Medical and Legal Cannabis / Marijuana Scales

What to consider before buying a Medical Cannabis Approved Dispensary Scale

Medical and Legal Cannabis dispensaries are still fairly new in the United States, and the requirements for dispensary scales are still unclear because they vary from state to state. But, as more states legalize medical marijuana and some states begin to legalize recreational marijuana, the states are attempting to set some standards in order to ensure that honest and fair transactions are taking place. As is the case with all scales, the state or local Weights and Measures department typically inspects scales at all retail establishments once per year. Some states may determine that those inspections should occur more frequently in Marijuana Dispensaries. The first consideration when choosing a marijuana dispensary scale is to be certain it is NTEP approved.

NTEP means it has been tested and certified as "of a certain quality" (passes all the tests) by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) Committee of the National Conference on Weights and Measures. An NTEP scale is granted a sort of pre-approval which includes a Certificate of Conformance (CoC) Number. NTEP approval is required in most US states for all scales that are used for over the counter retail transactions. (Any time money changes hands based on the weight of an item or items). These scales are then considered "Legal for Trade", or legal for use in commercial transactions.

Scales are assigned to accuracy classes based on their design and intended application. Classes l and ll are generally used in laboratory and higher precision weighing, while Class lll scales are typically commercial weighing devices. The precision of the classes is illustrated below:

Class l 100,000+ divisions
Class ll 10,000 - 100,000 divisions
Class lll 1,000 - 10,000 divisions
(a division is the number of increments the scale offers... how many units of resolution in the total capacity)

The CoC number on the scale indicates the NTEP Class it is approved for. Most states tend to require Class ll approved digital scales for cannabis dispensaries. Oregon, however, has stricter standards, requiring Class l. Call your state before you buy a scale to learn about their requirements... Some states are requiring cannabis be pre-packaged, so selling by scale is already an antiquated method.

At Summit Measurement, we offer 3 scales with NTEP Class 1 approval.

The Vibra SJ-620-NT is Class l NTEP approved to 0.01 g and is one of the only scales available to meet Oregon's strict standards.
The ALE-1203 and AJ-620 are also Class l approved to 0.01 g.

It is also necessary to look at the readability of the scale. This refers to the number of increments the weight is displayed in. A readability of 0.1 grams means the scale measures in 1/10ths of a gram, while readability of 0.01 grams means the scale measures in 1/100ths of a gram.

Most states, including California, Colorado and Washington accept scales that are NTEP Class ll approved to 0.1 g. The Vibra AJ-1200 is an ideal balance for dispensaries in those states. The AJ-320 and SJ-420 are great options when NTEP Class ll approved to 0.01 g is required. You should also consider connectivity, which refers to the ability of the scale to connect to a computer, printer or other peripheral device. All of the scales on our Medical Cannabis Dispensary web page have an RS232 port and/or other options for communication to the popular Marijuana Software programs.

The best way to know which dispensary balance you should buy is to check with your state weights and measures department to find out what NTEP Class and Readability you need to be compliant with state regulations. Then review our dispensary balances at the link below. You will find something for every need, from the highly precise Class l requirements in Oregon to less stringent 0.1 gram Class ll requirements served by the popular and economic OHaus Scout SJX1502N/E.

If you still have questions give us a call. We are always happy to help!