The check in and check out process for cannabis dispensaries is evolving.
With increased legalization of recreational marijuana and sensitivity surrounding customer data privacy, states are beginning to loosen regulations for formal check in processes.
In recreational states like Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, and Alaska, the only information adult-use customers are required to provide is valid identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) to prove they are 21 or older.
In fact, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) issued a statement prohibiting the retention of any information that may be used to identify a cannabis consumer unless the consumer consents to recording their information. In other words, if you are operating a cannabis dispensary in Oregon, you can only store customer data in your database if the customer opts into your loyalty program or otherwise provides consent.
Requirements for purchasing recreational cannabis are moving in a direction much like purchasing alcohol at a liquor store—where IDs are checked at the point of sale.
That’s why we’re excited to introduce Guest Checkout in Flowhub.
For states that do not require a check in process, you now have the option to check out customers anonymously. With this Guest Checkout feature, budtenders are able to quickly start a new sale with the option to collect anonymized data for reporting and marketing purposes, like customer source or state.
Is Guest Checkout right for my dispensary?
We recommend using Guest Checkout if you operate in a recreational state that prohibits storing customer information without consent, such as Oregon. Although Flowhub already purges customer data after the sale in states that require consent to store it, Guest Checkout offers an even faster and smoother experience for your budtenders and customers.
However, there are many benefits to having customer information on file including tracking daily purchase limits, retaining loyal customers, and easily referring to customer notes. In this case, we suggest implementing a loyalty program and/or using our dispensary check in app. Like all actions in Flowhub, checking in customers allows you to keep a detailed paper trail on all activities in your store, such as validating customer identification.
If you choose to use Guest Checkout, consider the following:
- You won’t be able to review purchase history, making it difficult for customers to repurchase products the next time they visit.
- Daily purchase limit tracking will be a challenge that may put your business at risk for looping schemes.
- Assisting customers might take longer because previous information and customer notes are not stored which could affect your overall customer experience.
- California still requires electronic verification of state-issued IDs. To accomplish this compliance requirement, we suggest using the Flowhub Greet app on the Nug for check in instead of Guest Checkout.
- Always have detailed standard operating procedures that outline your check out process, including when to use guest checkout.
How Guest Checkout works in Flowhub
To turn on this feature, click the “Enable New Sale / Guest Checkout” checkbox in Location Settings.
After that’s done, budtenders will see a new button on the Cashier page, called “New Sale.”
Clicking the “New Sale” button will bring up a short form, where you can input relevant customer data including:
- State which pre-populates your state with a drop-down to choose a different state if the customer is visiting from elsewhere.
- Zip to track how far customers travel to visit your store.
- Customer Source for referral tracking and learning how people heard about your dispensary whether that’s Instagram, Word of Mouth, Leafly or any other channel you are using to attract new customers.
- Customer Group for applying proper price/cost information to the sale.
This form is optional, meaning none of the above fields are required. However, completing the form will allow you to capture helpful data for reporting business insights and future marketing efforts while simultaneously allowing you to provide a better shopping experience.
For instance, if the customer is a military veteran and should receive a discount, the budtender can select the appropriate customer group so the discount applies correctly in the cart.
After clicking “Save”, a new cart will open and budtenders can make transactions as usual.
We’re here for you.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Flowhub can help your dispensary grow revenue and stay compliant, watch a demo.