Cannabis Prospect Magazine - February '19 - Issue #1

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year in Canada all cigarette packs will look the same making it difficult to distinguish between brands. So you could imagine the difficulties for retail staff to find tobacco products when they can’t see where they are. On top of that, they must remember where all 200+ SKUs are, potentially leading to long lines for customers and delays in a business that prides itself on convenience. With an automated dispensing system, new staff members can start selling tobacco their first shift, where traditionally it would take them three to four weeks to remember the location of the products, and more often than not would only really remember the top 20 SKUs. In recreational cannabis stores, and retail in general, one of the biggest overheads is labour, and one of the biggest inefficiencies is the time it takes employees to locate and select the right products within the store. Automating this process would allow more employees on the floor to interact with consumers and ensure their shopping experience is a positive one. It would also save time and money on finding the right cannabis product. With a touch of a button the customer’s request is dispensed to a central location behind the counter where the staff (or budtender) then collects the product and finishes the checkout process. Customers are not waiting in long cues to get their products in their hands, and leave with a positive experience. How do cannabis and tobacco differ? There are many similarities. Both are consumables and technically plants, but they’re also similar especially with respect to controls and legislation: plain packaging, no advertising, health warnings, excise stamps, etc. All these legislative controls create challenges when trying to inform and sell these products to customers. It makes them difficult to

find products, manage inventory and ensure that shrink and external threats are not disrupting operations. We are looking to have these conversations with retailers, manufacturers and other stakeholders in the cannabis industry to let them know they do not need to reinvent the wheel. Look to other industries and learn what solutions are making it easier for them to sell their products into the market.

cameras, store layout, back-office design, etc.) but also how they are always going to secure their inventory and products. Burglaries are going to happen, it’s inevitable. These retailers need to be looking at solutions that protect their employees and their inventory. The Federal Government has already put into place a well-designed seed-to-sale program with companies like Ample Organics that have a great foothold in the Canadian Market and are innovative leaders in this space. The tracking and management of the production process all the way to retail are already there because of the existing ACMPR regulations. It has also just announced a Canadian Cannabis Tracking System that all manufacturers, distributors and retailers will need to be part of so that Health Canada can follow and measure the impact of cannabis sales in Canada.

What are some of the laws/ regulations that private cannabis retail stores will have to consider when it comes to securing, storing and transferring/distributing cannabis? As you know the laws/regulations will vary by province and depending on these laws, there may be a few different models or approaches. For instance, in Alberta retailers will need to make sure that all their products, samples and inventory is in a secured storage/safe area when the store is not open. That means that retailers will have to remove all product from shelves, display cases etc. when the store closes and bring all these products out when the store opens. This will be a very time consuming and daunting task. Security is something retailers need to be thinking about, not only perimeter and in-store security measures (e.g.

Can you go into more detail about how your products differ from other products in the market? When it comes to our secured dispensing systems, VDMS is the only company in the space that is leading the way with an automated solution that is designed around helping retailers. We are providing a connected intelligent solution that helps manage the category and eliminates inefficiencies in the operation. All of our systems can only be operated by store employees and the data collection from our machines is available in real-time. This is something we believe can be integrated into other data sets to provide better insight of the manufacturing and distribution supply chain. Our equipment also has the ability to provide real-time Out-of-Stock (OOS) data, so when a product goes OOS in our machines, we can send push notifications, text messages or emails to

February 2019 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine