Case Study:

West Coast Organix

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Marijuana dispensaries are spreading throughout the country at a rapid pace.

That makes having a defined, potent product merchandising strategy even more crucial than in many established spaces, as a new dispensary can be quickly subsumed by multiple entrants into the same local market within just a few months.

To help your cannabis dispensary stick out from the pack, here are some basic concepts to keep in mind when devising your unique approach to cannabis product merchandising:

Appealing to the Senses In-Store

Because cannabis is a consumable product, the best way to present it is to highlight the natural visual impact of marijuana buds. Some simple guiding principles are:

  • For presenting unprocessed marijuana buds, make sure your graphic design for any pricing or signage is consistent, clean, and takes a slight backstage to the product itself being the main place the customer’s eye is drawn
  • Position edibles and related processed cannabis products in intuitive places around the retail space, using your own signage and branding more aggressively to prominently tie outside products to your overall “image”
  • Regularly adjust your sales floor as your customer base matures; highlight products people want in refreshing ways, rather than arbitrarily lining shelves


A somewhat unique issue cannabis dispensaries face is deciding whether to embrace the outsider status of this nascent legalized industry, or to appeal to more curious and wary customers.

Once you’ve decided on this customer profile, your merchandising style follows. Curious customers prefer vibes that are more sterile, or familiar, such as an industrial look or a brewery vibe. Customers used to cannabis culture will often appreciate kitsch, music, and extravagant marijuana-themed merchandise.

Spreading the Word

The logo of the dispensary should reflect the normalization of cannabis-comfortable customer base targeting noted above. Placing this logo on bags, packaging, and offering attractive items like shirts and hats, brings the message of the type of dispensary you run out into the wild, for the uninitiated to ask your existing customers all about.

Above all, for dispensaries looking to maintain consistent growth, the willingness to change is the most important concept to rely on. As cannabis products rapidly separate themselves from their previous status as an underground economy and grow into a legalized marketplace with higher levels of social acceptability, the opportunities for finding new types of customers in this space are limitless.