The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up Your Cannabis Business Online

by Danielle Dixon 18th April 2023

Cannabis POS software
Recently, the cannabis industry received a tremendous boost from all across the world. The acceptance of cannabis by the general public and by government bodies opens up new opportunities for the cannabis sector to grow. Opportunities brought by new cannabis policies are in some ways changing the sector. There are some startling statistics to take into account. By 2030, the legal cannabis market in the United States alone could grow substantially to $100 billion, says Business Insider. Additionally, in a recent report, Grand View Research, Inc. said that by 2028, the global legal cannabis market would be expected to reach $70.6 billion. With these figures in mind, it is reasonable to conclude that cost and technology are a couple of the main drivers of this transition. Advancements in science, agriculture, digital, and commercial technology have simplified or improved things. Although cannabis is now a little easier to understand, there is still more to discover. Let’s start by comprehending how technology is influencing the cannabis business.

The Cannabis Industry’s Transportation Technology

  1. The Use of Smart Technology in Intellectual Property

    Cannabis breeders can use patents to protect their intellectual property when they generate new strains of the plant. If the strains were developed through conventional breeding techniques, they are capable of doing so. Cannabis business owners must create a plan for the acquisition and protection of intellectual property (IP) as the sector expands and becomes more fiercely competitive. Cannabis business owners lose the chance to profit from their intellectual property if they don’t have control over it. A business is frequently more appealing to investors and can license goods and brands more easily if it has a strong IP portfolio. It is crucial for a leader in the cannabis sector to be aware of the IP protections that are available and to look for qualified guidance in the purchase and protection of those rights. For instance, the software company BLOCKStrain helps cannabis breeders track their IP in a manner similar to how cryptocurrency transactions are handled. Modern technology is used to store and monitor big data on cannabis strain genetics. BLOCKstrain is a smart platform that combines traditional cannabis culture with cutting-edge cryptography. Cannabis strain ownership and certainty around the world are guaranteed by its secure and unchangeable blockchain technology.
  2. IoT Automation

    Due to their temperamental nature, cannabis plants require a great deal of attention to detail and rigorous schedules. Many cannabis farms have used IoT technologies, such as agricultural sensors, to link to the growing processes and control settings tailored for cannabis. To provide the ideal conditions for their plants, growers can add thermostats, temperature controls, humidity sensors and controls, scheduled watering, light cycles, and more to a connected growing system. With the help of IoT systems, the producers can monitor their product from seed to sale. These systems employ tracking IDs to identify plants throughout the germination stage and follow them as they grow, are harvested, are dried, and are sold. By improving consumer transparency across the supply chain, such thorough documentation also enables the owner to monitor the company and track out any problems.
  3. Packaging and Labeling with AI

    Accurate information on cannabis labels is required, as is safe packaging to keep children away from it. Strain Brain, for instance, uses AI on its website. It provides a cannabis product label that can be tailored to your needs and can include information about each dispensary, as well as pricing and scientific information. Each label has a QR code that may be read by any smart device that is compatible to retrieve information. It’s helpful for keeping track of products and providing customers with the details they require to select the best cannabis strain for their needs.
  4. Seed-to-Sale Technology

    This technology has revolutionized the cannabis sector for merchants and producers alike. Cannabis is tracked and documented from a plant to a product on a dispensary shelf using the seed-to-sale software. States must abide by laws intended to regulate every step of the production and retail processes before they can legalize the cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis. Seed-to-sale software records the acquisition of seeds and clones, the development of immature and mature plants, the time of harvest, the time of product transportation, and the time of sale of the product to retailers, extractors, or customers. The use of this program guarantees that producers and distributors of cannabis accurately record harvest and product quantities. It is a method for accumulating and keeping track of the various data gathering points that growing, dispersing, and sales operations would require. For compliance purposes as well as to enhance the performance of your legal cannabis business, tracking this data is essential. Making business decisions is easier when you have total access to your supply chain.
  5. Video Surveillance in Real-Time

    The point-of-sale areas and locations where cannabis products are displayed for sale must be recorded by a video surveillance system used by licensed merchants and microbusinesses that engage in cannabis retail sales. The placement of cameras at each point of sale must allow for the clear capture of the facial features of anyone purchasing or selling cannabis, as well as anyone else present in the retail environment. Licensed establishments use digital video surveillance systems to continuously monitor and record images of the area under observation. The cannabis industry does most of its business online. That is not to argue that investing in dispensaries is not worthwhile. These shops make a lot of money, so you should be aware of that if you want to invest in a project like this. Nonetheless, the growing demand for cannabis offers enormous prospects even in the most saturated places. Retailers who want to compete against big-box stores need to be resourceful, concentrate on creating a great in-store experience, and invest in cannabis technology that simplifies processes and lowers costs.

The Cost of Opening Up a Dispensary

There are some parallels between starting a cannabis online business and starting any other online business. In addition to developing content and setting up social media profiles for your company, you also need to set up an eCommerce site with a hosting provider. Online cannabis sales can be profitable in a number of ways. Along with knowing and comprehending the price to construct a cannabis app, choosing the appropriate platform and developing a strong brand presence are essential.
  1. Getting a License

    The first step in opening a dispensary is to obtain a license. The licensing procedure varies by location and is time-consuming and expensive. Be prepared to undergo thorough background checks and pay a licensing fee. Other states, like Washington, have a limit on the number of licenses they will issue, and you can only get one by buying it from an existing licensee. Having a license is crucial whether you run a brick-and-mortar store or an online dispensary since, despite being legal, selling cannabis online is still subject to a number of limitations.
  2. Capital Requirements

    Besides the licensing and potential legal costs, the capital needs of the industry deter many people. Before giving you a license, several jurisdictions request documentation demonstrating your ability to cover the full cost of operating a cannabis business. Depending on where you seek a license, a local government may demand evidence that you have adequate liquid assets to maintain your business in difficult circumstances.
  3. Location

    Finding a place for a cannabis industry establishment is not difficult, but it can be expensive. According to city and state regulations, dispensaries may be legally located adjacent to a school, church, park, arcade, or any other place where kids are likely to congregate. For cannabis businesses, finding a suitable location with foot traffic and parking may cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Spending extra money on making the store more hospitable, attractive, and contemporary is essential if you want customers to return.
  4. eCommerce Platform

    Though cannabis is legal, some people still find banking for it difficult. For this and other reasons, not all eCommerce platforms are prepared to support cannabis sales. There are thankfully two top-notch alternatives. In order to make payments safe and practical for users, WooCommerce collaborated with Square and Viva Wallet. Another excellent option for all of your cannabis e-commerce requirements is Shopify, and they’ve created a thorough guide on how to sell CBD on their platform.
  5. Business Costs for Banking

    Cannabis’ unclear legal status makes ties with businesses that hold state licenses difficult. When banks work with cannabis businesses in the US, they acknowledge the possibility that government enforcement priorities could change and make institutions that support cannabis technology a target. The vast majority of banks are reluctant to assume the risk. Others, like neighborhood credit unions, charge more for their services and the risk they take. Some banks charge cannabis businesses hundreds of dollars in holding fees each month.
  6. Costs of Staff

    The expense of hiring committed staff for the cannabis industry is somewhat expensive. In the founding of any company, and a dispensary is no exception, human resources have always been vital. Even if you have a distinct idea of how you want your dispensary to operate, you will need the assistance of others to carry out your goals. The cannabis industry also offers a variety of job opportunities, but since the owner of the dispensary is responsible for managing these operations, money will need to be spent. It would be helpful if you had a group of driven, knowledgeable, and well-trained personnel prepared to grow the business from a start-up to a conglomerate.
  7. Daily Costs and Smart Investments

    Without inventory, clients, and staff, a dispensary cannot operate. Without accounting for inventory expenses for edibles, topicals, and other commodities, growing your own cannabis in a jurisdiction that permits vertical integration can cost more than $100 per pound. It can cost thousands of dollars per year to pay a team of budtenders, a store manager, and a master grower. Last but not least, include in the price of insurance, license renewal fees, taxes, retainers for attorneys, and trademark protections. A savvy cannabis retailer could save time and money elsewhere by making early investments in technologies that can enhance their business. A little initial investment in hardware and software, such as computers, a point-of-sale system that is integrated, and a full security system can result in sizable long-term cost savings for your business.


Most of us now function more easily thanks to technology, which has changed many parts of our lives. Technology is only going to get better with time. The cannabis industry uses technology to great benefit, but there are some drawbacks as well. The cannabis retail sector has a lot of success stories. Although it’s challenging and expensive, a business owner who is savvy and knowledgeable will reap huge benefits. Making important business choices, managing inventory, raising sales, boosting profitability, and expanding your business depend on having a dispensary-specific POS system in place. You have full access to all the tools and intelligence that point of sale software has to offer in order to make important business decisions. Ready to learn more about what FasTrax POS can offer your cannabis business? Contact us today to set up a consultation with one of our specialists and schedule a demo.

Danielle is a content writer at FasTrax POS. Her writing focuses on all-in-one, innovative POS and business solutions that can help companies stand out. Aside from having a love for writing and reading, she is also passionate about animals, crafting, and documentaries.

Danielle Dixon

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