Hot Tech Topics in the Cannabis Vertical

Because the RSPA is North America’s largest community of VARs, software developers, vendors, and distributors in the retail, restaurant, and grocery verticals, the association is strongly positioned to meet the needs of IT solution providers who serve cannabis dispensaries. The RSPA Cannabis Community, created in late 2020, helps members meet and network with others interested in the cannabis vertical, helps members learn from each other’s experiences and insights, and fosters business development opportunities for RSPA members, all in a vendor-neutral atmosphere.

By: RSPA Cannabis Community

With apologies to the philosopher known as Forrest Gump’s mamma, the RSPA Cannabis Community meetings are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to learn. The 180+ individuals who comprise the community range from cannatech experts to resellers kicking the tires to see if this vertical is a fit for their business. The community’s September meeting generated several insights from members engaged in this market:

  • Hot tech topics at the Cannabis Conference, Aug. 24-26 in Las Vegas, were inventory management, software to track the consumer, loyalty, and security. There was also lots of talk about the lack of good POS software.
  • “I was surprised to hear dispensaries prefer hardwire vs. wireless. They want it to be secure and work all the time.”
  • Many dispensary owners are millennials, and over the three days they talked a lot about the right “culture fit.” They will only partner with people who are the right culture fit, have the right level of passion, and who will give back to the community.
  • Be reflective of the millennial culture when you’re marketing to dispensaries. Presenting the way you have for decades doesn’t work in this industry.
  • “I was disappointed with the show floor because there was only one reseller in our space there and they weren’t showcasing POS. I told other VARs, ‘If you were here you would have this all to yourself!’”
  • That VAR generated 300+ contacts. He’s been in the retail industry 30 years and said this is the most engagement he’s ever had at a show.
  • Smaller regional shows are a good investment. Those shows are golden – not as much of an expense for your space, lower expense for housing and transportation, and they get you geared for larger shows.

Special Guest: Cannabis Industry Expert Dr. Paul Seaborn
The RSPA Cannabis Community welcomed University of Virginia business professor and cannabis industry expert Dr. Paul Seaborn as a special guest for its Aug. 2021 meeting. A recording of that session with Seaborn – a brief interview followed by member Q&A – is available exclusively to RSPA members through RSPA Academy EXCELerate. Also on Academy EXCELerate, you can access recordings of the four cannabis breakout sessions from RetailNOW 2021 in Nashville. Just type “cannabis” in the EXCELerate search bar. The RSPA is at the forefront of educating the point of sale industry about the cannabis vertical!

Did You Know …
The RSPA Cannabis Community is home to many of the top organizations in retail cannatech. The RSPA and 10 of our member companies are listed among the Leading CannaTech Influencers by 420MSP: BlueStar, CIMA, DanTech Services, Elo, POS Remarketing Group, RCS/Anthea, RSPA, Star Micronics, Vigilix, Zebra and ZolTrain.

To join or sponsor the RSPA Cannabis Community, email