How is Dispensary Software Different than Vertically Integrated Cannabis Software

As you prepare to launch your cannabusiness, you’ve probably come across the terms “dispensary software” “dispensary POS, “seed-to-sale,” and “vertically integrated” more times than you can count.

What do these mean, though? And what’s the difference between them? You’re about to find out.

What is a dispensary software and POS?

Dispensary POS Software

A dispensary POS is exactly what it sounds like: a point of sale system designed specifically for cannabis dispensaries. Through your POS, you can take orders, process payments, and keep tabs on inventory.

The “cannabis-specific” part comes in with dispensary POS integrations. A generic POS won’t work with cannabis compliance programs, like Metrc or Biotrack, but a dispensary POS should. Integration capability is nonnegotiable for dispensary owners, especially if you live in a state that requires you to use these programs.

What is vertically integrated cannabis software?

Seed to Sale Software

Vertically integrated cannabis software, sometimes referred to as a seed-to-sale software, is more robust than a POS. These systems usually include the dispensary POS, as well as supplementary embedded features.

In addition to sales processing and inventory tracking, vertically integrated software follows cannabis products from growth to manufacture to final sale.

Which solution is right for you?

Dispensary Software for Cannabis Businesses

Whether you need full-service vertically integrated software or only a dispensary POS depends entirely on your business model.

Before you settle on one or the other, decide how much of the supply chain you want to be involved in. Do you only want to sell cannabis, or do you want to grow it, as well?

A dispensary POS is a good option for end-of-line retail dispensaries–those that source products from outside suppliers and sell to an end buyer. If you plan to get in on the grow game at any point in the future, though, your best bet is vertically integrated software.

Why would retail-only operations need vertically integrated software?

Even if you’re not already cultivating your own cannabis, it’s much easier to start or scale a grow operation if your seed-to-sale software is already in place.

If you and your team have been rocking with only a POS, for example, your expansion process will be slowed by default when it comes time to switch to a more powerful system. Setting up the software, transferring your records, and training and onboarding your employees is no easy feat–and no quick one, either.

If you’ve been using vertically integrated software from the beginning, however, all you’ll need to do is start taking advantage of its seed-to-sale tracking features.

In other words, the software solution you choose today should match the business you envision tomorrow. BLAZE, for example, offers POS and cultivation solutions for every stage of business. You can start with BLAZE POS while you’re a retail-only operation and move up to BLAZE Grow as you scale.


Essentially, the primary difference between a dispensary POS and vertically integrated software is what each system can do. A POS is primarily intended for retail functionality, while vertically integrated software quite literally follows your product from the time it’s planted to the time it’s sold.

While you may not need seed-to-sale software right away, give yourself a leg up later by opting for a software like BLAZE that can grow with you.

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