WP Dispensary Offers a Complete Marijuana Menu Solution for WordPress

photo credit: Blueberry Kush, Indica-3 - (license)
photo credit: Blueberry Kush, Indica-3(license)

With 24 states having enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana, the industry is booming and dispensaries need websites. WP Dispensary, released five months ago, is the first WordPress plugin to target this underserved market.

After creating Leafly Reviews, a plugin that displays dispensary reviews from Leafly using a widget or shortcode, Robert DeVore decided he wanted to make more solutions to help dispensary owners build professional websites. WP Dispensary and Dispensary Coupons soon followed on WordPress.org.

Many marijuana dispensaries post their product menus on a board, printed on paper, or displayed on a tablet. The WP Dispensary plugin makes it easy to enter products, with all their relevant details, into a menu for display on a WordPress-powered website. This makes it easy for the dispensary owner to create, edit, and maintain a master list of products, which can also be displayed in the store.

wpd-menu-update-1.4The plugin creates custom post types for flowers, edibles, concentrates, pre-rolls, and topicals. It also includes custom taxonomies for aromas, flavors, effects, symptoms, and conditions. This allows visitors to easily sort available products.

Entering a new menu item is as easy as writing a post, so dispensary owners will have no problem keeping their menus updated:

add-flower

Dispensary owners can also enter product prices for flowers and concentrates based on weight, from 1/2 gram to an ounce. Edibles and pre-rolls allow you to enter the THC and CBD percentages.

Today’s version 1.4 release, in honor of the 4/20 holiday, adds topicals to the existing custom post types, with extra product information options for unit price, unit size, and THC mg and CBD mg.

When used in combination with DeVore’s free Dispensary Display theme, products are displayed beautifully on the frontend with images for each menu item. After updating it to be compatible with the 1.4 release, DeVore plans to get the theme ready for submission to the official WordPress theme directory.

dispensary-items

WP Dispensary is also fully integrated with the WP REST API so developers can pull data from the custom post types and display it with JavaScript in a website or app. This currently requires the REST API plugin version 2 until the API is officially merged into core.

WP Dispensary is 100% open source and available for anyone to download for free from WordPress.org. Full documentation is available for the plugin on the WP Dispensary project website, which includes instructions for setting it up, information on add-ons, and additional plugin suggestions. The plugin is also available on GitHub if you want to contribute bug fixes or improvements.

32 Comments


    1. Thanks for posting about WP Dispensary today Sarah, I appreciate it!

      edit: not sure how this got added as a reply to Devin, but I’m glad you find WPD interesting Devin :)

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  1. I just came by to say that today is the absolute perfect day to post this article ;)

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    1. It’s like it was scheduled that way

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  2. All joking aside, the marijuana and dispensary markets are ripe for WordPress businesses looking to get into an untapped market. Have you visited many of those sites? They suck and a lot of them are not responsive. They also feature designs from the late 90s early 2000s. Many of them need a lot of help.

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    1. I’ve noticed that a lot when looking at different dispensary websites to find out what options I should include in the WPD plugin.

      Geocities would be proud :)

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    2. How can this be a WordPress business if sales are still done in cash? I don’t know of any credit card processor that allows for marijuana sales let alone ecommerce marijuana sales.

      For marijuana sales to be a viable WordPress business, federal laws will need to be changed.

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      1. Richard – well the plugin mentioned here doesn’t have an e-commerce aspect. It simply provides a menu. I think the related WordPress businesses folks are talking about are making websites, themes, and plugins that cater specifically to this industry.

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      2. Like Sarah mentioned, this plugin lets you set up the menu items to display them, how websites like Leafly.com let dispensaries have their menu up for patients to browse through. They’ll still have to pay in cash, in store.

        Within the next 5-10 years I see it being federally legalized, so my hope is that WPD is used and then can be expanded into a full e-commerce solution (for delivery or pre-order pick up) when the time comes.

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      3. Some dispensaries accept credit cards, at least in California. They may use a DBA that does not clearly reveal their product, and/or they may have a parent company that processes the payment for them. I don’t know if this is solely to protect patient privacy, or if there are business reasons behind it, but I know it is done. However, I have not heard of *online ordering* via credit card. Online orders are usually paid for in person (order ahead online, then pick up or deliver and pay), but credit cards or cash can be used at the point of purchase.

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  3. One quick note about this part of the post:

    Edibles and pre-rolls allow you to enter the THC and CBD percentages.

    Edibles allow you to enter THC and CBD percentages, and the pre-rolls let you select the flower that the pre-roll is made of.

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    1. I am not 100% certain about all states that offer medical marijuana only, but I do believe I seen articles about the legal states like Oregon and Colorado having CC processing options.

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      1. I believe all marijuana based businesses are 100% cash only – which creates a major security issue for people running those businesses. Banks refuse to get involved at all while it is still federally illegal.

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  4. “Dispensary” lol

    Would there be booming business when it would be taken only for medical purposes?

    However wish you success though Robert.

    Maybe the weed with you;)

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    1. Yes, it would be a booming business even without ‘medical’ purposes.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t really care for the “medical marijuana” term. Yes, there’s a lot of benefits health-wise (I wrote about some on my blog yesterday), but it’s much more than just ‘medical’.

      The hemp industry would skyrocket with the legalization of marijuana, with everything from paper to concrete and parts of cars being made from it.

      Thanks for the well wishes, I appreciate it :)

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      1. This can indeed be a booming industry, and is not going anywhere. Technology is the future in streamlining the industry and I’m extremely exited there are people out there that recognize that.

        Best of luck to you and yours, :)

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    2. “Dispensary” is the appropriate term. The dispensaries in California do a “booming business” on medical marijuana (recreational use is not yet legalized here). Our dispensaries serve people from youth to old age, with medical conditions from cancer to ADHD. There are a huge variety of strains of marijuana that have an equally wide variety of effects on the human body. It is considered by many to be a “miracle drug” — and they are not using it to “get high”, but to treat real maladies. It is literally saving lives, and should not be underestimated. As Robert has said, there are countless other applications for the hemp industry as a whole. Check into the history of hemp production. It’s truly fascinating.

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  5. At GeoDirectory we have a lot of members using our plugin to create the next Leafy/Weedmaps, it is one of the biggest niche after Hotels, Restaurants and Real Estate. We didn’t know about this plugin or we would have already created an add-on to integrate it, which we will do asap now that we discovered it. :)

    Thanks Sarah for sharing the news and thanks Robert for creating the plugin…

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  6. I currently live in Colorado and gotta say targeting this market makes sense from a business perspective. Because it’s a cash only business and there are still challenges for them with the banking system yet, they have money to burn, so to speak. And there are a lot of shops here.

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    1. It’s similar here in Michigan too. Not fully legalized (yet) like Colorado, but there’s no short supply of dispensaries to shop at.

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  7. It’s funny that this article was posted the same day I was talking with business partners about possibilities in this industry. For the past two days I’ve been researching the market and it is big business and it will continue to grow – no pun intended.

    The problem for freelancers is that they will have to be aware of the strict federal and state regulations for marketing medical or recreational marijuana. And there are a lot of them! If things continue to change, then it will be easier to build a business in this industry.

    I’ve known about this plugin for a while and it’s great to see it getting exposure. It will be an awesome tool for freelancers who cater to this niche. And paired with GeoDirectories (which we are using) it offers clients a great solution!

    And maybe we’ll see a Happy Joe product in this industry some day. ; )

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    1. Do you have any links or resources about what marketing regulations a freelancer might need to be aware of? We are currently talking with a new recreational store in Oregon about their website issues, and in doing so have been thinking about exploring the market some more.

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      1. Chris,

        I’ve been trying to find more concrete information but it looks like some regulations depend on the state and others federal. I know in Nevada, all medicinal marijuana websites must be approved by the state. Here are some articles that will get you started:

        http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/marijuana-marketing

        http://www.fastcompany.com/3045240/rebranding-pot/how-to-brand-market-and-sell-weed-without-breaking-the-law

        It will be challenging for ecommerce websites as they cannot accept online payments as stated above. You can however sell hemp or products with CBD with online payments.

        The last thing for medicinal marijuana is that you cannot make statements that might not be true (e.g. this cures arthritis).

        This is definitely a lucrative industry but one that will require caution and considerations for your brand association with it.

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      2. James,

        Thanks a bunch. These are great links to get me started.

        Luckily, I’m in Washington so we have some good resources for our state. My concerns are centered around how federal law and non-legal/non-medical states will handle cross state marketing.

        Hopefully the banking situation will get straightened out sooner than later – since clients we have spoken with are very interested in moving from “order ahead” type scenarios to actually “paying ahead” once that gets hammered out.

        And yes, the branding association is also a concern as its an interesting question if we add sites like that to our portfolio and risk alienating clients in more conservative states.

        Its giving me a bunch to think about. Thanks again for the links!

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