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Dispensaries and plant greenhouses work like any other business – which means they need to take on returns every now and again.

Most of you that have worked in retail have probably just rolled your eyes in resignation at that fact, and with good reason! Every retail outlet has to deal with the potential for customer returns, and in dispensaries, greenhouses, or other plant operations, these returns need to be handled with a bit more care than normal.

Particularly with more delicate growth strains, you need to keep a lot of plants separate from one another while they’re being processed to avoid cross contamination or seed mis-matches. This can be a tall order on the best of days, but when you have any plants coming back in that were already purchased by customers, it can become a bit of an adventure.

Luckily, it’s one that can be easily handled with a little careful planning!

 

Processing Returns in Greenhouses & Dispensaries

 

Obviously, processing returns starts with customer interactions. Does your dispensary or greenhouse have a process in place for taking product back in? Handling returns promptly and without a lot of “gotchas” or steps in the process is one of the fastest ways to establish your reputation as a business, and create repeat customers even if their first choice in purchase didn’t quite agree with them.

Here’s where a lot of dispensaries tend to slip up, however – where exactly is it going to go afterward? One of the fastest ways to start solving this issue is to get separate dispensary shelving to hang onto returns.

 

This could take a few forms – separate wire shelving, maybe, or if you’re not processing a lot of returns you could use a single greenhouse work table to hang onto them. Whatever form your storage takes, however, it needs to be far enough away from the other plants to avoid mix-ups.

‘Avoiding mix-ups’ is going to be the biggest challenge to focus on during this process. The whole point of processing returns is avoiding contact between two plants that shouldn’t mix, which can create issues when deciding where to keep them. If possible, try to have separate industrial storage bins with the appropriate soil/growth material to repot these plants before they return to the shelves – if, indeed, they return to the shelves at all.

 

You may need to keep your return plants separate in some kind of ‘clearance section’ to re-sell later at a discount, as many plants can’t just be dropped back into their regular crops. In that case, make sure to train your team on what can go back into the main crops, and when, in order to make sure they can get a new life after being re-sold.

As soon as you can get these plans in place, you might just dread getting a product returned a little bit less next time. (Hopefully.)

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