cannabis merchandise

10 min read

How to Create an Appealing Cannabis Products Merchandise

September 30, 2021

When we talk about customer loyalty and sales growth, every detail matters: product quality, merchandising, in-store design, and others. However, in this article, we are speaking about cannabis merchandising as it is essential for a range of reasons. It creates a first impression, helps to show a product more attractively, and contributes to sales. 

Merchandising is the way products are displayed in a dispensary. But you can’t just randomly put products around the store. Marijuana merchandise must always have a strategy. Otherwise, you won’t gain loyal customers or income increase. 

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What is the perfect medical marijuana dispensary aesthetics? 

These days cannabis merchandise manufacturers are struggling for consumers’ attention by creating cannabis aesthetics for them. They try to differ from each other. 

As a part of the whole commercial strategy, cannabis merchandise and dispensary aesthetics must be well considered. Harmony is the key here. The more the dispensary’s aesthetics coincides with the style of products it sells, the better. 

Marijuana store merchandising is specific in a way it usually serves a limited community of consumers belonging to a particular demographic set or culture. Defining who buys products is a crucial point in deciding what cannabis merchandising strategy will be. 

After considering the dispensary aesthetics, owners need to decide what products to put on display. Usually, expensive products are put on shelves to catch consumer’s eyes. This trick is used to increase sales.

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How To Improve Your Cannabis Marketing Merchandise? 

However, you won’t understand whether the marijuana merchandising strategy succeeded without analysis. Set up a number of experiments to have plenty of data from them, and it will be easier to analyze what actions contributed to sales growth and which didn’t work at all. Having done the analysis, you will be able to build a profitable merchandising strategy. 

The purpose of merchandising is to boost sales and gain more profit. But there is no final answer to how you should display products. A hypothesis states that people are less likely to buy products located on almost empty shelves. There is also a common thought that products put at the eye level are better sold than products put on lower shelves. 

Merchandising is about making hypotheses, and there is a chance that, for instance, products displayed close to budtenders will be sold faster than the ones put somewhere on the shelves. Form hypotheses, test them, analyze the result and make a better decision using the received data. There are some questions to simplify the data analysis process:

  • What shelves or cases happened to be most appealing to customers?
  • Which of them was the most successful?
  • Which products were sold better being displayed on the main merchandising positions?
  • Are there any products that sold well without merchandising?

With plenty of data after experiments, you will be able to answer the following questions. Consequently, the sales will increase, and customers will be more satisfied. 

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What will Help to Create an Effective Merchandising Plan?

Retail strategy. The following questions will help to understand what commercial strategy to develop: 

  • What is the message you want your customers to get with your merchandising plan? 
  • Who is your customer specifically (ex., women of a certain age or disease)?
  • What marijuana merchandise satisfies consumer needs the most? 
  • What about complementary products? 
  • Is there any other way your dispensary can enhance customer satisfaction? 
  • How can your dispensary stand out from competitors?

Planning. At this stage, you should understand the amount of money you have at your disposal and create a plan of what additional items you need to buy. You can consult a designer – a person aware of trends in design, the science of color combinations, and other useful information. The merchandising plan should also include the following information:

  • The way displays are made (according to a brand or a category);
  • How customers will move around your dispensary;
  • Corners that you will change as seasons change or holidays come;
  • What fixtures, signage, lighting, and props will be used;
  • Hypotheses on where to put certain goods.

Realization. It is time to bring your strategy and a plan to life. Be prepared for things to go wrong or modifications made on the spot. Sometimes the theory and practice differ dramatically, and the decisions made before the realization will seem inappropriate. Don’t be afraid to change something. Remember that merchandising is about testing. Just don’t forget to note what was done and how big the profit was. 

When a customer comes to your dispensary, the first thing they do there – is look around, or, in other words, get a visual experience. The visual experience often determines the products they will purchase. Visual merchandising should be a part of the whole retail strategy. It usually includes designing planograms for shelving and window displays, directional signage, fixtures, digital signage, and other important things. Make sure that the visuality you choose sells. 

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Let’s talk more about it. Visual merchandising involves in-store tactics, strategic shelving, placement of products, and digital signage. But what exactly is there to consider?

    1. First impressions. First impressions define the level of trust, the possibility of future interactions, and other things. A potential customer has probably checked your store online. Depending on their impressions, there will be certain expectations related to the professionalism of your employees. If you establish contact and gain customer trust, they will most likely buy from you again. 
    2. Style. The in-store design is also part of your retail strategy. It helps to deliver a message of the brand story and create a certain mood for a customer. What will your style be: modern? Cozy? Fun? Minimalistic? Remember that it should coincide with the whole retail strategy and contribute to it. 
    3. Open space. Don’t put all products in one corner. Spread them evenly around the store. Make sure customers can walk freely through the aisles. If there are any shelves at a low level, make them eye-catching.
    4. Dispensary periphery. Not to overwhelm customers with shelves and cases, some cannabis dispensaries create spaces equipped with armchairs and a table with magazines so that consumers can learn comfortably. It is useful for those who prefer reading to talking. 
    5. Arrangements. When it comes to product arrangements, it is better to use a systematic approach. Displaying cannabis products according to a brand or a product type will help customers find a desired item faster. Don’t forget to experiment and check what strategy (brand merchandise or product type display, or any other) works better.
    6. Imagery. Some products may come along with images. Sometimes these images can help to boost sales, but they also can distract people from other products. The dispensary should be product-oriented and not be overwhelmed with images. Use imagery if it works and complements your product display. 
    7. Senses stimulations. Sometimes, it is hard to visually determine a product’s quality as cannabis items mostly stimulate smell, touch, or taste. That’s why providing customers with samples to taste can come with a certain profit: customers having tried a product will be more conscious when buying it and, consequently, will be more satisfied with it. 
    8. Budtender area. A budtender area is the one where additional purchases are made. Put there quick-grab items such as edibles, drinks, accessories, or complementary products to provoke consumers into buying more. 
    9. Point-of-sale. Point-of-sale that can save the information about customers brings a great advantage to a dispensary owner. Ask your consumer about their email address, and use it for promotions and discount notifications.
    10. Levels. Many cannabis retailers utilize glass counters which don’t allow customers to explore products appropriately. Using vertical space will allow consumers to see all goods sold at the dispensary. Different kinds of shelves will show products that can go unnoticed otherwise. 
    11. Coloring. Let colors complement with display items so that the inner dispensary design looks appealing to customers’ eyes. Choose the color of the floor on the same premise.
    12. Lighting. You cannot touch, smell, or perform any other manipulations with certain cannabis products. But customers might want to learn something about them by reading the information on labels. That’s why good lighting should be a priority. Putting a lamp above the item is not enough as a customer will bend over and block the light. Make sure each side of a product is illuminated. You may also use a mirror in order to provide a 360-degree view.
    13. Acrylic blocks. Acrylic blocks give the opportunity to highlight the product’s characteristics and colors which will attract customer attention. 
    14. Seasonal decor. Decorating shelves during holidays is an excellent opportunity to refresh the layouts. Just remember to use decorations wisely so that they contribute to your strategy. 
    15. Design display update. Even making some design changes can contribute to customers seeing a product in a new light. Depending on the cannabis dispensary merchandising style, you can use non-traditional display pieces to bring life to old cases and furniture pieces.
    16. Engagement encouragement. As new products appear almost every day, customers will need assistance when choosing among products. Make sure there is enough information (magazines, journals, etc.) at the dispensary, and employees provide customers with additional help. A customer is more likely to come back to a dispensary where they experienced good service. 
    17. Constant learning. Don’t let your merchandising strategy get obsolete. Stay informed about trends and new products. Constantly change something at your dispensary so that it always looks fresh and flourishing. Educate your employees about new products and industry events. This way, your customers will always get the latest news.
    18. Resourceful thinking. Instead of getting rid of old items, think outside the box. How else can they be used? How can you breathe new life into them? The ideas can shed light on products and your dispensary will beat the competition. 

Along with merchandising medical marijuana products, you can sell complementary items that can also contribute to your marijuana merchandising. Not all states allow this way of advertising, so remember to check the regulations beforehand. What units are we talking about? Here is the list:


  • Lighters. In order to smoke cannabis, you need a lighter. Place a dispensary logo on it. 
  • Rolling papers. Along with lighters people also need rolling papers. Create a memorable brand design for them. 
  • Grinders. Grinders are used to cut cannabis into small pieces. Using them, customers can experiment with new flavors.
  • Multi-Tool. These items include tools with multiple purposes. For example, multi-tools can be used to hold and secure rolled cannabis for smoking. 
  • Sealable pouches. Sealable pouches are used to protect cannabis while transporting it. For instance, when you take cannabis on a trip or share it with friends.
  • Containers. Cannabis loses its valuable characteristics when left in the open. Containers are the ultimate solution in this case.
  • Glassware. You can use different items to smoke cannabis. For example, a chillum, a glass blunt, a bubbler, etc. Give customers a wide range of choices. 
  • Clothing. Choose nice material, print your logo on a hoodie or T-shirt, and customers will enjoy wonderful branded cannabis merch.
  • Magnets. People like putting magnets on fridges. Magnets will also remind them of your cannabis store.
  • Hemp lip balms. Lip balms are perfect to be displayed on a check-out as they are good impulse items. 
  • Pens. Pens can be sold in a gift shop to bring extra revenue to an owner. Also, customers will need them to sign papers or fill in some forms. 

Spending time on developing a merchandising strategy is worth it. Think through the visuality, decide what complementary items to sell, and don’t be afraid of creative experimentation. All these actions will result in increased sales and customer loyalty. Your cannabis dispensary will have a good reputation. And customers will likely come back to buy more, or recommend the store to their friends.