The Top 7 Things a Good Cannabis Web Design Agency Should Know About

Qualifying Your Choices
February 25, 2024 by
The Top 7 Things a Good Cannabis Web Design Agency Should Know About
Kief Studio

The cannabis industry has experienced massive growth in recent years as legalization spreads across North America. As the industry matures, cannabis businesses are looking to establish strong brands and connect with customers online. For these companies, partnering with the right web design agency is crucial.

However, not all agencies understand the unique needs of cannabis brands. The regulatory environment, stigma, and rapidly changing market landscape all present challenges. Cannabis companies need an agency well-versed in this industry’s intricacies.

So what should cannabis companies look for in a web design partner? This article will explore the top 7 things every good cannabis web design agency should know. Finding an agency with this expertise will set your brand up for success online.

A Cannabis Web Design Agency Should Understand the Regulatory Environment

​The most fundamental requirement for working in this industry is understanding the complex legal landscape. With cannabis still federally illegal in the US, states have taken their own approaches to legalization and regulation. This creates a complex patchwork of different laws.

For example, some states only allow medical cannabis sales, while others have legalized recreational use. There are also differences in what cannabis products are permitted, such as THC caps on concentrates. Strict marketing and advertising rules also apply.

An agency must keep up with all the latest regulations at both state and federal levels. This expertise ensures clients stay compliant in their messaging and business practices. Knowing these laws also allows agencies to better advise clients on how to share their brand story online.

Some key areas for agencies to have regulatory knowledge include:

  • Medical vs. recreational markets - What types of sales and customers are permitted in each state?
  • Product regulations - Rules around THC content, packaging, testing, etc. Marketing laws - Limitations on messaging, imagery, targeting, partnerships, etc.
  • License requirements - Necessary licenses and compliance steps to operate legally.
  • Tracking regulations - Systems for monitoring supply chain and preventing diversion to illegal markets.

Staying up-to-date on the latest regulatory shifts allows an agency to create websites and marketing strategies that don’t put clients at risk. For cannabis brands, this is the most important partner qualification.

A Good Cannabis Web Design 

Agency Should Know the Unique Needs of Different Cannabis Sectors

The cannabis industry is diverse, with different types of companies needing specialized support. Here are some of the major sectors agencies should understand:


Cannabis growers have unique needs centering around showcasing their strains, processes, and facilities. Websites should bring out a cultivator’s true brand identity through strain libraries, grow journals, sustainability practices, and facility tours. Photographs of flower and grow rooms help tell their story.

Processors & Extractors

Processors use cannabis to create concentrates, edibles, topicals and more. Websites should explain their extraction processes, highlight innovations, and demonstrate product quality & safety. Vivid product photography, including close-ups showing consistency and purity, is key.

Retail Dispensaries

Dispensaries need sites focused on practical elements like menus, online ordering, and location/hours. Messaging should convey their welcoming vibe while also feeling sleek and professional. Photographs of the interior space help customers envision their visit.

CBD Companies

As CBD enters the mainstream, these companies require a mainstream-friendly approach focused on education, health/wellness, and high-quality ingredients. Claims should be compliant and backed by science. Lifestyle photography and bright, inviting branding work well.

This is just a sample of major sectors. But the takeaway is every niche, from cannabis tech to medical clinics, has unique needs. The best agencies go beyond surface-level website design to provide truly tailored solutions.

Stay on Top of Latest Cannabis Trends and Innovations

Like any rapidly-growing new industry, cannabis is constantly evolving. Breakthrough innovations, new product trends, and shifts in consumer behavior happen frequently. Agencies designing for cannabis brands must stay on top of all these changes.​

Some examples of recent trends include:

Rise of cannabis drinks - Beverages are one of the hottest current product categories, with sales exploding as companies develop drinks targeted at specific consumer needs. Brands are expanding beyond just infusing drinks with CBD and THC to create wellness-focused formulations.

Interest in minor cannabinoids - Research is revealing benefits of lesser known cannabinoids like CBG, CBN and CBC. Brands are beginning to formulate products to take advantage of these compounds, requiring updated messaging and education on sites.

Proliferation of vapes - Vaporizers continue gaining popularity for their discreetness and precise dosing. Brand stories need to focus on tech, innovation and safety as vapes become more mainstream.

Micro-dosing - As cannabis goes mainstream, micro-dosing with lower THC levels appeals to new consumers looking for a milder experience. Brands and retailers need strategies to cater to this trend.

Sustainability - Eco-friendly cultivation, manufacturing practices, packaging and social impact initiatives are increasingly expected by consumers. Brands need help conveying sustainability credibly.

Agencies immersed in the space will spot emerging trends and help clients capitalize early. They’ll also provide insights into innovations like new extraction methods, genetic research, nanotechnology, and more that companies can leverage.

Understand the Stigma That Still Exists

Despite growing acceptance, cannabis still carries stigma for some demographics and communities. Agencies must recognize this reality and help brands thoughtfully navigate messaging and perception.

For example, mature consumers and ethnic communities hit hard by the War on Drugs may view cannabis negatively. Brands targeting these groups require extra sensitivity and education-based messaging on websites. Approaches centering wellness over recreation tend to resonate better.

Even in legal states, some strictly regulate cannabis advertising to avoid exposure to those opposed to it. Agencies well-versed in this landscape ensure their clients’ messaging and visuals match local expectations. This prevents backlash that could slow legalization efforts.

Navigating stigma requires insight into nuances like:

Generational perceptions of cannabis

Regional attitudes and values

Culturally appropriate communications

Consumer skepticism and how to overcome it

The right agency partner helps progress the industry responsibly and avoid missteps that could enable opposition. Their strategies make brands approachable to all types of consumers in a still-maturing market.

Convey Brand Stories That Connect with Consumers

While cannabis has a 10,000+ year history, it is effectively a new CPG category in the modern era. That means brands must educate consumers while also building affinity.

Agencies that recognize cannabis as an emerging lifestyle product, not just a niche medical product, are best positioned to help brands succeed. Telling compelling stories that consumers relate to is crucial.

For example, positioning artisanal growers and craft products as more authentic and appealing than “big cannabis” giants. Or framing functional benefits around experiences like hosting, relaxation or intimacy rather than just medical use.


Knowing the demographics, psychographics, and purchase drivers of different consumer segments is key. With recreational legalization, new consumers have very different needs than existing medical patients. Brands need differentiated strategies tailored to these diverse legal age users.

Powerful visuals and messaging focused on quality, sustainability, innovation and lifestyle experience will rise above the competition. Agencies that recognize the diversity of the new cannabis consumer landscape can build brands with mass appeal.

Help Clients Create Unique Brand Identities

One key way for cannabis brands to connect with consumers is cultivating a strong, recognizable brand identity. With so many new companies launching in the space, defining and expressing your brand’s DNA is crucial for standing out.

Skilled agencies view a cannabis brand as more than just a logo, color palette and slogan. They know how to uncover and communicate a brand’s full essence and ethos across multiple touchpoints.

Some examples of important brand identity elements agencies can help develop and reinforce include:

Heritage & Founder Story - What is your brand’s place within cannabis history and culture? Why did the founders launch it? What makes their vision unique?

Strain/Product Selection - For cultivators and processors, the specific strains and products you grow/produce tell a brand story. Agencies can help optimize and showcase your offerings.

Sustainability Practices - As consumers care more about social impact, sustainability can help define your brand’s values. Agencies can help artic articulating initiatives prominently.

Product Quality- From premium bud density to refined concentrates, product excellence and consistency build trust. Photography, reviews and process explainers convey quality.

Innovation - Brands defined by experimenting with new genetics, extraction methods, nano-formulations, etc. need help showcasing R&D.

Experience - For retailers especially, the in-store experience builds a brand. Photography of spaces, explanations of customer service approach, etc. tell this story.

These are just some examples of elements agencies can weave together into compelling branding and websites. Defining and expressing a distinct identity is critical for cannabis brands competing in a crowded market.

A Good Cannabis Web Design Agency Should Provide Ongoing Support and Optimization

Launching a cannabis brand’s website is just the starting point. The fast-moving nature of this industry requires ongoing optimization and refresh to keep pace.

Good agencies become long-term partners that help cannabis brands continually evolve their strategies and digital presence.

Some key areas for continued support include:

Monitoring Regulations:

As cannabis laws change often, regular check-ins are needed to ensure branding and messaging remain compliant. State license restrictions can also change. Agencies should update websites proactively as needed.

Optimizing for SEO:

Search engine optimization is an ongoing process. From writing new content to adjusting site architecture, agencies should provide continual optimizations to keep brands ranking highly.

Refreshing Design:

A brand’s look, tone and messaging may need to be updated periodically. Agencies can rework designs to reflect new trends, products and consumer targeting.

New Technologies:

Exploring innovations like mobile apps, digital menus, emerging ecommerce features, virtual reality, and more allows brands to stay ahead. Agencies can build these technologies into digital strategies.

Campaign Execution:

For larger marketing initiatives, agencies go beyond strategy to execute campaigns across media channels like social, programmatic ads, influencer efforts, and more.

Ongoing partnerships with agencies allow cannabis brands to cost-effectively scale capabilities as needed while focusing internal resources on core operations.

Summary- Why Kief Studio is Such a Great Cannabis Web Design Agency

As cannabis becomes a major consumer industry, developing a strong online presence is essential for brands. Partnering with the right cannabis web design agency like Kief Studio provides the specialized expertise needed to succeed in this complex space.

Kief Studio understands all the nuances covered in this article - cannabis regulations, trends, stigma, branding, consumers, and more. Their expertise allows them to create effective strategies tailored to each client’s unique needs and the evolving cannabis market.

Kief Studio also provides ongoing support and optimization to ensure cannabis brands maintain their edge. From monitoring compliance to executing campaigns, Kief Studio becomes a long-term partner dedicated to their clients’ success.

Brands that invest in thoughtful web design and digital marketing powered by the cannabis expertise of Kief Studio will thrive in the years ahead. By selecting knowledgeable partners like Kief Studio, cannabis companies can avoid potential pitfalls on their path to success.

The Top 7 Things a Good Cannabis Web Design Agency Should Know About
Kief Studio February 25, 2024
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