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RFID Solutions for the Legal Cannabis Industry - Existo Solutions
Cannabis Retail, Cannabis Technology, Metrc

RFID Solutions for Your Legal Cannabis Business

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology offers many conveniences for all facility types in the legal cannabis industry. This technology has a variety of uses for retail, access control, and electronic payment methods. RFID is perfectly suited for the highly regulated legal cannabis industry because it can accurately track and report data. One of the best uses of this technology is to track products from seed-to-sale for regulatory compliance.

Beyond the Tag

RFID technology is comprised of three main components: tag, antenna, and reader. All RFID tags are made of durable plastic. This is necessary in order to withstand the conditions of a grow environment. The antenna, which is built into the tag, transmits data to the reader. Once the data from the tag reaches the reader, there are many ways to store and manage it. 

Internally, this technology can be used to record plant activity, track inventory, and provide quality assurance. However, the most important use of this data is the ability to accurately track chain of custody from seed-to-sale, which is required by law. This information collected via RFID can be seamlessly uploaded to Metrc in order to be reported out to the appropriate regulatory agencies. Metrc provides transparency of the supply chain by tracking activity, tracing product origin, and reporting data. This ensures compliance for your cannabis business. 

Existo Can Get You Started

By automating your tracking and recording with RFID, you can save time and money while eliminating human error. Interested in integrating RFID technology into your operation? The experts at Existo can provide RFID solutions to meet the needs of your legal cannabis business. We work with all facility types and remain the most validated Metrc integrator in the United States. At Existo, our experts offer innovative solutions with a compliance first approach. Contact Us today for your free consultation!

NTEP Scale for Cannabis Industry
Cannabis Retail, Cannabis Technology

Are Your Scales NTEP Certified?

Cannabis is a product that has been bought and sold by weight since before it was legalized. Prior to legalization, cannabis was bought and sold using scales with pretty questionable accuracy. When sold in small amounts, it might not make a difference to a seller’s bottom line. However, with legalization and expansion of the retail cannabis industry, accuracy and precision in scales used for commercial transactions are imperative. By using NTEP Certified scales, you can ensure that every transaction is precise.

What is NTEP Certification?

NTEP stands for National Type Evaluation Program. This program ensures precision and accuracy of weight measurements for all items sold commercially in the US. This includes just about every item that is sold commercially by weight such as meat, produce, gold, pharmaceuticals, and of course cannabis. Obtaining NTEP Certification by the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) means that your scales are properly calibrated and inspected ensuring accuracy of every transaction. 

Handbook 44 is the prescribing document for all the technical requirements and specifications of legal-for-trade scales. Manufacturers and service agents use this handbook to ensure compliance and performance of NTEP Certified devices. 

Why is NTEP Certification Important?

  • First and foremost, it’s required by most state and local regulations. Registration of units as well as annual inspection is required for all scales used in commercial transactions. If your business is caught using a scale for commercial use that does not have the proper seal or Certificate of Compliance, your business could face hefty fines or even be forced to shut down. 
  • Having properly calibrated and approved NTEP devices ensure that you are able to accurately track inventory. From seed to store, accurate weights and measurements are crucial in order to comply with strict tracking requirements.
  • You don’t want to short your customers (or yourself!). Measure product and process transactions with confidence knowing that each customer is getting what they paid for.

How to Obtain NTEP Certified Scales?

Obtaining an NTEP Certified scale is relatively easy. However it is important to note, that you can’t just begin using a scale right out of the box. Before you can start using an NTEP certified device, it must be inspected and approved. 

The environment that the scale is going to be used in is just as important as the actual device itself. The scale needs to be used on a solid, level surface where it can be easily accessed without having to move it at all. It’s important to NOT move the scale once it has been approved and sealed. Moving the device after it has already been approved may throw off the precision of the device and will require recalibration and verification before it can legally be used again. 

After registering your new device with NCWM and completing inspection, the certifying professional will place a seal on your device and issue a Certificate of Compliance. The device is then “Placed in Service,” meaning that it is ready to be used in commercial transactions. 

Have questions about NTEP Certification and legal-for-trade requirements? The experts at Existo Solutions can help! At Existo, our experts offer innovative solutions with a compliance first approach. We can assist your cannabis business with implementation of NTEP approved devices and protocols ensuring a smooth evaluation process. Contact Us today to get started.

Business Communications Solutions for the Cannabis Industry
Cannabis Retail, Cannabis Technology

Business Communication Solutions for the Cannabis Industry

Nationwide social distancing orders have changed the way that just about all retail stores do business. The cannabis industry is no exception. In order to keep up with the demand for curbside and delivery services, cannabis provisioning centers must have the right technical infrastructure in place. Initially, as statewide stay-at-home orders were implemented, many retail cannabis businesses had to quickly improvise to adapt to the changing environment in order to keep operations running. As we are starting to see, things are not going back to “normal.” Instead, we’re starting to see a new normal. Things that were meant to be temporary fixes will no longer work now that there will be new regulations and mandates to follow. 

Business Phone System

A critical piece of a cannabis business’ IT infrastructure that is often overlooked is the phone system. Your business could receive hundreds of phone calls a week. However, if your phone system can’t handle the capacity, it could lead to disappointed customers and missed opportunities. Not only does the phone system need to be reliable on it’s own, it also needs to seamlessly integrate with your other technical and communication methods. With Unified Communications (UC), all business communications are centralized in one location. UC allows users to access and share data from all sources of communication including phone, SMS, and e-mail. Updating your existing business phone system with a modern, centralized approach allows you to track workflow and improve productivity while providing a greater customer experience.

POS & Network Infrastructure

Another necessary component for every cannabis business is a compliance-focused POS with an interface that’s easy to use. Behind every great POS is a reliable network that can process transactions fast, while protecting customer data. Your cannabis business has specific needs when it comes to POS options and not all are created equal. With strict compliance and reporting requirements, it’s crucial to have a system in place that meets cannabis industry mandates for tracking and reporting. Even better, is a system that can automate these tasks for you. From checking in guests to tracking purchase limits to inventory management, the right POS system is capable of managing all of these functions and consolidating the data. Currently, there is a need for IT infrastructure that can meet the challenges of operating a cannabis business during COVID-19. This includes online orders and contactless payment processing. 

If you’re interested in learning more about business phone system and network infrastructure solutions for your cannabis business, Contact Us! At Existo, our experts offer innovative solutions for your legal cannabis business with a compliance first approach. Our experts can audit your existing systems and provide recommendations for upgrades to help optimize business communications across platforms. 

Cannabis Retail

Are Your Cannabis Business SOPs Documented Correctly For COVID-19?

Now that you have gotten the hang of operating your cannabis business in the current COVID-19 environment, it’s time to make sure these new processes are documented. Chances are that daily business operations have drastically changed over the last few months. In order to continue serving customers, many retail cannabis businesses had to completely overhaul operations to keep their doors open and keep everyone safe. They had to quickly adapt to remain in compliance while operating under additional restrictions. While adapting quickly, getting around to formally documenting these new practices might have gotten overlooked. 

Why are SOPs Important?

Not only is it important to ensure that your business operations are standardized, they need to be concisely documented as well. This is where detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) come into play. SOPs set the standard for best practices resulting in a business that is run with consistency and efficiency. Without SOPs, it’s difficult to provide structure for your cannabis business. SOPs provide an opportunity to clearly communicate the expectations of day-to-day operations to employees while ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations. 

SOPs for the Cannabis Industry

SOPs for the cannabis industry are important because they demonstrate the plan that your business intends to follow in order to ensure compliance with rules and regulations. In such a highly regulated industry, it is necessary to document each step carefully. For cannabis provisioning centers some of the basic requirements include processes for tracking inventory, checking in guests, and completing transactions. There also needs to be documented procedures in place for some of the uncommon situations, such as when a product is damaged or when an employee gets injured on the job. A solid SOP provides employees with clear instructions for how to operate safely and avoid any problems, as well as what to do if something does go wrong.

New SOP Requirements For COVID-19

In addition to these standard practices that should already be in place, there are new requirements that every cannabis business must follow.  Thinks like social distancing plans, and cleaning and disinfecting guidance from the CDC need to be documented accordingly. For retail cannabis businesses that have been operating their curbside and delivery services through temporary means, now is the time to evaluate existing practices and document them to ensure consistency. 

The Right SOPs For Your Business

While every business needs SOPs, they are not one size fits all. It’s important that the procedures and guiding principles are tailored to fit the needs of each individual business. The best way to make sure all bases are covered is to leave the compliance work to the professionals. Many business owners choose to consult experts in the cannabis industry to ensure that all necessary areas are addressed when it comes to state and local regulations. 

Existo’s team is made up of compliance experts who can help you navigate through the complex regulatory requirements of the cannabis industry. With a compliance first approach, we can audit your existing SOPs as well as develop new ones, tailored just for your business.  Contact us for a free consultation with one of our compliance experts!

4 Essentials of an Effective Curbside & Delivery Service for your Cannabis Business - Existo Solutions
Cannabis Retail

4 Essentials of an Effective Curbside & Delivery Service for your Cannabis Business

There has never been a better time to launch curbside and delivery services for your retail cannabis business! During the COVID-19 pandemic, most cannabis businesses have been deemed essential, authorizing them to remain open to the public under the condition that they observe social distancing guidelines. Many states have even issued temporary licenses and authority to offer curbside and delivery services for legal cannabis. With these new mandates in place all over the country, curbside and delivery is the safest way for people to obtain their favorite cannabis products. In addition to providing a safe distance between employees and customers, it also makes your products more accessible to individuals who are less mobile, such as people who are elderly or disabled.

1. Planning for Curbside & Delivery

Some cannabis businesses choose to utilize existing popular platforms such as WeedMaps, Dutchie, and Leafly for their curbside and delivery needs. These systems work great for some businesses as they offer the convenience of a pre-built platform. However, many cannabis businesses are opting to cut out the middleman and launch curbside and delivery services on their own. This is a great option because it allows complete control and customization of the entire process. In order to set up your curbside and delivery services, we recommend that you focus on these key areas

2. Inventory Management

With online ordering for curbside and delivery, it’s crucial that you maintain accurate inventory tracking. Using the right inventory management software designed specifically for cannabis businesses can help ensure tracking of multiple sales channels. This will ensure that product availability is up-to-date for online orders and that they can be fulfilled correctly. Avoid running out of popular products, potentially causing you to miss out on sales, by maintaining the right amount of inventory at all times.

3. POS System

An efficient wireless payment system is one of the key components to a seamless transaction process. Not only does this system need to be secure, it needs to easily integrate with other components such as customer profiles, inventory management, and finance. You need a POS system that’s reliable and can process various payment methods quickly.

4. Marketing for Cannabis Curbside & Delivery Services

Once you’ve got these awesome new services to offer your customers, let them know about it! Make sure you get the word out there to all of your new and existing customers. An automated SMS tool is a great way to spread the word about your curbside and delivery options as well as other store updates and promotions. Existo recommends Good Method for all of your cannabis marketing needs.

Ready to launch curbside and delivery services for your cannabis business? Existo offers cannabis business solutions tailored to your needs. Our experts can guide you through the highly regulated process and get your curbside and delivery services up and running. Whether your existing system needs improvement or you’re looking to launch these new services for your cannabis business, Existo can help! ​Contact us​ today to get started.

3 Tips for Operating Your Cannabis Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Existo Solutions
Cannabis Retail

3 Tips for Operating Your Cannabis Business During the COVID-19 Shutdown

Who would have thought that marijuana businesses would be considered essential during a global crisis? As many states are observing social distancing practices through stay-at-home orders, many non-essential businesses have temporarily closed. People are urged to remain home unless they need necessities such as groceries or prescription medications. Luckily, in many states, retail and medical marijuana dispensaries are included in this list of essential businesses. This is great for both business owners and customers, however, this does not mean “business as usual.” As we all try to adjust to a new way of doing things, the way customers shop for marijuana has changed. Here are some simple tips to help your retail cannabis business thrive during the COVID-19 shutdown.

1. Communicate New COVID-19 Rules

Keeping your customers informed of your operating status is crucial. If you are shifting hours to align with local stay-at-home orders or are adjusting customer check-in protocol- let them know! This can be done through an email or text blast, or posting on your website or social media pages. Customers might assume that your business is closed because of the COVID-19 shutdown so keep them informed. Doing so may also help reduce the amount of phone calls from people asking if you’re open and what your operating hours are. Let your customers know what to expect and how they can still get access to you.

It’s also a good idea to let your customers know what your business is doing to help stop the spread, such as additional cleaning and sanitizing practices. Many other essential retail businesses have started reserving certain hours for people who are elderly or disabled. This is a great way to help reduce exposure of this vulnerable population to other customers. The added benefit of implementing this practice is that it helps prioritize those with a medical need for cannabis.

2. Improve Your Online Presence

While many people are stuck at home, internet use has increased. With this in mind, it might be a good time to audit your online presence and see which areas need improvement. This includes your website, business review and directory sites, and social media profiles. Update any outdated information on your website and develop new content to keep your page fresh. You especially want to ensure that you have some sort of COVID-19 disclaimer on your website to let customers know about any changes to business hours or operations, as mentioned above. Also, take this time to engage with your customers online. Try to have genuine interactions with people who support your business by sharing educational or entertaining content.

3. Pre-Order & Delivery Services for COVID-19

If you’re operating your business in a state where curbside pick-up and delivery are permitted, make sure you are taking advantage. These are great ways to reduce the amount of people in your store. Not only is this great for social distancing, it also provides an added convenience for your customers. Some states, such as Maryland, have adapted quickly and implemented new temporary guidelines to allow order ahead and curbside delivery during.

Partner with Existo

No matter what ideas you come up with to help your legal marijuana business during this time, safety and compliance are still important. There’s no leniency on regulations for either of these, even during the COVID-19 shutdown. If you encounter any challenges or need some guidance as you navigate this new way of doing things, reach out to us! At Existo, our experts offer innovative solutions for your legal cannabis business with a compliance first approach. ​Contact Us​ to get started.

Cannabis Retail POS MMJ Menu Replacement - Existo Solutions
Cannabis Retail

MMJ Menu Retail POS Replacement Options

MMJ Menu is Cannabis Retail Point of Sale System brought to you by Weedmaps. It’s been the “go-to” option for cannabis retail businesses that are on a budget. Above all, the free POS platform has fulfilled many retail operational requirements to running a successful cannabis store.

Saying Goodbye

We’ve heard from a number of clients that MMJ Menu has recently decided to close up shop. Thus leaving a numerous amount of stores frantically looking for a direct replacement. Most noteworthy, there are no other freeware based Cannabis POS options on the market.

Alternative MMJ Menu Options

In contrast, there are not many cannabis POS options on the market. Paid options tend to focus on compliance, Metrc integration, and Payment Processing. There numerous other features baked into these platforms too – Inventory, Customer Management, Reporting, and More. Regardless, new platforms are stable, supported, and constantly improving.

Choose Existo

Existo is your partner in your new Point of Sale system search. We will get you setup with the system you need. Our solutions are future-proof. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Click here for more information about our Cannabis Retail POS offering.

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