Yellow storage boxes on shelving

Nuances in the industry make dispensary inventory a nightmare. Different states require syncing your inventory with specific systems and federal regulations stipulate how you can buy, sell, display, and store your products. To maximize your inventory management, read the ten actionable steps below and integrate them into your business. 

10 Tips for Managing Dispensary Inventory

Standardize Your Inventory Process

It's important for dispensary store owners to standardize their inventory because they need to make sure that their inventory counts are accurate. 

Without a standardized process, there can be inconsistencies between your team members, which will make managing your inventory difficult, if not impossible.

Create a standardized checklist for your inventory auditing process. You can't expect your team to complete the inventory count accurately if they are each following a different process.

FIFO Keeps Products Shelf-Stable

First In First Out, or FIFO, is just one concept that should be followed when setting up inventory. This process ensures that older products are sold before newer ones which can save you money in the long run. 

Let's say your team unpacks your pre rolls and fills up a cabinet all the way to the back. As you run through that stock, you might have some product at the very back of the cabinet that hasn't been sold when the next shipment comes in. 

If your team simply puts the new inventory in front of the old inventory, there's a chance your older products will go bad and cause waste in your store. 

Get Dispensary Inventory Software

If you are still counting all your pre roll cones and tubes by hand and manually tracking all the numbers you are leaving your business susceptible to mistakes and incorrect inventory data. 

Dispensary inventory management software can track all of your items for you and automatically account for sales in real time. You can put the energy you were giving into your inventory management back into the business. 

Plan Orders in Advance

Two men managing dispensary inventory

Look ahead in the next few weeks or even months to see what possible events may be happening that could cause your inventory to fluctuate. Maybe construction is planning to block your street for the next few weeks or a parade is coming through your area. 

Always plan in advance to forecast your inventory numbers and reach out to your vendors to make sure everything will be ok. If you can, go with a vendor that works with their factory directly so you have a reliable source if you need product quickly.

Mobile Keeps You Informed

Mobile inventory apps can help you keep track of your dispensary inventory management while you are running errands or need to step away from the shop. They can even provide you with real-time updates on what's selling in your stores. 

Having this information whenever you need access can help you stay on top of problems or issues more quickly. They don't have to take weeks to correct because you can spot them before any long-term damage.

Set KPIs for Inventory

Set goals for your inventory so you are constantly challenging yourself to get better. Even though your inventory will shift from time to time, you can set key performance indicators (KPIs) that track how good of a job you’re doing at tracking inventory. 

See if you can lower the discrepancy rate of all items by 3% or reward your team for accounting for every single item in the store in two consecutive inventory periods, especially for custom products. The more inventory KPIs and challenges you can give your team, the more motivation you're creating for success.

Consider Hiring a Consultant

If your dispensary inventory management has gone off the deep end you could consider hiring a consultant or third-party. Consultants will take a look at your current practices and methods to determine any areas you could improve. 

Third party inventory teams will give you an idea of what a professional inventory team looks like as they work through your products that cause counting errors, like pre rolls, and find ways to become more efficient. 

Train your Staff


Business meeting over inventory with several people

Don't keep doing inventory all by yourself. You need to train your staff so they can help you decrease the amount of time it takes to complete the counts. Not only that, there will be another set of eyes to help correct any miscounts you may have had.

As long as you have a proper standardized checklist your team can follow, they will be able to complete the inventory process just as well as you. 

Open Up Staff Communication

Have an accountability process integrated directly into your dispensary inventory management audit. Let team members reach out privately in some way if they have any issues or concerns they'd like to address about inventory. 

The more open and together your store feels about its product and business, the fewer discrepancies and miscounts you will have to cover. 

Limit Inventory Exposure

Only have a select few team members work on your inventory. The more hands that are doing the counting the more opportunities to make mistakes. 

You want enough employees involved so you can have backups but you don't want your entire staff trying to complete inventory. 

Managing Dispensary Inventory

Take the actions in this article and you'll notice a significant correction in your dispensary inventory numbers. Remember that your inventory depends not only on you as a dispensary owner, but also your vendors. Pick a company you can count on that works directly with their factory and you'll always have product on the shelves.