Get Your FREE Subscription to HQ Magazine!
Canna Aid

Please Take My Money: Point of Sale

Sourcing a POS That's Not a POS

Dear small business owner: there are two items on the table for discussion here with regard to retail transactions, which we hope are a big part of your day-to-day operations.

First thing’s first. In the future, all your in-store point-of-sale transactions will be handled by computer software designed to maximize consumer experience and heighten retailer profit. That future is now, in case you’ve been too busy selling merchandise and minding the warehouse to notice.

And two, Are you a square? No, not like that, heaven forbid. Let me rephrase that  . . . do you or your business use Square or any sort of similar POS software to make life at the shop just a little bit easier?

If you do, we’d like to hear from you. You see, this article is a two-parter. In the first half, we’ll take a look at what the interwebz says about POS software in terms of ease of use, cost per transaction, and ability to drive profit upward. There’s plenty of data on that, but we hope that your responses to this article will provide some real-world insight into the choices made by small business owners across America as the race to go digital takes another leap forward.

Ultimately, personal experience is what counts. The small business owners we talked to in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, area had much to say about their interactions with the latest in POS systems. An employee at All the Smoke and Vape told us, “Since management installed Square, it’s made my job a whole lot easier. We have tons of merch here, from water pipes to hip-hop t-shirts, cigarettes, and candy. The POS software streamlines every transaction, and the customers like the details.”

Next door, at the recreational cannabis dispensary, Score 420, a manager told us that, though the business was still using an old-style amber screen program to track sales, they were planning to install Shopify over the next couple of weeks. “Everyone has seen the writing on the wall. It’s only a matter of time,” he admitted. “In an oversaturated cannabis market like this one, the dispensaries that survive will be the ones that have up-to-date computers and software helping to build great customer experiences and loyalty. We’ll be more competitive, more profitable as a result.”

So, the future really is now.

And whether you’re a square or not, we hope to hear from you, too. What are your experiences with the next generation of POS software? What’s important to know about platforms like Clover or Shopify? What challenges have you faced working with these new-fangled business toys? Finally, as a business owner, do you see the potential for increased income as a reason for embracing the latest POS software?

After we hear from more than a few of you, be prepared to continue this essential discussion.

(Scroll to bottom for survey.)

Point of Sale VS. Merchant Services

A Point of Sale (POS) system is the hardware and software that manages sales transactions. It is the place where a customer makes a payment for goods or services. Merchant Services, on the other hand, refer to the financial services and products that allow businesses to accept payments, especially from credit and debit cards.

Point of Sale

Point of Sale Systems: Popular Choices


So, back to square one, as it were. Square is a very popular POS software; some authorities rank it number one as far as POS software goes. Let’s start there. The nation’s leading business magazine, Forbes, recently ranked Square as the number one POS app for small American businesses. From internal chatter, we’ve also learned that it’s at the top of the list for hemp-friendly businesses. According to the experts, Square is at the top due to its low monthly service charge, competitive transaction fees, customizable environment, and overall ease of use. The only drawback: portable terminals cost a minimum of $300 each.


Another highly reviewed and ranked software to consider for your small business POS needs is Shopify. No, we’re not getting mixed up; Shopify is widely known as the go-to development tool for shopping cart websites, but they’ve expanded into the brick-and-mortar world as well. Like Clover, Shopify offers inventory management. This software suite also offers a host of other retailer-friendly features, including 24/7 live tech support, a unified ‘back office” program that unifies sales, customer, and inventory data; and transparent pricing with no hidden fees or long-term commitments.


If you’re looking for software that has advanced capabilities, including invoicing and employee management, then consider Clover. Starting at about $150 per month, you can use a Clover terminal to complete transactions, manage inventory, set up online selling, and create reports that provide insights into company costs versus sales.


Lightspeed POS made the Forbes Spring 2024 list because of the software’s innate intuitive environment, which makes for ease of training and everyday use. It’s also an affordable option for budget-minded managers; plans start at about $90 per month and include the ability to manage multiple retail outlets through a central location. The best inducement for this POS system is personalized, “white-glove” installation and support.


If none of the previous options seem doable, for whatever reason, but you’re still considering POS software, then check out the basic but very serviceable eHopper, a free POS software that retailers can start using upon download. For between $10 and $25 per month, users can expand the software’s capabilities. eHopper shares many of the features available on more expensive, elaborate platforms, but for this service, it’s pay-to-play; unlimited access ranges from $35 to $75 per month.

Take the Survey!

Canna Aid

Recent Articles

THCA has gained substantial attention over the last year due to a loophole in the Farm Bill that has allowed countless hemp companies to sell traditional psychoactive cannabis as a legal hemp product.
If your store needs a jolt, here are 7 items to stock that can help attract new customers and expand your appeal.
As these products become widely used across the nation, people are often asking what the difference is between these intriguing new hemp highs.
As we continue to chart the course through the ever changing waters of the hemp industry, recent legislative and regulatory developments have given rise to both challenges and opportunities for business owners and stakeholders.
Hemp and cannabis beverages are the latest in this consumer-driven quest to find the perfect method of getting the essential chemicals found in the cannabis plant—from the garden to the body, the body to the mind.
The CEO and founder of Ultimate Product Distributors (UPD) was the first to suggest that vaping products should be sold alongside cigarettes. If that seems obvious, well, that’s how the greatest ideas always look in the rearview mirror.
Live pipe-making demonstrations are just one of the ways shop owner Treasure Rose is expanding the idea of what a smoke shop can be.
In a significant victory for the hemp industry, Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed Senate Bill 1698, which would have imposed stringent regulations on hemp-derived products.