Can I build a house out of hemp?

You can build a house from hemp!

We have a new obsession. We’ve fallen in love with the YouTube channel, Living Big in a Tiny House. The episodes are presented by Bryce Langston, a New Zealand native, who is passionate about sustainable, downsized, eco-friendly living.

Bryce and his partner, Rasa, who does all the gorgeous camera work, travel the world in search of tiny houses and present them, along with their owners, weekly.

The houses range from a $9 hut in the woods to compact houses in the low hundred thousands. Most fall into the mid-range of $40,000 – 60,000 since many people use shared land and do their own labor.

The unique and wonderful element of the entire channel is how the amazing people who live in tiny houses have simplified their lives, focusing on relationships, their passions, and freedom from the rat race. 

Last night, I discovered this episode that focuses on a completely sustainable eco-friendly hemp house, built by an architect and his wife for their family. 

Please watch for a brilliant introduction to hemp as a viable, healthy, sustainable building material. 

And if you liked this video, please subscribe to Bryce and Rasa’s channel to see more amazing, tiny houses. 

What is hempcrete?

Hempcrete is a sustainable building material composed of hemp, water and lime. It has been used for millennia globally as a building material. 

Hemp is an incredibly eco-friendly material at every stage of the growth, production and build cycle. 

As a plant, it has the ability to pull CO2 from the air. Even when it is cut and used in buildings that property continues, making it super healthy for construction workers to be around and people to live in.

Moreover, as the lime and hemp calcify the material becomes almost as hard as stone, making it last hundreds of years. 

The first hemp house in the USA

Is Hempcrete breathable?

Yes!  

Hempcrete is breathable. From Return to Now:

‘It’s breathable not in the sense that air gets through — it’s airtight — but it’s breathable for water.

“In a typical wall you have a cavity that you seal tightly and fill with insulation. No matter how hard you try to keep it out, water will get inside that cavity, because that’s what water does.

“So we want to create a wall that welcomes water, but doesn’t rot when it lets the water in. And that’s exactly what hempcrete does.

When it becomes humid out, it absorbs the extra humidity and holds it until the humidity drops and then it will let it back out, regulating and balancing the humidity inside the home, he explains.

In the meantime, because the high pH lime is wrapped around the cellulose, it won’t rot.’

Read the full article

How to work with hempcrete

 Anthony from Art du Chanvre, who  has built over 45 houses using hempcrete as a natural and sustainable insulation material, shows you how to do it.

Follow Anthony on Instagram

FAQ

Does my house have to look like a hippie hut? 

No, your house can be sleek and modern, traditional, or any style you can imagine, including a hippie hut!

Is it expensive to build a hemp house?

It’s getting cheaper and cheaper as hemp becomes homegrown and not imported. Plus, you’ll save on energy costs in the long run.

Am I going to get high breathing in my house? 

No! Hemp isn’t psychoactive.

Can I use hempcrete in cold climates?

Yes, hemp is adaptable to any climate.

Hemp house in Canada

Can hempcrete be used as a foundation?

No, it will biodegrade if used as a foundation. 

Can I use Hempcrete as a structural material? 

No, it is a non-structural material. You will have to use some other form of framing. 

Structural questions pertaining to hemp

What about fire? Is hempcrete fire resistant? 

Yes, it is. It is also resistant to rot and insects.

Why should I use hemp to build my house?

 

Our consumption and lifestyles are ravaging nature, other species, and our planet. If we care at all about anything or anyone that comes after us, we will want to build a sustainable future. That means leaving a smaller footprint and living in harmony with nature. 

A slow, meaningful life full of adventure, free time, human connections, and family sounds a lot more appealing than working for the man in order to pay a mortgage on a huge house that we have no time to enjoy. 

Having time to grow our own healthy food, can, preserve, and savor  it with loved ones is so much more enjoyable than eating in noisy, expensive restaurants. 

Living in small communities where we know our neighbors, instead of crowded impersonal cities, replete with congestion and pollution is the way forward. 

We need to know that less is more and that as housing in major cities gets more unaffordable, we can create alternative lifestyles.

Hemp, whether it is used in housing, the production of clothing or foodstuffs can add value to a slower more sustainable lifestyle. 

 

If hemp is so great why has it been illegal all this time? 

Hemp was legal prior to 1937 and won a reprieve during WWII, since it was needed to create  industrial materials necessary to the war effort. However, the problems began when it was lumped in with the psychoactive strains of cannabis due to the efforts of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst.  Hearst found hemp was a competitor for his interests in lumber and paper mills. He was aided by Harry Anlinger, who following the failure of Prohibition, wanted to build up his new department, the DEA. 

Together, they stirred up mass hysteria resulting in such nonsense as Reefer Madness and classifying marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, which lead to the criminalization of the substance.

To read  more:

Black History Month 2020 – Cannabis

 

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Do CBD oil beauty products work?

CBD BEAUTY

CBD OIL AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Does CBD oil work?

There haven’t been enough formal studies to indicate that CBD oil in cosmetic products actually does anything for the skin.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD oil can act as a pain relieving analgesic and as an anti-inflammatory agent.

That’s good news for those who are suffering from acne, rosacea, contact dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

How Does CBD oil work?

The human body has two endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.  CB1 receptors are located in the brain and are responsible for mood, memory, and coordination. Cb2 receptors are attached to the body’s immune system and are thus responsible for pain and inflammation responses.

While THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana creates the feeling of being high, the properties in CBD work differently.

CBD doesn’t attach to a CB2 receptor. Instead it stimulates the body to make more of its own natural cannabinoids.  This is what reduces pain and inflammation. 

Is CBD oil legal?

CBD oil is federally legal unless it contains more than 0.3 % THC. If your CBD oil is derived from hemp, it is probably federally legal. 

Check your state laws

However, things can get a bit confusing sometimes due to the nature of the plant and state and  federal laws. Now that the DEA is no longer in charge of anything but illegal drug operations, the FDA has been mandated with setting guidelines for safety. However, CBD products are already inundating US markets. 

One major thing to remember is, though you can buy CBD products, it is illegal to sell your homemade products unless you have the correct state license. 

An in- depth look into CBD

What causes acne?

Acne occurs when pores are blocked by oil, dead skin  and bacteria.

What triggers acne:

  • stress
  • inflammation
  • hormones
  • diet

Which foods can cause flare -ups:

  • dairy and whey protein
  • foods you are allergic or sensitive to
  • refined grains 
  • sugar
  • chocolate

Read more about acne causing foods

How can CBD oil help acne?

From Medical News Today:

‘A 2014 study explored the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, which are the cells that create sebum. The researchers found that the CBD prevented these cells from creating too much of the oily sebum.

They also revealed that the CBD oil triggered an anti-inflammatory reaction in the cells and prevented inflammatory cytokines from activating. Cytokines may trigger acne, so reducing them may help prevent further breakouts.

A 2016 review of the cannabis plant highlighted its antibacterial and antifungal effects. These effects may help reduce infections from dirt and other pollutants on the skin.’

Read full article

 

What is full spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum means that you will be getting all the cannabidoids, terpines and other natural oils found in the plant rather than just the CBD. That does not mean that full spectrum is psychoactive. 

Terpines are what gives plants like  cannabis, lavender and pine their distinctive scents. Those plants have properties that can be used in aromatherapy and to help with problems such as insomnia.

Though full spectrum CBD may help with pain and conditions such as arthritis, is it more effective as an anti-oxidant to prevent wrinkle formation or to help acne sufferers? The research isn’t in yet. Its proponents claim it has an entourage effect that makes it more effective than CBD isolate. You may want to test products yourself and find what works best for you. 

Read more about full spectrum CBD

 

What about CBD oil facials?

CBD facials are the latest craze and are popping up in spas and medspas all over the country. Although they can leave your skin glowing and infused with anti-oxidants, there is one critical factor to be aware of: 

Allergies

There are such things as allergies to cannabis. If you have hay fever or a negative reaction to chamomile, echinacea, ragweed, or stevia, you might not fare so well with CBD oils, particularly full spectrum CBD oils.

From PremiumJane:

Skin irritations: Particularly when using topical CBD, some users may notice a rash or hives. This may well be a result of CBD. However, this could also be caused by one of the many other products in creams and balms, so be sure to look into it to find out what caused the reaction.

Dry, itchy, or red eyes: Weed is infamous for causing red eyes as a result of dryness. THC is the culprit here, not CBD. A minority of users may experience this after using CBD, though. If you experience excessive watering or bloodshot eyes, it might be an allergic reaction rather than a side effect.

Migraines: While some CBD users experience a slight headache for the first few uses, migraines are a sign of something more serious.

Respiratory problems: If you can’t breathe, seek medical attention immediately. With CBD products, breathing issues are likely to be the result of poor-quality products that contain contaminants from the hemp plant, such as pollen or mold.’

Please read more and test your skin before embarking on a facial.

Allergies and CBD

 

Where do I buy CBD beauty products?

You can find CBD beauty products online, upscale department stores, and at specialty beauty stores such as Ulta and Sephora. 

Which brands are safe?

You will definitely want to do some research beforehand. You should also be mindful of possible allergic reactions -see above. In the meantime, here are some recommendations from Forbes and Allure.

Forbes – Cannabeauty

Allure CBD skin care

 

Can I make CBD oil products for myself?

Yes, you can make CBD products at home. Just remember that in order to sell your products, you will need licenses, so don’t get into trouble. 

Licensing requirements vary from state to state. This is an excellent and comprehensive how to article from ShipBob.

How to sell CBD online

And one from TRUIC covering all the basics from incorporation to web presence.

Starting a cannabis beauty business

Below is an excellent video to get you started on your own venture.

 

 

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Black History Month 2020 – Cannabis

Black History and Cannabis

Where did cannabis come from?

Asia

The archaeological records indicate that cannabis was used as far back as 12,000 years ago in Asia. Many fascinating clues come from Kurgan burials in Siberia, circa 3,000 BCE.  Peoples like the Scythians and Sarmations used hemp seeds for ritualistic purposes, to induce visions, and in purification ceremonies. They had many habits in common with Native Americans such as the use of the sweat lodge, scalp taking, and shamanism.

The Chinese began using cannabis for medicinal purposes around five thousand years ago. 

Scythians, Vikings, Arab traders, and various human migrations were responsible for the spread of cannabis globally.

Africa

Swahili and Arab traders contributed to the spread of cannabis throughout the African continent.

The New World

Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors and planters founded hemp farms in the western hemisphere from which a number of necessary items, such as rope, were made.

However, African slaves were already familiar with the psychoactive properties of cannabis and the municipal council in Rio de Janeiro banned the use of cannabis in an attempt to assert control and dominance over slaves as early as 1830.

This year we’re going to talk a bit about cannabis and its influence on black musicians. 

Hendrix was one of the idols of my generation, the Baby Boomers. A great innovator on the guitar, he is perhaps best remembered for his use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD. However, he wrote a tribute to one of the more popular strains of the day, Purple Haze. Later, Hendrix claimed the lyrics had nothing to do with weed. Click to read about Jimi Hendrix and his composition, Purple Haze, and decide for yourself whether the official story is true or not. 

Purple Haze

Reefer Madness

Cannabis was legal in the United States until the 1930’s, though it never really caught on with white populations until the Beatniks of the 1950’s. 

So what happened? 

The answer seems to lie in racism and greed. Before the 1950’s Mexicans and black people were primary users of marijuana. Two men lead the assault on banning cannabis, despite the fact that many scientists considered the drug harmless. 

One was Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. In an attempt to grow his department after Prohibition failed, he launched an all out war on cannabis. From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

 ‘Anslinger claimed that the majority of pot smokers were minorities, including African Americans, and that marijuana had a negative effect on these “degenerate races,” such as inducing violence or causing insanity. Furthermore, he noted, “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.” Perhaps even more worrisome to Anslinger was pot’s supposed threat to white women’s virtue. He believed that smoking pot would result in their having sex with black men.’

Hearst

Anslinger was aided by the yellow journalism tactics of William Randolph Hearst who published scare mongering stories about pot. Hearst’s primary motivation seemed to stem from the fact that his paper producing industries were being replaced by hemp. Additionally, Dupont’s nylon producing endeavours were also being threatened by hemp. Although hemp won a reprieve during WWII, it was soon lumped in with psychoactive marijuana strains and banned. 

Marijuana then became, through various propaganda channels, the ‘destroyer of youth’ and a ‘gateway drug.’

War on Drugs

Nixon

In 1971, Nixon launched the war on drugs. What was the real reason for Nixon’s sudden concern? John Ehrlichman gave a interview in Harper’s magazine in 1994, in which he stated:

‘The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.’

Reagan

Reagan’s terms in office saw an expansion in prosecuting offenders. Policy became harsh on cannabis possession, terms of incarceration were toughened up, and asset forfeiture became legal. 

Did incarceration of minority men coincide with the rise of globalism and the offshoring manufacturing jobs? Did a generation of minority men need to be taken off the streets instead of being retrained for jobs? Who knows. Sometimes conspiracy theories stand as facts when you follow the money. 

Storyville

Today’s focus is on the question, how did cannabis use contribute to the creation of the greatest musical style of the 29th century -Jazz. 

Storyville, the red light district in New Orleans, was populated by black musicians who worked as entertainers. There under the relaxing influence of marijuana, they began to experiment with rhythm, syncopation, and improvisation. From Merry Jane:

‘Jazz music is known for its free-form improvisational style and loose comradery among the players who encourage one another to stretch and experiment. Marijuana contributed psychologically by its effect of shifting the perception of time and also by the warm, social, conviviality it encourages compared to the harshness so often brought out by alcohol.’

Satchmo

Louis Armstrong was born in Storyville at the turn of the century and was a lifelong pot smoker. Armstrong famously said: “It makes you feel good, man. It relaxes you, makes you forget all the bad things that happen to a Negro. It makes you feel wanted, and when you are with another tea smoker it makes you feel a special sense of kinship.’

Read more about Louis Armstrong

Blowing gage and so much more

Of course, Harry Anslinger made it his mission to harass and destroy brilliant black artists. Read more about his persecution of Billie Holiday:

 The Hunting of Lady Day

 

Rasta, Mon

Ganja is a Sanskrit word for cannabis. Jamaican musicians like Bob Marley practiced the Rastafarian religion. True practitioners use ganja for its meditative and mystical properties. 

After the abolition of slavery on the international market in 1807, British colonialists imported laborers from India who brought ganja to the West Indies with them. White authorities banned its use. However, the use of a prohibited substance became a symbol of resistance to  white authority among Jamaicans. 

Marley did not use cannabis recreationally. He saw it as fundamentally a part of his religious practice.

Jamaican artists have been at the forefront of the movement to legalize marijuana. 

Jamaica has understood the economic potential of the weed industry and has legalized medical use while decriminalizing recreational use. 

White people

So how did marijuana become the drug of choice for white folks? The answer lies with the Beat poets and writers. Though Beat implied someone who was beaten down, Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsburg gave the word a spiritual dimension -beatitude. 

Beatniks were all about bebop, pot, bongos, eastern spirituality, black turtle necks, and hitch hiking. 

They were anti-materialistic and laid the groundwork for the hippies. In terms of fashion, they copied the look of Dizzy Gillespie and his unique brand of cool, beret included. They also appropriated black slang, such as: cool, cat, square and dig. 

Dizzy and Reefer

Howl by Allen Ginsburg

 

 

The 60’s

The Beats launched the counterculture which ushered in a social revolution in lifestyles that affected everything from education to gay and women’s rights, to clothing and music. Cannabis and free love became  symbols of that counterculture on the West Coast and, having great  appeal to young people, spread globally. 

Vietnam

During the divisive Vietnam war, cannabis use became prevalent among American soldiers, since it grew wild incountry. Many soldiers said it helped them mellow out and detach from the horrors of war. 

Fun fact: the term shotgun originated during the war as the herb was packed into a bowl the shotgun chamber and servicemen took turns toking on the barrel. 

Cannabis use in Vietnam was only topped by the other drug of choice, alcohol.

Summer of Love

During the summer of 1967, hippies descended on San Francisco.’s Haight – Ashbury neighborhood. It was then that Timothy Leary coined his famous mantra – tune in, turn on, and drop out.

Psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin (mushrooms) along with marijuana were the drugs of choice. The counterculture continued into the 1970’s and pot use, though illegal never went away. 

 

 

 

Listen to Monk, another great fan of weed

Targeting the Black Community

White people have been smoking weed since the 1960’s, so why have black people been targeted disproportionately by law enforcement? The ACLU states:

‘Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. That’s one bust every 37 seconds and hundreds of thousands ensnared in the criminal justice system.

Enforcing marijuana laws costs us about $3.6 billion a year, yet the War on Marijuana has failed to diminish the use or availability of marijuana.

 Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.’

Why? 

We can only conclude that it is a form of racial control similar to Jim Crow laws. Black and Latino people have been unfairly targeted, discriminated against, incarcerated, and saddled with criminal records. 

What Now?

Illinois is working on the expungement  of criminal records but it won’t be automatic unless you were arrested (but not convicted) of carrying less than 30 grams of cannabis. For others, the process is more involved. 

Expungement in Illinois

Conclusions

Cannabis has been used to stimulate creativity, expand spirituality, promote relaxation and healing for thousands of years. Black and Latino communities have been unfairly targeted for cannabis use for a number of social and political reasons. However, how the new cannabis laws affect the black and Latino community remains to be seen. The industry is young and open to entrepreneurs, but only to those who can raise the capital for licensing and related business ventures. Reparations and financial assistance will be given to minority communities to fund cannabis ventures but will it be enough? To date, cannabizes are primarily in the hands of whites.  

 

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Cannabis for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day and Cannabis

 

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,   
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:   
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,   
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
 
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries   
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,   
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose   
from the earth lives dimly in my body.
 
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,   
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,   
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,   
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
 
-Pablo Neruda, “One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII” 
 

 

Planning 

How will you celebrate your love this Valentine’s Day? Whether you are a young lover or have been with your love for a long time, chances are you need to spice things up with a novel experience. If that sounds like you, read on. 

What are my options?

Alcoholic infused drinks

It’s a thing. Whether you are drinking store bought or home made there are a few things you should know. Cannabis infused alcohol can hit you much harder and faster than smoking or edibles. Check out our previous blog post for information and recipes:

Everything you need to know about cannabis infused alcoholic drinks

 

Smoking

If you are alive on earth, you’ve probably taken at least one toke off a joint. You can still share a doobie with your sweetie but there are more exciting options. 

Edibles

If you love sweets this is where it gets really exciting. Eating a gummy or a lozenge isn’t that erotic but chocolate is still the ultimate sensual treat. And even more so when it’s infused with THC.  Be sure to pace yourself so that your hot date doesn’t turn into a snooze fest. 

Forbes guide to the best cannabis chocolates

Massage

It’s a sexy, intimate, and sensual form of bonding. So is there any benefit to using CBD oil rather than any old massage oil? The answer may be yes. CBD oils have naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties that soothe aches and pains in muscles and joints. CBD oil is also great for soothing acne or a number of skin conditions arising from inflammation.  Of course, you will want to buy a CBD oil infused massage oil or cream made specifically for that purpose. Take a look at the following list for some suggestions:

CBD massage oils

Gifts

The sky is the limit. Chocolates, pre-rolls, buds in a heart shaped box… HelloMD offers some great suggestions. We think the honey bath salts with CBD oil sounds pretty incredible.

Gift suggestions

Cannabis Edibles

How do they taste?

Weed tastes bad and infused butter can have that earthy flavor which many find unpleasant. However, inroads are being made to take the marijuana flavor out of edibles. You will have to do your own research and figure out what tastes good to you.  In the meantime, here are some recommendations from Forbes you can start with:

Chocolate edibles

What about cannabis infused alcohol?

It’s pretty much all over the place in terms of taste and your levels of tolerance. For an in depth look into cannabis infused alcohol, follow the link to our previous post, where you will get recipes, links, and recommendations.

Everything you need to know about cannabis infused alcoholic drinks

Mocktails?

You might want to start slow with a mocktail, an alcohol free drink that’s infused. Here is some advice from Papaandbarkley:

CBD Oil Recipes

CBD oil is one way to add CBD to your beverages. but is best used in specific ways. Unlike alcohol-based tinctures, CBD oil is difficult to integrate into another liquid. Oil floats on top of a drink or can sit in a healthy layer of foam on top of a drink. The benefit to either method is that the oil offers a cannabis aroma specific to that particular strain or product, adding complexity to the flavors of the drink. However, CBD oil is also prone to sinking to the bottom of the glass.

One way to integrate CBD oil into your beverages is to make an infused simple syrup. Mixing equal parts water and sweetener (i.e., honey, agave or sugar), add CBD oil to create the dosage per serving that you are looking for. Typically, a 25-mg dose of CBD is a good starting point. Because CBD oil is typically aromatic and grassy in flavor, your resulting simple syrup will retain these flavor characteristics. You can also infuse the syrup with ginger or herbs like rosemary and thyme for more complex flavor profiles.

CBD Tinctures

Because CBD tinctures are alcohol-based, they mix more readily into beverages. This means you will get to enjoy every last drop—and the effects thereof. CBD tinctures are often likened to bitters in a cocktail; offering a slightly astringent characteristic, they are used to balance and highlight other flavors in a drink.

Another fun way to add CBD tincture to your mocktails is to make your own canna-sugar. Simply mix drops of CBD tincture into sugar in the ratio you desire, and bake on low heat in the oven until the sugar is dry and a light golden color. Add to hot beverages, or use the sugar to line the rim of a glass for an upscale mocktail.

Mocktail recipes

Ignite Your Passion

Is cannabis an aphrodisiac?

The research is inconclusive. Anecdotal evidence suggests that marijuana can boost libido. However, actual research indicates that THC reduces testosterone over time.

On the other hand, marijuana probably lowers inhibition and increases sensation- adding to desire.

Everyone is different. Some people can become anxious or nauseous from pot. Others get mellow, and some experience joy and a sense of fun. 

You will have to experiment and see what happens. And if you refuse to inhale, then remember there are all sorts of tinctures and edibles you could try that won’t affect your lungs. 

Alone this year?

No reason to not give yourself the best

Self Care

Best bath salts

Skin care

 Chocolate

Whether you love white or dark, plain or loaded with nuts follow these suggestions for a Valentine’s treat:

Edibles

Best Stoner movie:

The Big Lebowski

 

For those who relax by baking

How do I make cannabis infused chocolate?

Which cannabis products should I try if I’m a novice?

  • Are you afraid of getting too high?
  • Do you understand the difference between Indica and Sativa strains?
  • Should you try edibles or a tincture first?
  • Do you know how to use a vape pen?

You need to consult your local bud tender for recommendations and probably test out the stuff before the big day. in the meantime Leafy offers a basic guide for beginners:

First time recommendations

 

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How do I brand my cannabis business?

Why do I have to brand my cannabis business?

You have already spent a ton of money on licensing and its associated costs and your resources are depleted. 

You think, it’s going to be enough to have a great product or service and a website. Unfortunately, your are in an industry that is going to get more and more competitive as time goes on.

That means you will have to brand your business to make it stand out from the field.

It will no longer be enough to stick a marijuana leaf on your packaging and have a basic green website. Everyone does that and has been doing that. 

Instead, you are going to have to come up with a whole look that speaks to who you are and what your value proposition is. 

Your Cannabis Business

If you are in this business you will probabaly fall into the following categories:

  • DISPENSARIES
  • CULTIVATION
  • EDIBLES
  • APPAREL
  • ACCESSORIES
  • CONCENTRATES
  • BEVERAGES

What should I be considering when branding my cannabis business?

You will be developing a consistent voice and look that will characterize you and your cannabis business from this point on.  You have to sit down and think  about the factors which distinguish you from everyone in your field. Then you have to take your target audience into consideration and figure out how to appeal to them.

For example, inner city millennial men and Generation X suburban women are completely different demographics. You will have to use specific images and language to appeal to your targets. 

You must also decide which image do you want to portray. Clean and sophisticated, latter day hippie, sporty, holistic, and organic are all possibilities depending on your product and audience. 

Package design

will depend on your product and target audience. And as more states legalize products, you’ll need to stand out. 

Read on:

7 best packaging practices for cannabis marketers

 

Images

The images you use to represent your brand are important. This is particularly relevant since due to state laws you are going to be limited in what you can portray and where you can show it.

For example, Facebook and Instagram will prevent you from making direct sales pitches or showing people imbibing.

Therefore, think of the way that soft drink or alcohol companies showcase their products. It’s always about lifestyle and benefits. 

Happy, smiling people are in groups, having fun, experiencing the possibility of romance and so on.

Big pharma has it down pat. Exuberant romps through fields of flowers are ubiquitous, and as long as you don’t read the contraindications included in the fine print all is well!

Which elements go into branding? 

All of the following elements go into branding your business / product:

  • Logo or logos
  • Colors
  • Fonts and typography
  • Images
  • Taglines
  • Voice

The advertising industry has been around for a long time and has spend billions of dollars researching and testing consumer behavior. You can apply these principles and use them to your advantage when branding.

Colors, for example, carry certain negative and positive associations. Green indicates health and an organic product, IBM Blue indicates trustworthiness. 

Fonts can be elegant, casual, feminine, hip ( hippie and hip-hop too!) 

Visualize an edible wrapped in a brown paper bag wrapper with a green leaf vs a elegant red package with gold foil. Totally different markets and consumers -one says, love and romance, the other an outdoorsy lifestyle.

You get the idea.

COLORS AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO THE DESIGN OF YOUR WEBSITE

What does voice mean? 

Your goal is to create an emotional connection with your potential customer. You are telling them you are a good match for them.

The goal is to be authentic and to appeal to your chosen tribe. 

However, due to the nature of lotteries, zoning and other requirements, sometimes you will have to tweak that voice to your demographic or the people who will be shopping in your area. 

It’s about you and the product, but mostly, it’s about the client and what you can give to them. In other words, your value proposition. 

What is your story about? 

This is where you can really shine and connect emotionally. Tell us the truth about you and your business.

  • What inspires you?
  • Which obstacles did you have to overcome?
  • Why is pot your passion?
  • Do you want to help people with pain, to relax, to experience bliss or get outside their ego based states? All that is important.
  • Are you minority owned?
  • Do you hire people whose lives have been blighted by the legal system? 

Tip: Don’t be afraid to get in front of your business and be its spokesperson. We are our own worst critics. However, you are probably younger looking, thinner, and more attractive than you think you are. If not, good lighting and lenses are key. 

Your Website

We live in a digital world. You need to have a terrific website that will bring value and showcase your investment in your business. 

Your Cannabiz Website

Your website is your virtual address but more than that, it’s your store and your window to the world.

Whenever a search is initiated you’ll want to show up with your product or location.  Here are the must have’s for your website to succeed:

  • Fast loading 
  • Responsive 
  • Scalable 
  • SEO optimized – especially for local and voice searches if you have a storefront
  • A great design that tells your story and showcases your products and that is inline with your overall branding

To read more:

Best recreational dispensary website design

Marketing

Marketing is everything. And everyone in business needs to be marketing. All the time. What does that mean?

  • Professionalism is key
  • The way you talk about your business
  • Networking
  • Your website
  • Branding
  • Your social media
  • Your newsletter
  • Your Google and Yelp reviews -especially important as we move towards voice and local search since the number of high reviews equates to best where search engines are concerned.
  • SEO. This is not some technical thing  that happens on the developer end. It’s all about the content on the pages.
  • Great content is all about how you communicate with the user and answer their questions. 

Social Media

The purpose of social media is to drive people to your website or local storefront where conversion will be made. 

You will have to gear your posts towards the regulations of that particular platform.

You will have to keep up with trends on your chosen platforms. For example, currently on Instagram, the curated look is out and naturalism is in. 

You must identify the demographics on each platform before you create your campaigns. 

Don’t just stick to Facebook and Instagram. Remember, you are raising awareness not just directly selling products. Create some recipes and feature them on YouTube, get on to Pinterest with images of your products, and think outside the limiting box.

FaceBook Rules

Instagram Rules

Getting the Product to the People

As always, remember social media is fickle. Changes in algorithms and closed accounts for perceived infractions can cause you to despair over your wasted efforts and the loss of your customer base.

What should you do?

Like any business, you need to grow your email list. 

  • When you exhibit, feature a sign up sheet
  • Feature a newsletter on your website that customers can sign up for
  • Feature something valuable in exchange for their contact information, such as an invitation to a tasting.
  • Club memberships.

Once you have their emails you can begin text message or email marketing directly without any interference from Mr. Zuckerberg and company. 

Summary

Cannabizes are just in their infancy. We are fortunate enough to be at the forefront of an industry were we can make money but, even more importantly,  set precedents in marketing, product design, web design, and branding.

It is our job not to just preach to the choir but to bring in new business and expand to heretofore untapped markets.

That’s where branding comes in. You can have the greatest product in the world but unless you market it properly, you will lose the game.

In order to win, a winning strategy is necessary.  That strategy begins with branding and creating your most valuable marketing asset, your website.

Our Work

Screenshot_2020-01-30 Gentleman's Club Cannabis - Alt MediaScreenshot_2020-01-30 Gentleman's Club Cannabis - Alt Media
Screenshot_2020-01-30 Marvelous Marijuana - Alt MediaScreenshot_2020-01-30 Marvelous Marijuana - Alt Media
Screenshot_2020-01-30 Spliff City - Alt MediaScreenshot_2020-01-30 Spliff City - Alt Media
Screenshot_2020-01-30 Whole Cannabis - Alt MediaScreenshot_2020-01-30 Whole Cannabis - Alt Media
Screenshot_2019-12-12 BohoGanja - Alt MediaScreenshot_2019-12-12 BohoGanja - Alt Media
Screenshot_2019-12-12 Country Weed - Alt MediaScreenshot_2019-12-12 Country Weed - Alt Media

Our Story

Cannabis legalization

We have always favored the legalization of cannabis. We find it distressing that cannabis users have been targeted and imprisoned in the past. 

Health and well being

We also have seen the beneficial effect cannabis has had on our friends and loved ones, helping them cope with stress, pain, and mood regulation. 

Branding and a well designed WEBSITE brings VALUE to your business 

We are extremely excited by the value our industry can bring to yours. We are also highly motivated by the web design possibilities inherent within a brand new industry where few precedents have been set. 

We would sincerely like to partner with you in being at the forefront of that industry.

If you need the following, we can help

  • A cannabiz web design
  • Branding
  • Photography
  • SEO
  • Content
  • Newsletter

Let's work together

CBD oil for pets

Animals and Cannabis

They'll eat it given the chance!

CBD OIL FOR CATS, DOGS, HORSES, RABBITS AND FARM ANIMALS

Wild Animals

Yes, our animals cousins love getting high. It has often been observed that domestic and wild animals can get drunk by eating fermented fruit. Like wise, some animals love grazing on marijuana plants. In the wild, herbivores like deer are known to be heavy feeders and growers are advised to protect their plants. Birds and rodents love to dine on cannabis seeds, as well. Humans living in traditional societies, have often been quoted by anthropologists as saying they discovered the medicinal properties of plants by observing animals and their habits.  Terpenes in cannabis plants, like those found in lavender and other aromatic plants, can and do attract all sorts of animals. 

Your Pets and Cannabis

The question is, of course, is cannabis, or its THC free derivative CBD oil, safe for our  beloved animal companions.  Just to clarify, THC is the psychoactive part of the plant. CBD oil is extracted to have a minimal amount of THC, thus making them federally legal. 

Read further / various types of CBD oils

The other question is what percentage of CBD oil is actually bio-available? Anaviimarket says:

‘The bioavailability of ingested CBD is roughly 13-19%. This means that if you swallow 20mg of pure CBD on an empty stomach, sometimes less than 3mg of it will actually make it into your blood and have an effect. Using a tincture, spray or strip to absorb CBD in your mouth is a popular method of taking CBD.’

Bio -availability of CBD

Remember, CBD oil from the marijuana plant is still illegal in some states, therefore your oil will need to be derived from hemp. 

WILL CBD OIL DO ANYTHING FOR MY PET?

 CBD Oil is not psycho-active, but what can it really do your your pet? Currently, there is not enough data to come to definitive conclusions. What we do have is anecdotal evidence from pet owners who claim that CBD has helped their pets with seizures, anxiety and pain.

CBD oil is also anecdotally known for its anti-inflammatory properties, providing relief from conditions, such as arthritis and allergies, caused by inflammation. We must await further studies to determine CBD oil’s long term effects. 

Read more from Healthline

Know also that CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, so please do enough research to find quality products – that are preferably organic. You must also research the dosage requirements for your animal companion, due to its size, species, and weight. 

HORSES

You have used DMSO, diatomaceous earth, and blood root on your horses, so should you try CBD oil?

It would be wise to consult with your vet first. In some states where the law is unclear, you must raise the issue first, as your vet will not be able to legally initiate the conversation.

Innovet claims that CBD oil is beneficial for a wide range of symptoms, ranging from stress to arthritis to pain, that are afflicting your super sensitive animal. However, you must rememeber CBD oil is not a cure, but a method of managing those conditions. 

Innovet also warns that you must be very careful about only administering THC free oil. 

‘THC is toxic to some animals, so always opt for pure, high-quality CBD supplements. Never give your horse marijuana directly.

‘Some of the negative side effects that could occur include lethargy, depression, agitation, or other unusual behaviors. If you notice any of these, speak to your vet before continuing to manage your horse’s health with CBD.’

Additionally, your CBD oil must be specially prepared for horses, not cats and dogs. 

For more information and dosage requirements, please read:

CBD oil for horses

.

 

DOGS

Again there are no long term studies, but evidence from dog owners indicates that CBD oil helps manage pain in dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, and mobility issues, among other conditions. 

Conventional drugs, such as steroids and opioids, carry risks of side effects that CBD oil may not have. 

Scientists have discovered that the  Endocannabinoid System in all animals acts with receptors, transmitters, and specialized enzymes to regulate bodily functions including metabolism, immunity, digestion, allergies, and anxiety.

Since the Endocannabinoid System regulates many bodily functions, it can have a broad stabilizing effect on those system, as well.

Always do your diligence about the quality of the product and the dosage requirements for your pet. 

Advice on dogs and CBD oil

CATS

Do not let your cats nibble on marijuana plants, due to the toxicity of the plants to felines. 

Generally, CBD oil, in the correct dosages, is safe for cats, but may have some side effects, such as allergic reactions,  lethargy, and gastro-intestinal upset. 

However, the benefits may outweigh the risks. In some animals, CBD can increase appetite, decrease anxiety, and control seizures, allergies, asthma, IBD, pancreatitis and pain. 

This is a wonderful compendium from a practicing holistic vet who prescribes CBD to kitties regularly, where she talks about what to look for in brands, along with dosage requirements and contraindications. She also makes the valid point that our cats are wired to mask pain and are generally under-served when it comes to care. 

To read more

RABBITS

The House Rabbit Society cautions to keep all plants out of the reach of pet bunnies, since THC is toxic to rabbits. However, CBD shows promise in a variety of health benefits for rabbits. The Petwell writes:  ‘(CBD) can reduce widespread joint pain and provide relief for even the most anxious of bunnies. It’s also useful to treat seizures, other mood problems, and combat the negative effects of aging.’

Best products and dosage for rabbits

SMALL PETS

Small animals like mice, rats and guinea pigs have, unfortunately, born the brunt of human medical experimentation. 

Consequently, there is quite a bit of information about CBD and rats. Fascinating research is being conducted on cannabis and tumors. From Medical Cannabis Report: ‘Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow.’

To read more

For an article with photos about how CBD salve shrunk a pet rat’s tumor:

Rat fan club

Please consult your veterinarian for dosage requirements. 

BIRDS

There are no long term studies, but again avoid THC compounds.  Pet Well writes: ‘CBD fights joint pain, protects against body-wide inflammation, and provides critical nutrients to aging avians. The CBD and fat content in hemp is also a great way to fortify the immune system.’

There are many species of birds, so your best bet is to Google your pet bird species and read a variety of articles, both pro and con, before determining whether you will dose your bird. Again, speaking to a holistic or integrative veterinarian will help. 

CBD for birds

REPTILES

Good news so far, but does CBD work on cold-blooded animals? Apparently, it does, since all animals have almost identical endocannabinoid systems that help break down cannabis properties.

Full guide to dosing your reptile

FARM ANIMALS

Farmers in Switzerland and Lichtenstein are protesting the ban on hemp feed for livestock. The fear is that THC will pass over to milk and meat destined for human consumption. However, farmers believe that animals fare better with cannabis and are more relaxed than with any other diet. 

Although added hormones are prohibited In the EU, antibiotics and hormones are prevalent in meat and diary in the United Sates. Surely a natural product, like hemp feed, is less harmful to the overall health of farm animals. Read on:

Happy cows, calm pigs

Everything farmers need to know about growing hemp

 

 

Our Cannabis Dispensary Designs

Think your dispensary website design needs to be clinical and boring?

Explore our exciting pages

Everything you need to know about cannabis infused alcoholic drinks

Cocktails and Cannabis

Alcohol

It tastes amazing, it’s relaxing, and it breaks down inhibitions. But what happens in your body when you drink alcohol? 

Alcohol enters your bloodstream through your stomach and small intestine. Your liver is trying to metabolize the alcohol but it takes an hour or so with a standard drink. If you keep drinking, your brain function will be impaired. However, you feel great. Why?  Because alcohol releases excess gaba aminobutryric acid (GABA) and dopamine, two neurotransmitter that occur naturally in the brain. GABA calms you down and dopamine stimulates pleasure.

Keep drinking and you might get aggressive or experience black-outs

Cannabis

Smoking weed works similarly in your body. It enters the bloodstream via the lungs. THC triggers your brain to release large amounts of dopamine giving you a pleasant high. It may heighten your sensory perception and your perception of time. In the hippocampus, THC changes the way you process information, so your judgment may be impaired and your memory hampered.

Everyone is different

No two bodies are alike, and you may experience an unpleasant reaction when you mix the two. In any case, don’t even think about driving until you are sober.

Marijuana infused drinks

Is it wise to mix alcohol and cannabis?

The conventional wisdom seems to be no. But people are already looking for new highs and new ways of making money. So what should you know before beginning to experiment?

Go slow!

THC paired with alcohol will hit your blood stream hard and fast. 

Royal Queen Seeds writes:

“When deciding to smoke a THC-laden joint, beer can also heighten the experience in a number of ways. The trick here is to pick the right kind of strain. Hybrids or sativas tend to go better with alcohol simply because it is a depressant. The couch-lock effect of a heavy indica might send you off to sleep with the first swig.

However, there are some beers with a low-alcohol volume that can perfectly complement such endeavours. For example, sour beers are a good choice. They can reduce the feeling of cotton mouth. Pilsners are also a great, low-alcohol beer to try with your favourite strain. They act as refreshing palate cleansers.”

Mocktails

Before you take the next step and actually start infusing your booze with weed,  it  medical experts suggest that you should start with mocktails and see how you react. HelloMD says once you decided to start infusing your liquor, less is more since you may end up with a powerful concentration that is more than you bargained for.

HelloMD

Cannabis Drinks

How do they taste?

We have read that commercial concoctions taste like everything from gasoline to pee (we’re not going to ask!) But there are some companies that are doing a good job. The San Francisco Chronicle has put together a list, taste tested the offerings, and described them. If characterizations like these don’t put you off, then read on:

Coconut bouquet like sunscreen with pineapple undertone. Thick viscosity, good mouthfeel … Big almond amaretto nose, soft root beer notes. Sweet but shy of cloying. … 

Any good?

What about cannabis infused beer?

It’s already happening with non-alcoholic beers, which are infused with THC.

Non-alcoholic infused beers

Love Blue Moon? Its crafter is now working on a THC infused beer

The Man behind Blue Moon

Are we ever going to see cannabis infused alcoholic beer?

Maybe. If it happens it will come from Canada. There’s a brewery that is attempting to brew craft beers from all parts of the plant that will have different flavors. Can they get around the law? That remains to be seen.

Province Brands

Wine and Pot

An interesting pairing

The commercial offerings are alcohol free, but they are being produced in California.

Canna Vines, and Rebel Coast Winery are working on creating what they claim are tasty blends with 20 mgs of THC in every bottle.

Cannabis infused wines

So, how does it taste? 

According to Torrey Holistics:

‘Rebel Coast’s Sauvignon Blanc has been carefully crafted so it tastes crisp and refreshing like an actually white wine. Through a sophisticate distillation process, extraction experts are now able to remove cannabis flavors and aromas to isolate pure THC that is flavorless and odorless. This cannabis infused wine features grapes grown right here in sunny Sonoma, California. The taste is very reminiscent of a slightly acidic, crisp white wine.’

Read on

Got any recipes for Cannabis alcoholic drinks?

Yes, we Googled and made a selection

The best recipes for cannabis infused alcoholic drinks

Here is a cold busting elixir from Esquire with honey and vodka:

Esquire drinks recipes

A ton of how –  to’s, complete with video instructions:

The Tipsy Bartender

Margaritas!

Cannabis infused tequila

THC infused whiskey

THC infused whiskey

How do I make cannabis infused vodka?

What can we conclude about cannabis infused alcoholic drinks ?

While they are a novelty at present, they may be here to stay for good. Regardless of the fact that some recreational users will still prefer to smoke their pot and have a drink on the side, others may prefer to experiment and see what sort of high – or which sort of pain relief – they can get from cannabis infused alcohol. 

Others may simply prefer to imbibe THC in a tasty non – alcoholic wine or craft beer. We know that the high will come on faster and be more intense than that caused by smoking. 

Irrespective, conventional wisdom suggests that you go slow. Don’t drink too much, too fast, or on an empty stomach. Don’t over infuse your liquor. Err on the side of caution since you may end up with a much more potent concoction than you anticipated. Don’t drive afterward, as your motor function and judgement will be impaired. 

 

Advice for Women

Although there have been very few studies to date, we can extrapolate the fact that women have a smaller quantity of dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol, than men. So watch your portions.  Additionally, premenstrual hormonal changes cause intoxication faster during the days prior to your period.

 

Our Cannabis Dispensary Designs

Think your dispensary website design needs to be clinical and boring?

Explore our exciting pages

We modernize your business, create a stunning Internet presence, and get you ranked on Google. Tell us about your website project.

Do you want to open a cannabis cafe?

Are cannabis cafes legal in Illinois?

 

Are there any cannabis cafes open in the USA currently? 

Yes. The first cannabis cafe, Cannabis Cafe, opened in California in October of 2019.

What are the regulations concerning cannabis cafes in the state of Illinois?

As of the November 2019 legislation, public smoking of cannabis will be restricted to cannabis lounges and dispensaries. On December 17, 2019  CBS 2 reporter Vince Gerasole facilitated a Reddit Ask Me Anything on Monday to answer questions about the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois. The following is from CBS Chicago:

“Question: Do you think Illinois will see cannabis cafes soon? The bill allows municipalities to decide if they will allow cafes/bars in which cannabis can be consumed on the premises. Do you think any municipalities will allow such cafes, and is there an interest from cannabis companies to open and run them? 

Neffer-Oduntunde Kerr: Because the city is going to allow dispensaries, a proposed idea has been to also allow and provide add-on consumption spaces connected to dispensaries for patrons. Especially since there will be individuals who legally will not be able to consume cannabis in their homes, but still have a right to use the product. Allowing consumption spaces will also increase revenue for the city.”

Read more

However, Chicago is facing a budget shortfall of one billion dollars. And, despite that the Illinois budget deficit has purportedly  shrunk due to the sale of obligation bonds, it still runs to billions of dollars. 

We think it is only a matter of time before Cannabis cafes will open for business in Illinois.

Cannabis Cafe

Will cannabis cafes be allowed to open in other states where consumption of recreational marijuana is legal?

 

Since there is no federal regulation in place, various states and localities will need to decide for themselves. 

Currently California is leading the pack. Where else can we expect to see Cannabis cafes opening in the future?

  • Oregon
  • Seattle
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey

Nick Kovacevich,  the CEO and cofounder of KushCo Holdings, Inc,  the parent company of a group of business units that  provide products and services to cannabis growers, extractors and retailers says:

‘But as cannabis becomes more widely used, consumers are going to want public places to consume it — just like alcohol…

Pretty soon, though, that won’t be enough. And we’re beginning to see legislators take action to put new rules into place that will allow true cannabis cafes — public spaces, much like bars, where people can buy and consume cannabis in a social setting.

Read more

How did A Cannabis Cafe work around the law?

Due to  California laws, cannabis and the food must be paid for separately. The cafe’s owners partitioned the business into:

  • a restaurant
  • a cannabis retail establishment.

The outdoor cafe only serves food and beverages (including alcohol) but when you’re in the indoor restaurant and garden patio, you’re essentially ordering food from the adjacent restaurant. 

So the waitstaff brings you food and non-cannabis drinks, and a flower host brings you the herb. 

The food can be charged, the cannabis is paid for in cash. 

Read more

Are cannabis or CBD oil infused drinks legal? 

In states where recreational cannabis is legal, the use of CBD in food and drink has become increasingly common, despite state regulations that prohibit the addition of CBD products in food or drink.

Restaurant Hospitalty writes:

“Until the FDA rules that industrial hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD products can be used as a food or California makes a determination that they are safe to use for human and animal consumption, CBD products are not an approved food, food ingredient, food additive or dietary supplement,” California health officials said in a statement posted last year.

Enforcement, however, has been left to local health departments, leaving CBD-infused food and drink relatively easy to find.”

Read more

Is cannabis infused food legal?

While the FDA says that CBD cannot be marketed as a food or dietary ingredient under the exclusionary clauses of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act ( which prohibits the marketing of a substance as a dietary supplement or food if the substance is the subject of an investigational new drug application) states are taking the matter in their own hands.

Colorado recently amended their food and drug laws to say that food containing CBD is not adulterated and therefore is permitted for sale. 

California says no, and Washington is undecided. 

Read more

Your cafe will be a novelty to begin with, but how will you keep up with competition?

Your cafe will be a leader in the field, a novelty, and an inspiration to other restaurant owners. 

Beyond novelty, people want to have an experience when they are dining. What does that include?

  • lighting
  • decor
  • music
  • comfortable seating
  • attentive but not pushy staff
  • price
  • delicious food

What can we learn from cannabis cafes in Amsterdam? 

Once our legislators get out of their 1950’s mindset and trust the public to behave like responsible adults, we can expect to see the rise of cannabis cafes. Cannabis cafes provide revenue, novelty, and an experience for locals and tourists alike. 

Learning from Dutch coffee shops

Pot is not a gateway drug, and it is certainly no worse in effect than alcohol on the human system. Driving laws are applicable to driving under the influence of cannabis. 

Click below to read more:

Driving stoned is safer than driving drunk

Driving under the influence of pot – DUIs and the law

Once you open your cannabis cafe, you'll need a website

We live in a digital world. You need to have a terrific website that will bring value and showcase your investment in your business. 

The design of your cannabis cafe website should be engaging

There is no reason that the design of your cannabis cafe website has to be clinical and boring.

Which features does a cannabis cafe website need to have?

  • It must be responsive-that is, it must function well across all devices
  • It must be fast loading
  • It needs to be SEO optimized. That pertains to the content written on your pages, not just the technical SEO on the developer’s end. 
  • It needs to be SEO optimized for local and voice searches.
  • It must have your contact information in the header
  • It should have a logical layout

Once the functional demands of your website are satisfied, you can elevate engagement with a beautiful design.

How can you enhance visual design? By featuring the following:

  • Beautiful photos
  • Videos
  • A 360 degree tour of your cafe 
  • A FAQ section

Showcase your menu and decor

I really think the California Cannabis Cafe missed the mark by not incorporating large photos. It’s decor gorgeous, so why not showcase it. 

View A Cannabis Cafe

Which other features are important to cafe web design?

  • Color. Color is a powerful method of setting mood and sending messages to your customers. The advertising industry has spend multi millions researching the effect of color on consumers and they have isolated the meanings that colors can convey.
  • Fonts, another powerful method of setting tone and mood.
  • Overall layout that is clean and easy to navigate.

The following can be beautifully integrated into the overall design:

  • Products
  • Food and drinks menu
  • Links to your social media pages

Tell your story on your cannabis cafe website to bond with your audience

Your website is where you will have a chance to connect with your audience.

  • Do you have a great chef?
  • What inspires you?
  • What did you have to overcome?
  • Why a cannabis cafe?

Tell us your stories – and show us with professional quality photographs.

Showcase your menu

Although food won’t be cannabis infused at present, people are still going to want to eat and drink well once the novelty wear wears off. 

Your website is the perfect place to share information with your customers

Where do you source culinary ingredients from?

Local and organic are buzzwords these days.
 

Where do your source your product?

People might want to know about the integrity of your herb.

 

How knowledgeable is your staff?

Your staff must be equipped to help novices navigate the product menu. Send them for training. 

Brand reputation or how you differ from your competitors

7 ways you can be better than everyone else in your field:

  • Outstanding Service
  • Knowledgeable and friendly staff
  • Outstanding food, drink, and weed menus
  • Innovation
  • Marketing

Marketing is the key to success. Your business is B2C, or business to customer. Some forms of marketing you might use:

  • Paid advertising 
  • Internet marketing on various platforms
  • Word of mouth 
  • Transactional marketing (coupons, deals, specials)
  • Relationship building through a newsletter

Remember, your website is your greatest marketing tool.

Summary

  • Sooner or later cannabis cafes will be a common feature in the United States
  • Your website is the most important factor in creating a brand and being discovered online
  • The design of your cannabis cafe website is going to be dependent on your audience, location, type of food you serve, and decor of your cafe. Urban, suburban, rural, sophisticated, homey-all are facets of your enterprise and must work together to build your brand. 
  • Well written content and images can tell your story and create an emotional connection to your audience
  • Newsletters, social media, specials, and events should all be part of your marketing strategy.

Our Work

Our Story

Cannabis legalization

We have always favored the legalization of cannabis. We find it distressing that cannabis users have been targeted and imprisoned in the past. 

Health and well being

We also have seen the beneficial effect cannabis has had on our friends and loved ones, helping them cope with stress, pain, and mood regulation. 

A well designed WEBSITE brings VALUE to your business 

We are extremely excited by the value our industry can bring to yours. We are also highly motivated by the web design possibilities inherent within a brand new industry where few precedents have been set. 

We would sincerely like to partner with you in being at the forefront of that industry.

If you need the following, we can help

  • A cannabis cafe web design
  • Photography
  • SEO
  • Content
  • Newsletter

Let's work together

Best recreational dispensary website design

How can my recreational dispensary website stand out?

There are a number of factors that go into creating the best recreational dispensary website designs. We will discuss those factors in the post.

 

How can I compete in the rapidly growing cannabis sector? 

There are several ways you can distinguish your dispensary and stand out from your competitors:

  • Service
  • Knowledge
  • Value
  • Product

However, first you need to be found. Your website is the key factor to being discovered. A well designed, easy to navigate, responsive website is your most important marketing tool. 

SEO

Having a search engine optimized website is a must. SEO isn’t confined to the technical meta-description and focus keyword on the administrator end of your page or post. SEO derives from the written content on your pages and the way that content is organized. Until very recently, long tail keywords used in headings were one of the primary drivers of SEO. However, as search engines get smarter, quality content and the ability to address and answer the questions your users pose are critical factors to being found on the Internet.

  • Optimizing for local and voice searches are very important steps in staying ahead of your competitors. 
People will be searching in the following ways:
  • Dispensaries near me
  • By product

Secondly, you need to connect to the user. How will you do that? 

You will connect to your audience by building a brand. People want to connect to a brand that they identify with and feel a connection to. Your website is the first step to building that brand. 

Remember, most people would rather drive a few extra miles to get great products, information, and service than settle for substandard quality in those areas.

Your website is your brand ambassador

The design of your dispensary website must be functional

In order to be competitive your recreational dispensary website must  meet the following criteria:

  • A responsive design that looks and reads as well on a smart phone as it does on a large screen.
  • A website that is attractive and keeps users on your pages.
  • Pages that are easy to navigate.
  • A section that lists your menu and describes your products. Your potential clients will be looking for certain strains or products. You will want to make sure that your offerings can be found. 
  • A fast loading website, one of Google’s top criteria in determining ranking.

Remember people are using your website to obtain information. Your content has to be well laid out, image rich and easy to read. I’ve interviewed a group of medical cannabis users and compiled a list of features they would like to see displayed on dispensary websites

The design of your recreational dispensary website should be engaging

There is no reason that the design of your dispensary website has to be clinical and boring.

Once the functional demands of your website are satisfied, you can elevate engagement with a beautiful design.

How can you enhance visual design? By featuring the following:

  • Beautiful photos
  • Videos
  • A 360 degree tour of your dispensary. 

Remember images are not arbitrary. Images tell a story that will connect the user to your brand.

Which other features are important to dispensary web design?

  • Color. Color is a powerful method of setting mood and sending messages to your customers. The advertising industry has spend multi millions researching the effect of color on consumers and they have isolated the meanings that colors can convey.
  • Fonts, another powerful method of setting tone and mood.
  • Overall layout that is clean and easy to navigate.

The following can be beautifully integrated into the overall design:

  • Testimonials
  • Call to action features
  • Blog
  • Links to your social media pages

Demographics will determine the design of your recreational dispensary website

What kind of people is your dispensary serving?

Your location, neighborhood, and the kind of customer that comes in will determine the aesthetics of your dispensary web design.

  • Urban, suburban, rural
  • Midwest, west, south, east 
  • Tropical or temperate
  • Age of average customer
  • Culture of average customer
  • Education level
  • Income level
  • Sophistication

You will want your business to be relatable, inspirational, and brandable. However, you can’t just do what you like without considering the preferences, brands, and likes of your particular demographic. For example, soccer moms, hipsters, and hip hop fans all have a different aesthetic. Therefore, your website should reflect the look they identify with.

Furthermore, certain demographics have particular preferences. Boomers and Generation X still like to read. Millennials like to be entertained with visual effects. If your customer base consists of all those groups, you will need to feature both informative text and entertaining visuals.  

Remember you customer base should be the determining factor in the look and feel of your website.

Tell your story on your recreational dispensary website and engage with your audience

The About page on your website is where you will have a chance to shine and connect with your audience.

People love stories and Americans particularly love stories about overcoming adversity. Tell your clients how and why you came to be in this business. However, you must make your story memorable, surprising and about something they can relate to emotionally.  This will make you stand out.

My favorite story of all time was a video made for Ebay where a man named Ed Church talks about being reunited with his first motorcycle.  Though he was passionate about the bike, he sold it when his daughter was born. Years later, when she was grown, he found it again on Ebay and his passion was rekindled. 

Ed is a like a latter day cowboy in speech and appearance. He resonates with audiences because he is so authentic, honest, and emotional. Moreover, the themes that are used throughout the video have universal resonance – the open road, sacrifice, love, passion and freedom.

Notice that Ebay is not named until the latter half of the story arc. Ed ups the tension by telling us how he lost his first bid and then paid what the bike was worth to him a year later when it came up for sale again.

Click to watch:

Ed Church

Remember, simplicity and authenticity are the key to connecting with the audience. 

Keeping your clients engaged with your recreational dispensary website is crucial

You can keep your customers engaged in the following manner:

  • Blogging
  • Newsletter
  • Events
  • Special deals

Well written content is critically important to SEO, but it is even more important to your customers. They will look to you as an authoritative source of information and guidance. Update them with all the news concerning legislation, local, federal and state so they don’t have to go off page to find it. 

That goes double for your products. Always feature images and descriptions, don’t rely on linking to other sites or pages.

Always remember that your website isn’t a one time thing. Your content should be updated regularly. Your blog posts are the best way to, not only keep readers engaged, but boost your search engine rankings. 

Your website is the prefect place to share information with your customers

The way that tax revenue is spent is important to many people in your community.

Tell your customers where the tax money goes.

From The Tax Policy Center:
 

“How do marijuana taxes work?

Marijuana sales are legal and taxed in seven states. Most of these states tax the consumer purchase of marijuana (similar to a retail sales tax) but some tax the transaction between cultivators and distributors or retailers (similar to taxes on alcohol).

In Colorado and Washington, where marijuana has been taxed since 2014, marijuana taxes bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, or roughly 1 percent of each state’s own-source general revenue.

How do states use marijuana revenue?

So far, every state that taxes marijuana has dedicated at least a portion of the resulting revenue to specific programs:

  • Alaska sends half of its revenue to its general fund and half to programs aimed at reducing repeat criminal offences.
  • California’s revenue pays for administrative costs associated with marijuana legalization, and then uses excess funds for programs related to drug use, including economic development, academic studies, and youth programs.
  • Colorado’s revenue is dedicated to education programs.
  • Massachusetts distributes its revenue to various public safety programs.
  • Nevada’s revenue is sent to education programs and its rainy day fund.
  • Oregon dedicates its revenue to education programs, drug prevention and treatment programs, and transfers to local governments.
  • Washington dedicates its revenues to health care programs.”

To read more: Cannabis Tax Revenues.

Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, plans to use recreational cannabis tax revenue to fund reparations for the black community which has been disproportionately affected by harsh drug laws. 

To read more:

Evanston Reparations

Are you are personally involved in the community, charities, or programs? 

No need to be modest. This is the time to blow your own horn, raise awareness, and make people feel good about their indirect contribution by making your store their dispensary of choice. 

Brand reputation or how you differ from your competitors

7 ways you can be better than everyone else in your field:

  • Outstanding Service
  • Knowledgeable and friendly staff
  • Guarantees
  • Shared knowledge in the form of a blog or newsletter
  • Transparency
  • Relationship building
  • Marketing

Marketing is the key to success. Your business is B2C, or business to customer. Some forms of marketing you might use:

  • Paid advertising 
  • Internet marketing on various platforms
  • Word of mouth 
  • Transactional marketing (coupons, deals, specials)
  • Relationship building through a newsletter

Remember, your website is your greatest marketing tool.

Summary

  • Your website is the most important factor in creating a brand and being discovered online
  • The design of your recreational dispensary website is going to be dependent on your audience
  • Well written content and images can tell your story and create an emotional connection to your audience
  • Blogging, newsletters, social media, specials, and events should all be part of your marketing strategy

Our Story

Cannabis legalization

We have always favored the legalization of cannabis. We find it distressing that cannabis users have been targeted and imprisoned in the past. 

Health and well being

We also have seen the beneficial effect cannabis has had on our friends and loved ones, helping them cope with stress, pain, and mood regulation. 

A well designed WEBSITE brings VALUE to your business 

We are extremely excited by the value our industry can bring to yours. We are also highly motivated by the web design possibilities inherent within a brand new industry where few precedents have been set. 

We would sincerely like to partner with you in being at the forefront of that industry.

If you need the following, we can help

  • A new dispensary web design
  • A revamp of your existing design
  • SEO
  • Content
  • Blogging
  • Newsletter

Let's work together

Medical

Website Design for Medical, Health, and Wellness Practices

This is our sister site Medicus Digital. We specialize in designing and developing websites for doctors, dentists, psychologists, therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and alternative health practitioners.

We also provide marketing services for health, medical and wellness practices. 

Weare very proud of our work on this site and are pleased with the way colors, content and images all contribute to telling our story.

We welcome you to browse the site.