For the last several years, the question of legalizing marijuana has been actively discussed by government officials around the world. As early as 2012, the law on the legalization of recreational marijuana was first adopted in the US.
Current marijuana legislation situation (April 2018):
medical marijuana sale is legalized in 21 states;
9 states and the District of Columbia have allowed sales of marijuana for the recreational use;
16 states only allow the sale of medical marijuana extract.
At the same time, the number of US residents who support the idea of marijuana legalization is rapidly growing.
According to the data provided by statista.com, in 2013 (a year after the medical marijuana was legalized in the US) official retail sales reached about $1.6 billion. The chart below shows the annual growth of sales and forecasts how sales will grow by 2021.
If you want to build a profitable business, attract more customers and secure your market positions, opening an on-land store is not enough. You will need to go online and create a cannabis website.
The first problem you will face is dozens of medical marijuana dispensary websites, which already have a certain flow of customers, feedback and reliability proofs. Development of a professional custom cannabis website design – that’s what will help you to emerge from the shadow and make the competition.
Why Custom Design/Development is Best for Marijuana Websites
Each startup needs an effective go-off. If you want to successfully break into the medical or/and recreational cannabis dispensaries market, then you need to attract your audience. Marijuana dispensaries websites design is the first thing to be remembered. Each person who is going to build a website needs to choose between a template and exclusive design. Here are several reasons to make a choice in favor of a custom marijuana website design.
You are promoting your brand, and you need to stand out among numerous dispensaries. Under conditions of such a close competition, it is increasingly difficult to break through the tycoons and top brands. Individual website design is an effective way to create a positive and memorable image of the company and to attract the attention of the target audience.
Convenient and understandable website surfing is essential for every user. “Forrester Research” reported that online stores lose about 50% of clients who couldn’t find the needed product, and after a negative experience with the website, about 40% of the users never return to the site again. UI/UX design is exactly what will help to leave the user with only positive emotions after visiting your website.
Key usability points:
The clear structure of the site;
First of all, to reach your audience it is necessary to take into account all the needs and interests of each possible visitor. With custom marijuana website development you have no limits regarding the functionality of the website, the number of features to integrate and, of course, the number of regular visitors and customers.
Tips to Remember When Developing a Medical Marijuana Website.
It is not enough just to develop a marijuana website to establish your online business. Сonsidering the needs of your dispensary and your customers is necessary. Since the laws on legalization are constantly changing and updating, you must always be aware of these changes and convince the government of your state that you are not a drug dealer but a legal retail seller of cannabis for recreational and medical use.
Considering that today online sales of marijuana are still impossible, marijuana businesses use all sorts of methods to attract customers to come to the dispensary itself.
Here are bits of advice on how to do this:
It is essential to make a mobile responsive website since, to search for information, most users today are using mobile devices. It is a proven fact, that if the site is not mobile-friendly almost 100% of the users within seconds decide to leave it.
To boost sales for dispensaries provide them with the option to receive online pre-orders, create deals and loyalty programs through your website.
If you offer services in those states where the sale of marijuana is allowed only by prescription, it will be better to check the medical ID of each customer at the stage of pre-order. The service of online medical ID obtaining will become a significant advantage for your website. To make it possible, create an online database of doctors who provide such services.
How to build an informational marijuana portal
Another great idea for an online marijuana business is the creation of a popular portal with all the useful information in one place. To make it really popular, consider providing your visitors with the following data.
To date, there are about 2500 marijuana strains, each of which has its own characteristics. Create the database of marijuana strains with an easy-to-use filter and give your visitors the opportunity to learn more about each of them.
The full database of dispensaries sorted by region will help the users to find points of sale without much effort. For even more convenience, think about filtering dispensaries by growers and strains offered.
An online community where everyone can share their feedback and impressions after using different types of cannabis is a powerful way to turn your portal into a favorite online place to hang out.
Each person who wants to gain access to the purchase of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes must have a medical ID. Create a map of doctors in each region, and make it possible to schedule an appointment with one of them online through your website.
Post video lessons on the in-house growing of cannabis for personal use.
You can also build here an online store with all kinds of related products, from lighting to nutrients.
And, of course, do not forget to please those who adore cooking all sorts of cannabis dishes. Post simple and complex inspirational recipes for home cooking on a regular basis.
User information security
The last but crucial thing that you must take into account when developing a marijuana website is the security of your users. The idea is that such sites always handle PHI (Protected Health Information) and collect personal data of every visitor. To be assured that your clients’ personal information will be secured, your website must be HIPAA compliant.
Now you have two options:
Investing huge amounts of money in building your own appstack environment at the backend and your own HIPAA compliant environment;
Use services of HIPAA compliant cloud hosting services.
If you decide to reach HIPAA compliance with the help of respectable cloud hosting providers, here is the list of those ones which can be trusted and which will handle storing the sensitive data of every user:
Amazon Web Services (AWS);
Armor (prev. Firehost);
Several examples of best marijuana websites and portals in 2018
As we mentioned before, cannabis website design is essential when we talk about attracting clients and online business development.
First, decide on the functionality of your website.
Second, see how it works, and get inspired with our short list of the most successful marijuana website designs and functionality.
This is an excellent example of a popular portal with all the features we’ve described earlier. Along with the responsive interface and soft color palette, this place provides visitors with all the useful marijuana information you can ever be interested in. According to SimilarWeb, this website has a pretty decent traffic rate of about 12 million monthly visits.
Weedmaps provides visitors with a convenient way to find cannabis delivery services, brands, medical marijuana doctors and dispensary storefronts within your location. Furthermore, here you can explore all the existing brands, learn feedbacks and read the latest news and guides.
This website offers services for getting medical marijuana cards online. Here, patients can create an account, chat with the licensed doctor and get their medical ID by mail. 350 thousands of visitors come to the site each month, and this is a direct proof of the high demand for such services. Consider such opportunity when planning your own website.
4. The High Campus
This website is a source of useful information and services. Here visitors can register for a consultation to get a medical ID, find local dispensaries, learn the news about marijuana strains, share their feedback with other users and even join the online growing course to learn all the niceties of effective indoor growing and proper use of equipment. At the same time, you have access to news, product reviews, quizzes and a lot of other useful information posted in the blog on a daily basis.
Cannabis Website Development Cost
Once you’ve made the decision to develop an online portal and/or offer some kind of medical marijuana-related services, probably the first thing that you are interested in is the cost to build a marijuana website.
UDTech has substantial experience and offers a vast variety of services in website design and development. We are confident that to achieve the set goals with minimum costs, each product must go through several stages of development.
We recommend our clients to start with the development of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
MVP is a way to:
Reduce the price by developing only essential features of the project;
Attract first visitors and monitor their behavioral factors;
Find out what your target audience is most interested in.
Considering this information, you can embed new features to the site or remove unwanted ones.
We can offer several options for the MVP products to make the development process more clear.
Homepage including a slideshow in the header and dynamic snippets of the main website sections
Admin Panel that allows managing content and the users of the website
Registration and login of regular users
Registration and login for businesses
4. Get Medical ID section:
A landing page with the option to select the state
The page for each state for booking an appointment with the doctor
5. Dispensaries map:
Search by address
Search by dispensary name
Show my location on a map
Dispensary previews on the map
Markers to indicate the services provided: delivery/pick-up/ both
Links that direct to the dispensary pages
6. Individual dispensary pages with the subsections:
“Info” with address, working hours, description, map and contact info
“Reviews” including the rating system and making comments
7. Strains section landing and individual pages (including filters)
A general landing page with various filters (by category, type, effect, smell, etc)
Individual strain pages with the subsections:
- Reviews including the rating system and making a comment
8. Doctors section.
The landing page with the list of doctors and a filter.
The individual doctor pages with doctors details
|Hours needed for Front End development||Hours needed for Back End development|
Hours needed for Design
Get Medical ID
Individual dispensary pages
Strains landing and individual pages (including filters)
Doctors landing and individual pages
Quality assurance (QA)
Desktop version estimate:
Total Design - 66h
Total Development (with QA) - 335h
Grand Total - 401h
|Hours needed for Front End development|
Hours needed for Design
Get Medical ID
Individual dispensary pages
Strains landing and individual pages
Landing and individual doctor page
Quality assurance (QA)
Mobile version estimate:
Total Design - 37h
Total Development (with QA) - 66h
Grand Total - 103h
The UDTech team has experience in developing medical and recreational marijuana websites, and all the above numbers are based on our projects and historical data. Depending on the type and the functionality of the site you want to create, the development process may take more or less time and effort.
To clear out all the details send us a request. Together we will create a new unique product that will meet your requirements in full.