The cannabis industry has a multitude of complexities, from the drug’s history and its effects, to its current place in modern culture. A successful company is able to recognize these complexities and address them to create an optimized experience for all types of consumers. Through competitive analysis and industry research, three characteristics can be presented as best practice when developing a digital presence. These characteristics are transparency, understanding and connection. They are closely related to one another, yet all three characteristics should be individually acknowledged and addressed in order to offer the best possible solution for the consumer.


Transparency is the ability for a website to display its information in a clear, concise and well organized manner. This characteristic is especially important for a cannabis website due to the complex and potentially confusing nature of the product. It is important that a website does not attempt to solve the problem of complexity by bombarding the customer with too much information and data. The information should be intentionally organized and presented relative to its importance and relevance. From the landing page to the most detailed information, there should be a clear flow and hierarchy of information. Filtering systems are powerful tools to enable the sorting of a lot of products or information in accordance with the customer’s goal. For instance, organizing cannabis products by their effect on the user, and providing consumers with a way to navigate and filter can quickly and effortlessly lead them to the products that are the best fit for them. Once a customer finds an item of interest, it is important to display product information in a manageable but comprehensive manner. If the customer is still confused or has any further questions, a live chat feature demonstrates that the company is always willing to help or answer further questions.

Surterra Wellness Filtering Function


The ability to understand different customers and their needs is integral to being able to offer products that best fit their unique needs and desires. There is a huge diversity in the cannabis market, including age, gender, socioeconomic status and experience. The motives and methods for using the drug are highly variable but commonalties can be found in each of these different groups. For instance, newcomers are less likely to invest a significant amount in consumption devices and hardware, health and fitness enthusiasts are often averse to smoking flower, and senior citizens looking for pain relief prefer topical applications or edibles over smoking. This diversity in preferences can be identified and addressed through consumer quizzes or suggestion features to drill down and then showcase products that might be of interest. The digital experience cannot be perfectly catered to all different groups of people, however, the better you understand the user the better you can recommend products that they are looking for and will find useful.

Charlotte’s Web Consumer Quiz Recommendation


Connection is the ability to create a strong and close relationship with users in order to resolve doubt, answer questions, and make users feel a sense of belonging while building brand loyalty. With so many options available now to buy cannabis, being able to differentiate your brand and form lasting customer relationships is integral to long term success. Often times, building brand loyalty is especially difficult in the cannabis retail environment due to the fact that many of the products are not branded by the retailer, but rather the manufacturer. Therefore, it is especially important to leverage a digital presence to establish customer relationships and ensure loyalty to your brand, to encourage customers to remember you, refer you to friends, and return in the future to your website or retail store. Some of the most successful features to form these online connections are blogs and educational pages. These features provide value to all customers, no matter what their cannabis knowledge is or what their interests are. A wide range of information should be provided, along with an easy way to search and navigate it. This includes anything from cannabis recipes to cannabis research studies, where anyone can learn something about the complex and interesting drug. 

Tweed Vault Blog and Educational Platform

Ballast Lane Application understands the complexity of the cannabis industry and the growing competitive pressures. We ensure that our clients follow a thoughtful design and development process that will enable them to achieve and maintain a position at the forefront of the cannabis industry. With our ability to offer flexible and custom solutions across the entire project spectrum, we ensure that your company continues to innovate long after the initial build and release.