Making the Cash Flow King at the Pot Shack
As the general manager of the Pot Shack in Saskatoon, Geoff Conn’s main job is to ensure the new retail location and the e-commerce website of the Saskatchewan cannabis retailer both “run as awesomely as possible.”
With its large selection of dry flower products, pre-rolls, CBD choices, oils and tinctures, edibles and accessories, The Pot Shack does a lot of business, so having quick access to funds is important to the enterprise. In preparing for opening its retail shop on “Legalization Day,” October 17, 2018, Conn considered a couple of payment provider possibilities but decided “we liked Merrco best,” for how it handled money and the ease of use of its payment solutions.
“For us the big thing is the flow of capital, the flow of the cash, the flow of the sales, that sort of thing. The cash flow keeps the business running,” says Conn about his primary concern in choosing a payment-solutions provider.
While pre-legalization cannabis may have been a cash-only business, Conn was also aware that customers would want to use the same kind of convenient payment methods they use for other transactions.
“Of course, customers carry credit cards and debit cards. In the illegal days, they would have to go to a bank machine and pay with cash,” he says. “And so now, the customers have other options. The big thing has been to get most of our money as quickly as possible, because it flows into different accounts before it gets into ours.”
In getting the Pot Shack ready for legal bricks-and-mortar sales—as the company coped with the challenges of getting a secure bank account with a financial institution that supported their line of business—Merrco acted as a trusted partner. Conn likes the transaction speed of The Pot Shack’s four POS handheld terminals and the ease of system upgrades.
“While I've been there [in the store], with our network and with all the WiFi and wireless and stuff going on, our up-time is really impressive,” he says. “I think when it comes time to do upgrades, like software, things are set up so the team at the store can do them easily, without failure.”
Conn points out that the payment solution The Pot Shack has in place keeps the transaction percentages paid to involved financial institutions to reasonable levels and says: “With Merrco we also get a rebate back for a certain volume [of sales] and that's important.”
But Conn keeps returning to the invaluable help that Merrco has given them with fast access to sales funds. “Knowing when we're going to get our cash deposited is important because of course, that's our cash flow and cash is king,” he explains. “There's very rarely any kind of a hiccup in the cash transfers back to us, so that enables us to work better with our cash flow and not have to worry about when our deposits are going to be made and that is important.”