By: Harry Brelsford, CEO and Founder of SMB Nation and 420MSP
It’s well-documented and well discussed in the RSPA Cannabis Community that this vertical presents amazing opportunities! And I realize the that the RSPA’s mission is about supporting POS VARs.
However I want to share my CannaTech Ecosystem Stack for you to study. Why? I’m a big believer in the big picture. I’m also a traditionalist in business. If you are going to hold yourself out to be a “merchant of the trade” I believe you should at least know what the heck you are talking about in your field of endeavor.
Admittedly the Point-of-Sale and the Seed-to-Sale buckets are only two of the 15-categories but the cannabis technology area is an integrated ecosystem more so then dining and other retail establishments. Why? I’d offer for regulatory and compliance reasons. The workflow in cannabis technology is really from the grower to the retailer (aka “seed-to-sale’) and RSPA members most likely play at the end of the supply chain with the dispensaries and supporting sales-entities.
But RSPA members need to know you have one of the most important roles! It is the sales data that is submitted to the state-level regulators (e.g. State of Washington Liquor and Cannabis Control Board). You are on the critical path so its important you invest in learning about the cannabis technology supply chain. Your expertise is valued by the dispensaries more than you know. That’s because the thing that wakes up dispensary owners at 3AM relates to the compliance and reporting data being kicked out and up from the POS system.
If you enter the cannabis vertical, you need to consider understanding the CannaTech Ecosystem Stack (heck print it out and mount on the wall). You’ll be able to visual the “players” that you can then research and start to develop yourself into a budding authority (and maybe an expert) in CannaTech. The second must do is to join the Cannabis Community at RSPA. I’ll see you there along with over 100+ other RSPA members.
I’ll end on this. Don’t feel overwhelmed about the cannabis vertical. The RSPA Cannabis Community members are very helpful and willing to share best practices. Here’s to a decade-long run dead ahead.