Despite wishful thinking, running a marijuana dispensary is not as simple as opening the doors and waiting for the money to come flowing in. Aside from the regular trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur, members of the cannabis industry have to walk a fine line in order to stay in business and that is not always easy.
On February 14, 2014, the Justice Department issued guidelines, now known as the Cole Memo, to federal law enforcement officials detailing marijuana enforcement priorities when it comes to states with legalized marijuana. While these guidelines are easy to understand, they aggravate the complexities of owning a business; and as a consequence, many business owners need help.
Luckily for entrepreneurs and investors, there are plenty of companies out there that offer software services to help manage their businesses. One such company is BioTrackTHC. Based in Florida, but operating in Washington and Colorado, BioTrackTHC offers three kinds of software services: Grow-House Management, Inventory Management and Point of Sale/Patient Management.
In a recent interview with MJINews, Steven Siegel, CEO of BioTrackTHC, explained how the company’s “technology came from biometric e-prescribing, which we have three issued patents on so we [built] this technology that tracks marijuana off of a database that was approved by the DEA.”
BioTrackTHC is a sophisticated technology and when Washington state starting accepting RFPs to ensure strict compliance with its Marijuana Traceability System, Siegel “knew that [BioTrackTHC] stood a good chance already because we have this superior technology that’s designed to run e-prescribing and pharmacies.”
On October 21, 2013, BioTrackTHC announced that the Washington State Liquor Control Board had selected it to provide the state’s legal marijuana traceability system.
The company’s Grow-House Management system tracks every marijuana plant from seed to sale. Every plant is assigned a bar code, making it easier to identify and count. The system can then use that bar code to track the chain of custody for the plant and its products in real time so you always know where it goes.
You can even track the genealogy of every plant in the system, which is particularly helpful for breeding and quality control. This software allows you to break down and quantify almost every step of the process, helping growers and distributors maintain compliance with regulations.
The Inventory Management system works similar to the grow-house system. You can track inventory from multiple locations, oversee the wholesale transfer of products, and it even has a conversion program which allows you to see how many ounces, joints or edibles you can get out of a given plant.
The Point of Sale/Patient Management system is definitely one of the coolest parts about BioTrackTHC’s service. This system is capable of tracking patient registries, adding in sales tax, automatically enforcing state sales limits, capturing real time inventory tracking and documenting employee time-clock management. Plus, it is also customizable so you can set it up the way you want, and you can even set up a customer loyalty program.
BioTrackTHC isn’t the only one offering business management software to the cannabis industry. GreenMed is a relatively new marijuana dispensary software company that offers comparable features to BioTrackTHC. Like BioTrackTHC, GreenMed offers real time inventory management, product tracking and vendor management.
According to its website, GreenMed has other features that it plans on rolling out in the future, but for now it seems like the company is keeping the details under wraps.
Another service that provides marijuana dispensary software is the Denver-based company MJ Freeway. Like BioTrackTHC, MJ Freeway offers to track your cannabis from seed to sale. You can manage your grow operation, track waste or loss, and monitor your inventory with its point of sales system.
Back in July MJINews spoke with Amy Poinsett, co-founder and CEO of MJ Freeway, about her company and what makes it stand out. “We guarantee to meet or exceed any state or federal requirements for tracking cannabis,” said Poinsett. “We provide our clients with the tools to be sure that they are going to be able to comply with all regulations imposed upon them.”
In an industry where companies can open and close on the same day, MJ Freeway’s assurance is enough to put even the most troubled investor at ease.
Entrepreneurial investment is all about finding a problem and solving it. In the cannabis industry that problem is the patchwork of regulation paired with conflicting state and federal laws. Companies like BioTrackTHC, GreenMed and MJ Freeway help solve that problem, and hopefully their reward includes profitable returns.