The future of pot looks very green
On New Year’s Day 2014, Colorado opened the first regulated recreational marijuana market. In the years since, recreational cannabis has been legalized in 18 states, plus the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam. Recent surveys show that nearly 22% of U.S. adults have used some form of cannabis in the previous 12 months. Seniors citizens are the fastest-growing population of marijuana users. There is an exponential growth of retail dispensaries opening their doors to serve the growing number of consumers. According to industry research, the U.S. cannabis industry will reach $30 billion annually by 2025.
Jumping on the bud bandwagon
The cannabis market is attracting a flood of peripheral businesses claiming to address the unique needs and solve the specific problems of retail dispensaries. From technology to shop fitting to security and cash automation, vendors are jockeying for their own market share. Some of these support businesses are legitimate. Others see dollar signs and are jumping onto a lucrative bandwagon. The market is becoming crowded with startups, fly-by-night businesses, and enthusiastic entrepreneurs clamoring to offer a solution to any number of dispensary challenges.
While startups and entrepreneurs are undoubtedly the lifeblood of technology and innovation, cannabis businesses must be careful with cash automation. Take time to research and evaluate if a particular company is genuinely solving a problem that no other vendor in the space has already addressed. Or, is this a money grab to take advantage of the huge demand? If a business offers an inferior solution to gain market share, dispensary operators can create long-term problems. It is up to dispensary owners and managers to conduct thorough due diligence.
Cash automation and cannabis
Dispensaries in the current market can only accept payment in cash due to federal restrictions. As a result, dispensaries have invested in a range of solutions to collect, manage, account for, and secure the considerable volume of cash that passes through the business each day. Providers of everything from simple safes and currency counting machines to more sophisticated full-blown cash automation solutions are racing to the market to convince dispensary owners that their product is better than the next. The demand is increasing, and owners need immediate answers. Companies with little experience in cash management are making grand promises yet falling short of expectations.
The right partner can make or break your business
Dispensary owners, take note – do your homework before you decide on a cash automation solution. Do you want to put your cash – your lifeblood – in the hands of an inexperienced startup? It falls on you to find providers with a confirmed track record of delivering solutions and solving complex cash handling problems. At the very least, you should look for the following qualities:
- Proven track record
- Excellent customer service and support
- Comprehensive line of products
- Integrated hardware and software solutions
Cash automation management in retail is not new. Cannabis dispensaries are fundamentally retail businesses with a more significant cash management headache. The cash automation industry is a mature market of providers. Many have been around for decades. They know how to deliver and support sophisticated cash management machines. Leverage that experience and solve your cash management problems with a trusted partner, not an inexperienced opportunist.
“If you’re like me, I was going crazy dealing with the cash in my retail locations. My life changed after I put the CIMA cash machines in. Cash is secure, my staff is on the floor with customers, not dealing with cash issues in the back office. I would never open a store without these!”
Tim Denha, CFO, JARS