Star Micronics Brings Mainstream POS Best Practices to the Niche Cannabis Industry

If you’ve worked with POS systems before, you’ve likely heard of Star Micronics, the world’s leader in innovative POS solutions that empower global businesses to properly manage their revenue and streamline operations to provide stellar customer service every time.

The company moved into cannabis early in the game—one of the first mainstream POS providers to do so, despite the stigma that still surrounded the plant at the time. They were determined to enter the space and add value based on their decades of expert experience with a wide variety of global retailers. And from streamlined printer solutions that boost dispensaries’ customer service skills to inventory tracking data and analytics that speed up the selling and ordering process, they’ve done just that. 

We sat down with Star’s Product Integration Manager, Mark Rasho, to learn more about the company’s secrets to success, the unique innovations they’ve introduced to the cannabis industry, and how they plan to keep pioneering how POS is approached by retail operators nationwide. 

Leafwire: How did Star Micronics first begin supporting the cannabis industry?

Mark Rasho: We got into cannabis pretty early on; we were probably one of the first hardware providers to get into the field. We started by developing integrated POS scales for cannabis operators—inventory-focused scales that are being used from seed to sale across the vertical. 

Today, our POS tools are found in about 90 percent of the nation’s legal dispensaries. Operators can use them to measure and weigh products, put them into the system, and move them to the next stage of the supply chain. 

LW: What informed your initial decision to move into cannabis?

MR: It was a new industry popping up that needed our products. It was very logical and straightforward for us to get into. Some of our competitors were hesitant about getting into the field, but we weren’t. We saw an industry in need of things like scales, scanners, cash drawers, printers, label printers, tablet stands, and kiosk stands. We had all of that available, so it was a natural next step for us. 

LW: What is unique about your dispensary support compared to the rest of your mainstream clients?

MR: It’s funny; we actually began developing a lot of our newest products with the cannabis industry in mind. For example, our new mC-Label3 printer, which prints linerless labels, features a motor and blade designed to cut labels quickly for easy labeling and sticking on products, and that need came from our cannabis clients.

LW: How so?

MR: It was the influx of online orders that first brought this to our attention, which really kicked in during the pandemic. At the time, you’d see a lot of receipts stapled to order bags, which someone had to do manually. 

With linerless labels, you can just take the sticker from the printer and slap it on. It has all of the necessary information printed for seamless delivery and pickup, and helps operators and consumers alike be much more efficient with their sales and purchases. 

LW: How else do you make operators’ lives easier?

MR: Our scales. They’re NTEP-certified for U.S. operators and Measurement Canada-certified for operators up north, and they’re great at helping operators stay compliant while also working efficiently and boosting revenue. We’ve also developed a number of portable printer solutions you can easily strap onto your body or belt buckle, which helps sellers complete their tasks quicker and easier. 

We don’t want to make products to sell—we want to create solutions that will inspire the industry to work more efficiently. 

LW: What advice would you give an operator on the hunt for a new POS system?

MR: You’re going to want to look for a POS system that is able to accept online orders and also integrates with other online ordering apps like Weedmaps or Leafly. You also want something with receipts, scanners, and a label machine integrated: a full POS solution so you don’t have to work with a bunch of different vendors or dedicate one POS for sales and another for online orders. It’s best to stick with one solution if you can. 

I’d also recommend looking into a standalone printer in the back for receiving online orders. Star offers CloudPRNT technology; if you opt for a CloudPRNT-compatible printer, it will pull from the server automatically instead of waiting to start printing. So, your printer will see the job in the queue, automatically pull it in, and print. 

This will streamline the process for you and your staff–you don’t have to accept an order before it prints. It just does so automatically, so whoever is in the back filling orders can see it going, grab that receipt, and start putting the products together for the customer. This process has helped restaurants and other retailers streamline their online ordering, so it would similarly make sense for cannabis operators.

LW: What’s on the horizon for Star Micronics?

MR: We’ll be coming out with a new version of our CloudPRNT printers. The machines will be faster, with the ability to print labels and receipts. They’ll also feature new hardware, including USB-C for iOS, Android, and Windows. USB-C is better at transferring information data, printing quickly, and charging all connected devices while it works. 

This update will be particularly beneficial for kiosks at dispensaries. Customers will be able to check out the menu, order what they want, and have the printer print out their receipt while they wait for the order. It does away with the need for Bluetooth, which is less reliable than direct connections.

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