When choosing an e-commerce tool for your dispensary, you want to ensure that tool will prevent any compliance issues with your online listings, sales, or tracking of products back to the cannabis processor or cultivation.
Unfortunately, some cannabis technology systems don’t communicate well with the e-commerce platform. As a result, information like strain, THC content, or medical-only designations don’t always show up for online shoppers. This can cost sales and put your dispensary out of compliance with state regulations — a problem we’ve seen plague cannabusinesses all too often.
That’s why we at HYC recommend using a system like Dutchie, which puts health and safety — along with compliance — at the forefront by ensuring people understand exactly what they’re buying at all times.
Read on to learn how Dutchie helps keep your dispensary compliant with state regulations — such as purchasing limits, tracking products back to the cannabis processor or grow, product packaging and labeling, and more.
Enforcing Purchasing Limits
Cannabis purchasing limits vary by state, so customers must be able to see exactly what and how much they’re purchasing. If the e-commerce platform doesn’t properly display information about the cannabis processor, products, and quantities, customers have no way of knowing whether they’re exceeding the purchasing limits.
Additionally, it’s important to protect your dispensary from “looping,” a practice where customers get around daily purchasing limits by making multiple transactions. Often, this is done by leaving the store between each new transaction.
While you can’t prevent people from purchasing up to the daily limit at your dispensary and then going to another store and purchasing the allotted amount again, you can use tools like Dutchie to create protocols and track purchases to ensure customers aren’t looping at your store.
Distinguishing Medical vs. Recreational Products
In addition to ensuring customers stay within purchasing limits at your dispensary, it’s also important to clearly display which products are only available for purchase with a state-issued medical card and which can be purchased by any adult.
Not every state requires dispensaries to have separate checkout lines for medical patients versus adult-use. However, it’s the dispensary’s responsibility to check patient cards for medical-only transactions and ensure customers have access to information about the cannabis processor and the products they’re buying.
With a system like Dutchie, customers can add their medical card information and either save it to their account or enter it manually for each guest order. This makes it easy to ensure online transactions keep you compliant with your state’s regulations on medical-only products, as well as purchasing limits on adult-use products.
Tracking & Communicating Recalls
Electronic tracking and record keeping is an integral part of maintaining compliance in a cannabis business operation. At Higher Yields Consulting, we see young cannabis businesses get tripped up by the minutiae of compliance, which can grind your operation to a halt and press pause on profits.
In the event of a product recall, like the recent health advisories issued in Colorado for mold found on products sold at several dispensaries, it’s important to be able to track products not only from seed to sale but also back to the original cannabis processor or cultivation.
Many states require dispensary license applicants to submit recall procedures as part of the application process. These procedures usually include:
- Designating a recall coordinator to receive and file reports, pull affected inventory, and use the electronic tracking system (such as METRC or BioTrack) to trace the product back to its origin.
- Alerting the original licensee and state departments about the issue.
- Issuing a public notice on the dispensary website, via email, through patient outreach, etc., and instructing customers to return the recalled products for safe disposal.
In addition to tracking product information, your e-commerce platform needs to be able to communicate in real time which products have been recalled and are no longer available for purchase. Dutchie does this automatically, getting the word out about recalls and stopping sales on those products as quickly as possible.
Meeting Package & Label Requirements
Whether they’re shopping in store or online, customers need to be able to see exactly what they’re buying. Requirements for packaging and labeling of cannabis are extremely specific, but they also vary by state. Common required information for product labels includes:
- Product type
- THC or CBD percentage
To ensure you stay compliant with your state’s packaging and labeling requirements, Dutchie allows you to create and edit labels in the system’s back end that you can print and also display on the e-commerce platform.
This not only creates a better and safer customer experience but also allows for more detailed tracking and information retention. Dutchie integrates well with state-mandated electronic tracking systems, making it easy to trace products from the cultivator or cannabis processor all the way down to the customer.
Tracking Products From Cannabis Processor to Customer
If your dispensary’s e-commerce platform doesn’t contain the same information customers have access to in store, you risk lost sales, compliance issues like failure to enforce purchasing limits, inability to track products back to the cannabis processor or cultivator, and more.
We love Dutchie because the platform helps ensure you stay compliant with your state’s e-commerce requirements and that your customers have all the information they need to purchase your products with confidence. And since there’s no billing until you open, there’s no risk in trying it even while you’re in the application process.
Looking for more information on compliance, technology, and other best practices for your cannabusiness? Connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook.