expired product. 

Remember, your cannabis products’ Certificate of Analysis has an expiration date. Selling expired product will land you in hot water with your state’s regulatory authorities.

ezGreen Compliance POS customizes your inventory from PO to sale with Metrc integration

ezGreen allows you to automate the product inventory ingestion process with a few simple steps.  First receive chain of custody when distributor delivers products to 

your delivery room where you can then assign Metrc batch ID tags to each product unit. Second, label all products with THC potency requirements and ezGreen serialization UPC codes to track all products thru your work areas.  Finally you can move inventory into the floor preparation area, the back of the counter area, and finally to your sales areas while tracking the movement of all products thru your custom dashboards. You can remove the human error from inventory tracking without losing the relationships with your customers and patients.

Automate Inventory Best Practices

Inventory management demands diligence and excellent organization. Dispensary owners who do not already have solutions in place for meeting the needs of proper stock management can implement automated solutions that empower employee diligence and fulfill organizational goals without requiring constant effort. Invest in third-party vendor solutions that can transform the way your dispensary does business.

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