ohio dispensaries


Ohio Dispensary Tech Requirements

Effective IT infrastructure is crucial for the success of a dispensary. Compliance, security, inventory tracking, and sales are all heavily reliant on solid technology solutions. This post will explore the essential tech requirements for Ohio dispensaries, focusing on legal compliance and the tools necessary for efficient and successful operations. 

Ohio Legal Cannabis Tech Requirements 

Track and Trace: METRC 

Ohio dispensaries must comply with the state’s track and trace requirements, primarily managed through the METRC (Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance) system. METRC is a seed-to-sale tracking system that ensures every cannabis product is accounted for from cultivation to sale.  

Key Features of METRC: 

  • RFID Tags: Each plant and product is assigned a unique RFID tag, to trace products back to their origin, enhancing transparency and safety. 
  • Inventory Management: Detailed records of inventory levels, product movement, and sales. 
  • Compliance Reporting: Automated reporting to regulatory authorities, reducing manual paperwork. 

Here’s how dispensaries will interact with METRC: 

  • Integration with POS Systems: Most dispensaries will use a point-of-sale (POS) system that integrates with METRC. This integration simplifies daily operations, as sales and inventory data are automatically synced with the state’s tracking system. 
  • Daily Interactions: While most staff will rarely need to interact with METRC directly, they should regularly check for syncing issues and discrepancies to ensure compliance. 
  • Training Requirements: According to the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3796 and 3780, dispensary employees are required to undergo METRC training to familiarize themselves with the system, even if they primarily use integrated POS software. This training will be provided by Metrc LLC upon the issuance of a license, via webinars, YouTube videos, user guides, and manuals. 

Recordkeeping Requirements 

Ohio mandates comprehensive electronic recordkeeping to ensure compliance and transparency. Electronic records of sales and inventory should be backed up daily, as per regulation. 

Key requirements include: 

  • Sales Records: Detailed transaction logs, including product descriptions, quantities, prices, and customer information. 
  • Inventory Records: Real-time inventory tracking, capturing all changes in stock levels, including sales, returns, and waste. 
  • Compliance Reports: Regular generation of compliance reports for state audits and inspections. 
  • Surveillance records: Video surveillance system recordings retention up to 45 days.   

Surveillance and Security Systems 

Ohio law implements strict security measures for dispensaries, including:  

  • Commercial-grade security alarm system equipped with intrusion detection and emergency response systems. 
  • Video surveillance system with high-resolution cameras, covering all areas of the dispensary for all-round monitoring with live video feed. 
  • Access control systems to restrict access to sensitive areas for unauthorized personnel.  

For more detailed information regarding security requirements for dispensaries, please check our blog post “Ohio Dispensary Security Laws & Requirements”

Tech You Need to Run a Successful Dispensary 

Beyond compliance, a successful dispensary requires a well-rounded tech stack to manage daily operations efficiently. 

Point of Sale (POS) Systems 

A reliable POS system is at the heart of dispensary operations. It not only handles transactions but also integrates with other systems to streamline processes. 

Key features include: 

  • Integration with METRC: Seamless data transfer to ensure compliance. 
  • Inventory Management: Real-time tracking of stock levels and automatic reordering. 
  • Customer Management: Maintaining patient profiles and purchase histories. 
  • Sales Reporting: Detailed analytics for business insights and regulatory reporting. 

Key components include: 

  • Hardware: Touchscreen terminals, barcode scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers, and tablets for mobile transactions. 
  • Software: Comprehensive cannabis-specific POS systems like Dutchie, Flowhub, MJ Freeway, Cova, Meadow, and others.  

A dispensary may also utilize a self-serve ordering kiosk located within the physical premises of the facility. However, it may not automatically or directly dispense cannabis to individuals. 

Dispensary Website, eCommerce & Online Menus 

Every cannabis dispensary starts its journey of creating an online presence and brand showcase with a website. The addition of an online menu, with POS integration, will help in taking it further, by displaying real-time inventory and pricing.  

For expanding reach, an eCommerce site offering in-person pick-up, online orders, and reservations can be considered as the next step. 

Cannabis HR Software 

Managing staff in a dispensary involves unique challenges, from ensuring compliance with labor laws to managing shift schedules. Cannabis-specific HR software like KayaPush can help with: 

  • Employee Onboarding: Streamlined hiring processes with background checks and compliance training. 
  • Scheduling and Payroll: Automated scheduling, time tracking, and payroll management. 

Marketing Software 

Effective marketing is essential for attracting and retaining customers. Dispensaries can benefit from software tailored to the cannabis industry, such as: 

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Tools like SpringBig help manage customer interactions, loyalty programs, and targeted marketing campaigns. 
  • Digital Marketing: Platforms like Weedmaps can enhance online visibility and customer engagement. 

Local Network 

A robust local network ensures all systems work seamlessly together. Having a Wi-Fi connection is advantageous, which, if provided free-of-cost to customers, can also contribute to an increase in footfall. Key considerations include: 

  • Networking Hardware: Routers, switches, and access points to ensure stable and secure connectivity. 
  • Data Security: Implementing firewalls and encryption to protect sensitive information. 

How Can Cure8 Help 

As more states legalize marijuana for adult use for medical as well as recreational use, the cannabis market is predicted to keep growing quickly, offering investors and business owners more opportunities. A dependable IT system is essential for cannabis retail stores and dispensaries to easily monitor and control all retail operations. 

Cure8 tech specialists can assist Ohio-based cannabis retailers in picking the right technology to streamline operations, expand their customer base, and maintain compliance all at once. 

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