Cannabis Dispensary Scale Buying Guide
What to consider before buying a Medical Cannabis Approved Dispensary Scale (updated February 2021)
Medical and Legal Cannabis dispensaries are growing quickly 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 and/or recreational marijuana 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)
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. Sometimes a balance with readability of 0.01 grams is only NTEP approved to 0.1 gram. This is the "certified readability", and it means the scale or balance is accurate to 0.01 gram but it can only be used in a retail transaction to 0.1 g.
The NCWM has issued an updated NTEP regulation, which became effective on January 1, 2020 which applies to “direct sales” applications. According to Handbook 44, you cannot use a Class I or a Class II balance for a direct sale application unless the readability of the scale ( “d” ) equals the certified readability of the scale ("e"). Any scale with "d" not equal to “e” used in a direct sale to the public application must be replaced by January 1, 2023.
The CoC number on the scale indicates the Certificate of NTEP Conformance. You can put this number in to the National Council of Weights and Measures website at the link below
This will show you the NTEP Certification of the scale, the readability (d), the certified readability (e) and the Class. For example, if you enter CoC # 05-063A2 for the Vibra SJ-420 you will see that "d" and "e" are equal, that both are approved to 0.01g resolution and that it is approved for Class ll. You can see this scale at the following link:
These regulations are confusing, and they vary by application and from state to state. States vary in readability and certified readability requirements and Class requirements. Summit Measurement offers balances which meet these varying requirements including the SJ-420 and the ALE Series Vibra, The FX and EK series from A & D Weighing and the SJX series from OHaus. After researching many options we have identified these as the best options for cannabis dispensaries. In order to help simplify your search for the proper balance we have organized them in the table below::
You should also consider connectivity, which refers to the ability of the scale to connect to a computer, printer or other peripheral device. Many 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. http://www.summitmeasurement.net/Dispensary-Scale... You will find something for every need, but. if you still have questions give us a call. We are always happy to help!