Enhancing the Cannabis Retail Experience with Self-Service Kiosks

In the evolving landscape of cannabis retail, technology continues to play a crucial role in enhancing customer experiences. The integration of self-service options into dispensaries is becoming a more popular way to streamline operations. Kiosks offer a convenient and efficient way for customers to explore products, place orders, and engage with dispensaries.

In this blog post, we will delve into the benefits and potential risks associated with incorporating self-service kiosks into the cannabis retail environment.

What is cannabis self service?

The rise of self-service technology has been a significant trend across various industries in recent years. From retail and hospitality to transportation and banking, self-service solutions have revolutionized the way businesses interact with their customers. In retail, self-checkout systems have become commonplace, allowing shoppers to scan and pay for their items independently.

The hospitality industry has embraced self-service kiosks for ordering and check-ins, providing guests with a faster and more personalized experience. Transportation companies have implemented self-service ticketing and boarding processes, simplifying travel for passengers. Even in banking, ATMs and online banking platforms have empowered customers to conduct transactions without visiting a physical branch. This shift towards self-service reflects the growing demand for convenience, efficiency, and control over the customer experience.

Cannabis is different.

There's the logistics: You can't physically obtain and scan the products, you have to be IDed, and you often can't pay directly at the kiosk. There's also a learning curve for some less-experienced buyers: they're not exactly sure what they should buy.

However, turning some pieces of the purchase process into self-service has it's benefits.

Pros of Cannabis Self-Service Kiosks

1. Enhanced Customer Convenience

Self-service kiosks provide a streamlined and user-friendly platform for customers to browse through a dispensary's product offerings at their own pace. By eliminating the need for assistance from dispensary staff, customers can save time and have more control over their purchasing decisions. This convenience is especially valuable for individuals who may feel uncomfortable discussing their cannabis needs with others or those who prefer a self-guided experience.

2. Improved Efficiency

Dispensaries can experience high foot traffic, particularly during peak hours. Self-service kiosks help alleviate long queues and reduce waiting times, resulting in a smoother and faster customer journey. By empowering customers to complete their transactions independently, dispensaries can optimize staff resources and allocate them to other critical tasks, such as product consultations and personalized assistance.

3. Comprehensive Product Information

Cannabis self-service kiosks offer an effective platform for educating customers about various products. Dispensaries can provide detailed information about strains, potency, consumption methods, and potential effects, enabling customers to make informed decisions based on their preferences and desired outcomes. This educational aspect helps bridge the knowledge gap for both novice and experienced cannabis consumers.

4. Increased Sales

Self-service kiosks have shown the potential to boost sales by providing customers with a convenient and interactive purchasing experience. With self-guided browsing and product information at their fingertips, customers are more likely to explore a dispensary's offerings in-depth, leading to increased product discovery and potential upselling opportunities.

Risks and Considerations

1. Regulatory Compliance

Cannabis retail is subject to strict regulations and compliance requirements. When implementing self-service kiosks, it is essential for dispensaries to ensure their software adheres to all applicable laws, age verification protocols, and product restrictions. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in severe legal consequences, impacting the reputation and operations of the dispensary.

2. Customer Support and Assistance

While self-service kiosks offer independence and convenience, some customers may still require personalized assistance or have questions that cannot be addressed solely through a kiosk. It is crucial for dispensaries to strike a balance between self-service capabilities and maintaining an available and knowledgeable staff to support customers, address concerns, and provide guidance when needed.

3. Technical Challenges and Maintenance

Like any technological system, self-service kiosks may encounter technical glitches or require regular maintenance. Dispensaries must invest in robust and reliable hardware and software solutions, along with a dedicated support team, to promptly address any technical issues that may arise. Additionally, training dispensary staff to troubleshoot basic kiosk-related problems can help ensure a seamless customer experience.


The integration of self-service kiosks in the cannabis retail environment presents numerous benefits, such as enhanced convenience, improved efficiency, comprehensive product information, and valuable customer data insights. By carefully evaluating the risks and implementing self-service kiosks effectively, cannabis retailers can offer a cutting-edge shopping experience that caters to the evolving needs of their customers, while also driving business growth and customer loyalty.

Put your Dispense-powered menu onto any device for self-service ordering: we're hardware and platform agnostic. It's as easy as copy-pasting a link.

Dispense Team

Dispense is ecommerce software for cannabis dispensaries. We give dispensaries the tools they need to list and sell products on their own website, leverage their menus and data to drive SEO traffic, build direct relationships with their customers, and scale their businesses.

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