Ask a Stoner: Why Has Dispensary Service Been So Slow Lately?

Ask a Stoner: Why Has Dispensary Service Been So Slow Lately?
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Dear Stoner: Dispensaries have been slow for the past week because of some hack in their sale systems. Like, all of them. Why are they so unorganized?

Dear Malcolm: An industry representative recently told me that at least three-quarters of Denver dispensaries use pot-tech company MJ Freeway as a point-of-sale system. If it gets hacked, as it reportedly was two weeks ago, budtenders and managers are forced to document sales on paper, which makes transactions take longer and lines move more slowly.

The issue isn’t the industry, though — it’s prohibition. Dispensaries are forced to partner with POS systems like MJ Freeway because of pot’s legal status. Banks are scared to serve cannabis companies out of fear of retribution from the feds, so a vast majority of shops are cash-only. Companies like MJ Freeway were smart enough to start POS systems specific to dispensaries, but they may be less capable than their highly funded and secure counterparts at bars, restaurants and retail shops. Pot shops are doing the best they can with what they have. Employees had to re-enter nearly two weeks’ worth of sales into their computers once MJ Freeway was back up, so have some sympathy.

MJ Freeway's system got hacked.EXPAND
MJ Freeway's system got hacked.

Dear Stoner: I’ve been seeing a lot of strains at dispensaries with no information online. Are these places just making up names now, or are these really rare hybrids?

Dear Skeptik: Unless you have access to strains behind the scenes, it’s tough to tell. But consumer knowledge is growing by the day, and just slapping a new name on a jar of shitty weed isn’t going to fool buyers much longer. But if you’re worried about getting duped, there are a few indicators.

First, ask if the store grows its own flower. If it does, then cross-breeding is more likely, as growers have proprietary access to seeds and clones for experimenting. The growers could also be evolving phenotypes of singular strains, like Key Lime Pie, which descended from Girl Scout Cookies. Asking about a strain’s genetics can help, especially if the budtender has some special knowledge of it (true pride is hard to fake). Finally, inspect the flower: If it’s covered in trichomes and smells amazing, does the name really matter?

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

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