Do's and Don’ts of Dispensary Web Design

It’s no secret that business websites and online marketing tactics are essential ingredients to the success of any company in today’s technology based world. While it’s still currently illegal to sell marijuana online, many customers will search for dispensaries nearby before deciding on which one to buy product from. This means your website needs to look professional, display correct information, and be designed well enough to show up in related searches. Below are a few dos and don’ts for designing your cannabis business website.


Appeal to a broad audience

The stereotypical stoner kid isn’t the only person interested in the effects of marijuana today. Cancer patients searching to alleviate their symptoms with this particular form of medication, businessmen who prefer relaxing with marijuana as opposed to alcohol, and moms needing non-psychoactive product to help with their child’s seizures may all come to your website for answers. The last thing any one of these personalities wants is an unprofessional hippie-looking website explaining that your store offers the best dope for a serious trip. Even if your store is strictly recreational, some or most of your customers will take a serious interest in the medicinal properties of the plant. Don’t unnecessarily limit your business to just one group of people by using derogatory or demeaning language on your site.

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Make navigation easy

If the print on your website is too small or it’s difficult for users to find the information they’re looking for, they may leave to find your competitor’s page instead. The layout of the page, the links to informational tabs, and the wording should all make sense to the customer. One more aspect you should seriously consider for your page is mobile friendly formatting. Mobile searching is surpassing desktop searching, so your potential customers are most likely using their smart-phones or tablets to find your site. Again, if your site isn’t mobile friendly and difficult to read, they will leave your page for one that loads easily on their device.

Sell apparel, not marijuana on the site

Because marijuana is federally illegal, the law prohibits the sale, purchase, or trade of the drug through online channels. Instead, you may list the prices of your different strains to inform customers and sell only merchandise through the site. Customers will appreciate forehand knowledge of prices and may already have an idea of what they want before they walk into the store, making the process more efficient for everybody.
Since banking institutions cannot collaborate with dispensaries selling a federally illegal drug, causing cash to be the main method of payment for product, many dispensaries will use PayPal as an accepted form of payment for the on-site merchandise sales. You may not have permission to sell marijuana product online just yet, but you may still find it beneficial to list other merchandise for sale on your site for that extra income boost.


Break the law or encourage others to do so

Break the law or encourage others to do so

Believe it or not, there are strict marijuana advertising laws that dispensaries must abide by at all times. For instance, in Colorado, marijuana related advertising must target an audience that is at least 70% age 21 or older. Many cannabis sites will require users to enter their birthdays before entering the site to reduce the risk of underage children accidentally wandering onto the site. Since only a few states have lifted the ban of marijuana, dispensaries cannot target out of state tourists or encourage people to break the law in their respective locations.

Post inaccurate information

Marijuana lacks official testing of many medicinal or healing claims because of government research bans. For this reason, advertising or claiming on your site that your marijuana product can heal certain ailments is prohibited, unless backed by official research. If your marijuana is tested in a retail marijuana testing facility, you can claim that it is tested, but you cannot conclude anything about its safety based on that fact alone.

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Sell, trade, or buy online

As mentioned above, buying, selling, and trading marijuana online is strictly forbidden. Even if you made an online sale, you couldn’t ship the marijuana because mailing the drug is also prohibited.

Maintaining a website for your dispensary is a little trickier than for most businesses, but still necessary in today’s tech-centered culture. Some basic rules always apply, such as readability and mobile friendliness, and dispensary owners just tack on additional knowledge of the cannabis rules, regulations, and laws to operate a successful business site.

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