Marijuana laws are tricky. As the United States attempts to figure out how to approach a subject that has been debated heavily, and how public perception has changed, the laws are essentially stuck playing catch up.
Marijuana opponents build websites to project their views of what some still view as a dangerous drug. Meanwhile, others build sites for their dispensary partners or to inform the general public about the truth and dispel myths. Others still focus on everything from smoking/vaping apparatus to alternatives to inhalation.
Regardless, medical marijuana websites are popping up more and more by the day as more states legalize and the country shifts to the obvious inevitability of federal legalization.
With as much as $132 billion dollars being on the horizon for marijuana legalization and billions already being made, the medical marijuana industry is utilizing all of the tools of more “standard businesses.” So, as designers and web developers are being used, there are a few tips that they should keep in mind when working on their first medical marijuana website project, namely:
- Know The Laws & Ensure You’re Not Violating Them
- Know Who Your Client’s Target Audience Is
- Keep Yourself Protected
1. Know the Laws & Ensure You’re Not Violating Them
It’s always good to consult with a legal specialist whenever venturing into any ambiguous territory. From state to state, medical marijuana is approached very differently with very different laws, and the federal perspective is still that marijuana in all forms is an illegal substance.
Thus, it’s important to tread lightly when producing a site by having your terms and conditions in order, and ensuring your site is up to current legal standard. While that may land on your client to ensure they tell you what can and cannot be used, it’s still up to you as the developer/designer to do your due diligence, so you don’t’ end up in a precarious position.
2. Know Who Your Client’s Target Audience Is
Beyond the legal situation, it’s important to keep your site as simple as possible. While the age ranges using the site may be diverse, the simpler, the better because of, the higher end ages of who will use your site.
It’s easy to get bogged downloading the site with as much detail and visual aid as possible, but it’s important to keep it down to the necessary information that will help whoever your client/dispensary’s target audience is.
3. Keep Yourself Protected
Establish in advance of the project beginning a deal or contract that will ensure in the event of any legal problems; the client is responsible for dealing with legal issues as long as your job is done. While most websites fall under the domain of free speech, the complexity of marijuana laws makes it harder to predict how it will be handled by state and federal agents.
If you keep these few tips in mind when you first are negotiating your contract to build a medical marijuana site, it should cut down on any unnecessary headaches and allow you to focus on what’s important, building the best site possible for a client.