Self-service helps fuel cannabis dispensaries' nationwide expansion – Kiosk Marketplace

Self-service technology will continue to play an important role in the expansion of cannabis related products — medical use, recreational use and non-THC and low-THC CBD products as lawmakers recognize the rising consumer demand.

Photo courtesy of iLava.

(Editor’s note: This is part three in a four-part series on cannabis self service.)

Cannabis stores are one of the fastest growing industries, and self-order technology is playing an important role in this emerging sector, currently valued at more than $18 billion, according to Leafly, a cannabis industry information resrouce, supporting the equivalent of over 300,000 full-time jobs.

A total of 17 states currently have legal adult use, as shown on the accompanying chart. More states are expected to legalize adult use, given the fact that polls show strong public support for it.

Image courtesy of Cannabis Business Advisors.

The cannabis industry’s job growth in 2020 doubled that of the prior year, according to the Leafly Jobs report. One reason was that during COVID-19, governors in most states declared cannabis an essential product.

While the pandemic boosted cannabis sales, the job growth would have been greater were it not for the social distancing, shelter-in-place orders and occupancy restrictions that limited the number of employees.

In this environment, many dispensaries have begun to investigate self-order kiosks, as described in parts one and two of this series, in addition to online ordering, curbside pick-up and delivery.

Dispensaries face a learning curve

As with restaurants and other retailers that have preceded them on this journey, cannabis dispensaries face a learning curve with self-service technology.

Industry veteran Juan Perez, former CEO of Adusa Inc., a kiosk software and digital engagement provider, outlined some of these challenges in the 2020 Kiosk Industry Census. One of the biggest challenges is integrating the payment processing on the kiosk with the dispensary’s point-of-sale system.

Chart courtesy of Cannabis Business Advisors.

Regulatory constraints also create

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