This is a sponsored post for VDMS Smart Dispensing Systems
How legal cannabis will be sold in Canada is still unknown. However, what we do know is likely to be guided by recommendations from the federal government’s task force on legalization, as well as examples drawn from how the federal and provincial governments in Canada already manage tobacco and alcohol sales.
While all three are distinct products with different effects, the management of their retail in a controlled environment has many similarities. For example, the need for secure management of a high-value, controlled substance regulated by the government, control of inventory and internal shrinkage, and employee training and consumer education.
The Task Force’s recommendations included: requiring retail outlets to be staffed with knowledgeable employees who have been trained through a formal training program, providing accurate information and advice about the products being sold and their potential risks and harms of use, enforcing the minimum age restriction and helping prevent youth access, and helping to control over-consumption by informing consumers about appropriate and responsible use and preventing sales to intoxicated consumers.
One solution to these demands that is currently in use in Canada by tobacco retailers is VDMS Smart Dispensing Systems. The VDMS Smart Dispensing System provides a behind-the-counter, employee-run point-of-sale system, in compliance with regulations across Canada that require the limiting of direct access and even marketing of products to the public. In “Plain Packaging” markets, this helps staff to find their products at the push of a button, while limiting public exposure to branding and advertising.
Currently, the machines can dispense a variety of packaging for tobacco products ranging from 15g - 120g in weight. The equipment is modular and and can be customized for any location, either under or behind the counter. Units can be stored underneath the counter (out of sight of customers) or in back offices where inventory can be loaded and stocked in a monitored environment with reduced accessibility.
The VDMS system might loosely be called a ‘vending machine’, but in reality, it’s an entire point-of-sale system, intended for behind-the-counter use. The unit allows for storage of pre-packaged retail products in a safe, locked, steel container that retailers can store behind the counter.
The point of sale vending system allows for push button selection by employees, as well as programmable product information, and sale and inventory tracking, all while providing real-time product management.
Markus Merrill, the General Manager at Vend Data Media Solutions Canada Inc, says he sees an all-in-one solution for marijuana retailers in the same way his company has provided for tobacco retailers in Canada and around the world.
“Our equipment helps secure, control, and dispense products that are high-value, controlled substances, or regulated by the government. With our cloud based capabilities, we can provide a retail system that blends retail know-how with technological excellence and comprehensive data to solve the many challenges faced when selling high-value, controlled substances and government regulated products.”
This isn’t just limited to employee and consumer education. VDMS Smart Dispensing Systems help retailers eliminate employee theft and in-store shrinkage, and decrease time spent managing the category while benefiting from real-time sales information and a valuable point-of-sale digital platform, while limiting public visibility of specific cannabis products.
Pharmacies who are moving towards retail distribution of medical cannabis have, in the past, expressed concerns about storage and security of cannabis products. The VDMS system could easily fit into the retail setting of a pharmacy to similarly educate both pharmacists and consumers, and track prescription info.
More information about VDMS systems can be found at www.venddatams.com and in the video below: