How to Prepare a Cannabis Retailer for a WiFi Outage

Cannabis Retailer Wifi Outage

Technology is all but required to run a success cannabis retailer in a very competitive market. The brain of the business is a dispensary point-of-sale that manages inventory, processes sales, and automates compliance. However, with technology there are always some factors that are out of our control, and when your internet or power goes down it can cause frustration for both employees and customers if there’s no plan B. 

Having a plan in place in the event of a power or WiFi outage is imperative to keep lines moving, records in order, and customers satisfied. Preparing materials and SOPs in advance will give your dispensary the essential tools to provide the best service possible under the circumstances. We’ve provided a checklist of everything your cannabis retailer needs in the event of a power or internet outage.

The Essential Hardware

While it’s never ideal, manual checkouts are part of adapting to an outage. While it’s possible to use an excel sheet to capture sales data, good old pen and paper will work in pinch and is sometimes faster. Consider using carbon copy paper, printing our checklist, and putting them with some pens, a calculator, and cash drawer key close by registers. 

Other information that would be helpful to have on hand is a printed version of the menu and pricing. Don’t forget tax! Have an approved hard copy of all the necessary tax rates that have been verified by an accountant or compliance officer.  Any standing promotions, discounts, etc should also be factored in so be sure to include documentation in your emergency kit.

Unfortunately, there will be some information that is unaccessible during an internet or power outage. Purchase limit tracking will be the most perilous and even though you may know the limits for flower, understanding equivalencies can be tricky when it comes to oils, concentrates, edibles, etc. Also, you won’t have any insight into the customer’s purchase history or the amount of reward points they have on file. Typically these types of outages are short-lived but it’s best to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

Internet Outage Checklist for Dispensaries

Having an internet outage checklist will save you when your dispensary goes into crisis mode. Pulling out your emergency transaction checklist will not only make your employees feel like there is a plan but your customers will be more understanding knowing you’re prepared for the situation. 

Here are the key pieces of information to capture at the Point of Sale: 

  • Member Info (full name, last name, DOB) 
  • Consumer Type (recreational vs medical)
  • Product & Quantity of individual product/s sold 
  • Unique # 
  • Batch Number 
  • Metrc Tag (not production batch, but received package tag for sales) 
  • Transaction totals 
  • Retail Value 
  • Discounts Fees 
  • Taxes (NAL & AL Excise, Federal, State, County, City) 
  • Final Total Paid 
  • Change Due 
  • Payment Type 
  • Date and Time
 Print off a couple of copies of our dispensary internet outage checklist for your emergency kit here

Internet Outage Checklist for Cannabis Delivery

Here are the key pieces of information to capture at the point of sale for deliveries: 

  • Shop Information (Name + Address)
  • Delivery Employee Full Name + Employee #
  • Packaging Employee Full Name + Employee #
  • Member Info (Full Name, Last Name, DOB, customer/member #)
  • Time and Date Delivery was requested.
  • Delivery Address 
  • Consumer Type (recreational vs medical)
  • Product & Quantity of individual product/s sold & measurement
  • Unique #, Batch Number, Metrc Tag (not production batch, but received package tag for sales)
  • Transaction totals
    • Retail Value
    • Discounts
    • Fees
    • Taxes (NAL & AL Excise, Federal, State, County, City)
    • Final Total Paid
    • Change Due
    • Payment Type
  • Date and Time the delivery was made
  • Signature of the customer who received the delivery (this must be kept by the retailer)

Print some of these off for you delivery drivers here.

Update Your Records When Internet is Restored

Once service is restored the real work begins. Don’t forget sales must be recorded in Metrc within 24 hrs. Also remember to record all returns and refunds! 

Make sure to enter these sales into your POS once the system is back up and stable. You can modify the times on the transaction after the transaction has been completed in you point-of-sale. You can find out more information on how to edit the date of a completed transaction.

If you’re a cannabis retailer in California, there are also some additional Department of Cannabis Control regulations in regards to delivery receipts. You can find out more information about these regulations here.