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

Two years ago, WordPress developer Robert DeVore launched WP Dispensary, a free marijuana dispensary menu plugin for WordPress, and has since built an accompanying theme, additional free add-ons, and six commercial extensions. DeVore is aiming to make WP Dispensary a complete online menu software solution for dispensaries and delivery services. The business has grown enough over recent months for him to begin working full-time on it.

“One of the larger objectives going full time with WP Dispensary was to put together content that was specific for both dispensary owners and freelance WordPress developers,” Devore said. “There is a 50/50 split with buyers, so I know that writing content to outline how WPD can help you specifically is an important next step.”

Due to recent demand seen in pre-sales questions, DeVore has just released a Dispensary Details plugin to meet the needs of the much larger market of customers using WooCommerce. The plugin does not require WP Dispensary to work.

“Instead of leaving a need out there, I looked at WP Dispensary and knew I could create a standalone plugin that added the proper details and displayed cleanly within the WooCommerce structure,” DeVore said.

The Dispensary Details for WooCommerce plugin is the first of its kind for the e-commerce platform. It adds custom taxonomies and metaboxes that allow store owners to add cannabis details to products, including information like compound details, aromas, effects, conditions, vendors, symptoms, and more.

The plugin includes separate Edibles and Topicals details boxes where store owners can enter THC/CBD per serving, size, serving count, and net weight. It also has a Grower Details box for cannabis shops that sell clones or seeds with specific sections for origin, average grow time and yield, and the clones/seeds per unit.

Dispensary Details for WooCommerce works with any WordPress theme and simply adds the new Details tab to product pages alongside the various other tabs that WooCommerce displays. The plugin is priced at $149.00, which includes one year of support and updates.

The WordPress product market is just starting to build solutions for the growing marijuana industry, and DeVore predicts that WordPress site builders will soon be in high demand.

“I feel like the industry is going to become more regulated and also increased banking will allow for companies to focus on the marketing/sales side of the business rather than the business side of the business. With companies like KIND Financial recently putting out a seed-to-sale solution along with a bank in Canada, it’s just a sign that things are changing for the better.”

DeVore said changes like these will allow businesses to focus on their websites and WordPress developers will have the opportunity to provide solutions for them, just like they already do for so many other industries. Outside of the U.S. there are already many mail order cannabis services in operation and DeVore said inside the U.S. he has noticed a lot of delivery services that are using WP Dispensary with WooCommerce to allow patients to place orders.

More competition is starting to sprout up for this new niche in the WordPress ecosystem and many of them are working towards providing more comprehensive e-commerce solutions. Lifted Themes is a shop that sells WordPress plugins and themes for the marijuana industry. The company is working on building products that will sync with major POS or Seed to Sale systems. Similarly, H32B provides a theme along with a suite of WooCommerce plugins for medical marijuana dispensaries.

MMJ E-Commerce is another newer company that provides WooCommerce and WordPress plugins and services for dispensaries with a focus on resources for compliance. The site offers plugins for patient registration forms, credit card payments, THC CBD shipping restrictions, and Age Verification forms.

A report from Arcview Market Research published this year showed that North American marijuana sales grew 30% to $6.7 billion and sales are projected to exceed $20 billion by 2021 (assuming a compound annual growth rate of 25%). As of September 2017, 29 states and the District of Columbia have laws that legalize marijuana in some form. As prohibition collapses in more states, the marijuana industry is set to expand and this budding niche in the WordPress ecosystem will likely see significant growth.