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Ensuring Quality in Dispensaries

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Developing and Ensuring Quality in Cannabis

In agriculture, the ability to track, replicate, and improve is crucial to creating and developing high quality, profitable products. The ability to see a finished product and know in great detail why that batch/crop turned out better than other crops is the key to evolving and improving what you produce. The more you can track variables, the better data you can accumulate, and the more you can provide a controlled natural selection. With controlled natural selection you encourage positive results (Scent, Color, Trichomes, Moisture, Flavor, and Burn) and discourage unwanted results. At the same time, if you can source a less expensive material and come up with an equal end result, your net profit has room to improve. However, if you use a cheaper material and end up with a worse result, you know the quality of your crops will go down and you must decide if the lower priced, lower quality product is something you want to produce (traceability).

What is Traceability?

In the marijuana dispensary industry, traceability refers to the ability to know the source, handling, and sale/disposal of all marijuana from seed to sale. At any time, a unique identifying number should be able to locate where the marijuana came from, who handled it, and where it ended up. Not only is traceability the best practice when it comes to maintaining quality control, but it is also a legal requirement for most states and federal agencies.

Cultivators, Extraction Processors, Transportation Services, Dispensary Operators, Healthcare Providers, and Regulatory Agencies are all required to track and tag the marijuana plants, seeds, and products created or dispensed. Please see your local resources in regards to state specific tracking requirements.

How do you track?

Using serialized barcodes is the easiest way to track marijuana from seed to sale. Each seed is assigned a unique code that will follow it from plant, to bud or consumable that can be scanned at any time to determine where it came from, who had ownership of it, and what became of it. The most basic barcode used is a 1D barcode similar to a sales UPC code, but the traceability code is in a different format that allows for more digits and alphanumeric characters to be used.

Some states like Colorado require RFID/NFC tracking instead of barcodes. RFID, radio frequency identification, and NFC, near field communication, both depend upon expensive tags and readers that may or may not improve tracking quality. Please contact us for more details. 

What do you need?

Putting a serialized barcode system into place does not have to be a costly endeavor. A basic barcode scanner, label printer, and tracking software is all you need to get started. However, please look into your local state regulations, as certain states mandate that you report your inventory through specific portals or with specific technologies. POSGuys works with multiple software partners that have experience with all states where cannabis is legal and would be happy to recommend a software solution.


Recommended Barcode Scanners:

1.  Zebra LI3608/DS3608 - Ultra rugged barcode scanner.  This scanner is available with a few different options depending on the type of barcode you are using, how far away you will be doing the scanning, and if you want bluetooth or corded.  All versions of the 3600 Series are virtually water proof, can sustain large drops are being stepped on, and extreme temperatures.  One of the best scanning and toughest scanners ever.

2.  LI2208 - Basic retail and production scanner, good durability, great scanning, and an exceptional price.  Only scans 1D barcodes so will not work when used with 2D barcodes.

3.  DS4308 - Basic 2D scanner for retail and production.  Similar to the LI2208 but adds the additional functionality of scanning 2D barcodes or 1D barcodes from any angle.  Overall superior scanning ability to the LI2208 while still maintaining a mid-price point.


Recommended Label Printers

1.  Zebra TLP2824 - 2.25" wide basic label printer.  Can print on direct thermal tags for temporary use or thermal transfer labels, tags, and wristbands for water/element resistance.  

2.  ZD420 - Cartridge based label printer for easy media changes between different ribbons or label types.  Much faster and easier to load then traditional label printers.  

3.  GK420 - Similar to the TLP2824 but in a 4" print width.  Uses traditional rolled ribbon for thermal transfer printing.  Can print the same labels as the 2" wide printer but also could do wider product and shipping labels.


Recommended All in One Computers

1.  POS-X TP5 w/ Built in receipt printer - Wide screen form factor with built in receipt printer.  Works great both as a point of sales station or as a management computer for consumable productions.  Space saving built in receipt printer is both fast and quiet.  14" Touch screen has multi-touch capabilities and is spill resistant.  Runs Windows.

2.  ELO E-Series All in One - 15" touch screen in a wide screen format.  Available in a variety or processor and memory configurations to match with whatever software you are choosing to use.  


Complete Dispensary Kit  

POSGuys has put together the following basic point of sale kit for dispensaries.  It includes the standard point of sale accessories you need (please contact us for compatible scale) along with the hardware needed for creating labels and tags. 

  • MMJ Menu Software
  • TLP2824
  • 2.5" x 1.25" Labels
  • DS4308 Barcode Scanner
  • POS-X TP5 w/ Built in printer
  • POS-X Ion 15" Cash Drawer


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