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Cannabis App Development

The Cannabis Market is Ripe For Native Mobile Apps

Posted by: Nikki Tabberrah

September 29, 2023


More and more cannabis software providers are adding mobile app solutions to their list of services. This is a clear indication that businesses are realizing the importance of meeting customers where they are - on their phones.

Because we've seen it first-hand with retailers like Starbucks, the convenience and speed of mobile shopping is simply, unmatched.

Now, more and more people are eagerly waiting for their favorite dispensaries to offer the same seamless, native mobile shopping experience.

However, the current landscape of mobile apps for dispensaries often falls short.

Many simply offer basic reward apps or ones that link to "mobile-friendly" website pages and stores.


The result? 


Pages too large for the small screen, slower loading speeds, and a user experience that may leave customers squinting, waiting, and ultimately, frustrated. 

But the tide is turning.

Customers are adopting a more sophisticated approach to buying their cannabis products online. And providers like Digital Awesome are empowering dispensaries to leverage native apps for customer acquisition and retention.

Just take a look at the graph below, which shows a significant increase in month-on-month app user growth for Cinder.

This trend reveals how customers in Washington are embracing native mobile apps for their cannabis shopping.


The excitement isn't just confined to Digital Awesome's analytics alone.

Over on LinkedIn & and app stores, cannabis enthusiasts are vocal about their readiness for mobile dispensary apps.


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These quantitative and qualitative data illustrate a market ripe for mobile innovation. 

But before we talk about apps and how they contribute to every dispensary’s success… let’s see what key challenges this technology is addressing.

  • Dwindling Customer Loyalty & Retention: With over 7,000 dispensaries in the U.S., competition is fierce and people are drowning in a sea of options for weed. That's why brands that have invested heavily in licensing, quality product sourcing, and marketing are caught in the crossfire. They're not only battling each other, they're also losing customers to the black market who can offer products at half the price.


  • Lower Profits: The prevalence of the black market (who doesn't have to deal with tax problems and other expenses) puts pressure on legal retailers to lower prices. Additionally, widespread acceptance has led to an oversupply, causing a steady price decline. This makes it challenging for retailers as these issues among many others are impacting their bottom line.


  • Lack of Direction: As dispensaries deal with ongoing issues of price compression and market dilution, many legal businesses struggle to figure out the best way to sell cannabis and amplify their presence in-store or online to secure their market share.


So, what's the best way to sell cannabis? 

And how do you strengthen the loyalty of the traffic you bring in?

Is it by investing in SEO for more in-store traffic, SMS/Email marketing, Kiosk, or a custom mobile app or all the above?

While the answer varies per dispensary, one thing is clear: investing in your brand's presence and key marketing channels can yield long-term results, bolster brand loyalty, and, when done correctly, increase sales.


Benefits of Having a Cannabis Mobile App

In today's challenging market, many dispensaries are now turning to mobile apps as a potential solution because the cannabis culture is now deeply embedded in contemporary life. Data from New Frontier suggests that cannabis usage is widespread among the younger generation, specifically those aged 18-34, who are the most tech-savvy within the current market.

And where do these people hang out? On their mobile phones. Having said that, what do you get out of investing in your own channel such as a mobile app?

Brand Resonance

A custom-branded app goes beyond just integrating your logo or preferred color palette—it means tailoring every element of the user interface and user experience to align with your brand identity and marketing direction. 

This includes everything from the home screen and icons to the app pages and overall user journey.

Investing in a fully branded platform not only increases brand equity but also elevates the perception of your brand. 

This is important because, the aspirational market where many of the savvy connoisseurs belong, often equates high-quality platforms with high-quality products and services that they want to be associated with.

Conversely, a low-quality or clunky tech interface can give an impression that you're cutting corners for profit, which can lead to losing loyal customers.

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More Sales

A native app is emerging as the most profitable way to sell cannabis via mobile, and here's why: It offers a superior buying experience compared to mobile-friendly web stores. 

Shoppers can easily find the products they love and add them to their carts. 

With features like:

  • fast-speed product searches
  • browsing histories & product listing
  • custom filters
  • custom categories
  • smart recommendations based on a customer's browsing history buying behavior and more.


Customer Satisfaction

A native app can also enhance the overall customer experience by suggesting complementary products that customers might find interesting. They can even get quick customer support with in-app chat capabilities and native synchronization of key website content such as insightful blogs or other resource pages.

To put it simply, it's not just about selling cannabis—it's about ensuring customers are satisfied from discovery to after-sales so they stay engaged.

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Cinder Cannabis App Review on App Store


In a nutshell, cannabis enthusiasts are truly progressive consumers who are now seeking progressive experiences such as native in-app shopping.

The adoption of native mobile apps in this industry will soon accelerate and is set to contribute to a stronger market for legal retailers.

Digital Awesome is at the forefront of this mission, offering cutting-edge mobile apps specifically designed for cannabis retailers. These custom apps are strategically created to drive sales and foster brand loyalty, providing an exceptional customer experience that sets client dispensaries apart from the rest (even the black market!).

For more information about Digital Awesome's Cannabis Apps for Retailers, you can schedule a quick demo with the Client Success Team or visit


Cannabis Holiday

Disclaimer: Tips, advice, and insights provided on this blog are intended for informational purposes only and should be considered as recommendations and/or market news. Readers should conduct their own due diligence and ensure compliance with federal and state laws before making any business & marketing decisions pertaining to their own dispensaries and promotional channels. Digital Awesome will not be held liable for any damages or penalties incurred as a result of following the advice or information presented in this blog.

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