by Bobby Combs, Kisan America Corporation
There are many challenges to running a successful cannabis business, including finding the correct product to sell, hiring and training qualified budtenders, dealing with state regulations, accepting cash payment, and depositing cash into the limited number of banks and credit unions that accept cannabis business. Although many economists and magazines believe cash is going away with the recent introduction of digital and app-style payment solutions, in the cannabis space, cash is king. Cash payment is really the only form of payment for many states except for the rare occasions an app can be used. The questions that have been asked for years are what does the cannabis industry do with the cash payments they receive, how is the cash counted and secured, and how can it be deposited into the business bank account?
Cannabis businesses are always looking for ways to effectively count cash and make deposits in their retail locations while simultaneously trying to lower labor cost, increase accountability and productivity, and reduce risk. Traditional deposit preparation methods have not drastically evolved in the last 50+ years. A budtender will pull their till from the drawer and count down to the starting till amount, leaving the remaining funds as the deposit. In addition, it is also common practice for businesses to incorporate dual authentication practices, essentially double counting, or counting in the presence of a witness to ensure the count is correct. While dual authentication can give the impression of good quality control and insurance, unfortunately, it raises the cost of counting the deposit inside the store by tying up at least two employees’ time and attention on trivial cash counting responsibilities. Granted the store manager is a salaried employee, but the downside is the store manager is managing for time to count cash instead of the daily sales, however, there is a much better, faster, and more accurate way to make deposits in the cannabis industry.
A high-speed smart safe is faster than counting by hand and a more secure way to deliver cash deposits to the select banks. The reason is, at the end of the night, the procedure of making a deposit at the bank location is a dangerous one and is why many organizations will have utilized the same type of dual authentication to drive to the bank to make the deposit in the night drop box. Again, there is an illusion of safety with having two people make a deposit in the night drop. Here are five of the many reasons to use a high-speed smart safe in a cannabis business:
The smart safe provides individual user accountability, by capturing critical transactional data: who is making a deposit, the date and time stamp of the transaction, and the total value of the deposit. Individual user accountability allows customers to abandon the need to deploy dual authentication practices, allowing managers to reallocate their time and attention towards revenue-building responsibilities: supervising employees, training employees, inventory, customer service, etc.
An online dashboard provides detailed transaction statements, trend/behavior tracking potential, and simplified reconciliation reporting. Reports can be accessed online from any device, downloaded/exported, and shared across your network, which improves the efficiency of accounting and loss prevention departments. The online dashboard will have different reports ranging from daily deposit, transactional history for the day, and a monthly deposit report for easy reconciliation.
Incorporated bill validators will count and authenticate each note before securing funds into their final depository, thus creating a closed-loop system-cash is deposited, not dispensed.
Security of Funds:
By incorporating drop policies that align with the placement of the cash management device, customers can achieve an efficient and secure deposit process, but also reduce unnecessary cash exposure that may accumulate within a till drawer or within the back office. Smart safes are designed to only allow the Cash In Transit Company to pick up all deposited cash thus reducing the risk of theft.
Provisional Credit is an online credit to the business bank account prior to the removal and secondary validation of funds offsite. In conjunction with your banking relationship, a smart safe has the ability to transmit a daily electronic file to the bank where said bank will give credit on the day’s deposit.
With the proper smart safe in place, it will allow cannabis business owners to manage the cash deposits more efficiently and reduce risk inside the location, and to reduce lower/short deposits. The smart safe gives each owner the ability to log in to the online dashboard from any device connected to the internet and see all the transactions from all smart safes across all their cannabis locations. Just imagine having the ability to see all deposits and transaction history in one convenient place to allow for better transparency and reconciliation. With the CARES Act being introduced and voted on, if passed, it would afford for more banking partners and offer more options for the smart safe to send provisional credit to your bank.
Bobby Combs is National Account Executive at Kisan America Corporation. He has over 6 years of experience in the cash automation industry and utilizing previous experience to formulate best practices and redesign cash handling procedures to maximize efficiency and reduce risk and labor. Kisan provides cash management solutions through smart banknote deposit and sorting systems.