Build Medical Cannabis eCommerce Platform With Built-in Telemedicine Capabilities
3 months ago
[Please Note: Here we are talking only about medical cannabis prescribed by licensed physicians!]
In 2020, consumers have clearly shown that they want the ease of purchasing items.
They hate to travel to buy items and wait at the stores.
They want everything from the comfort of their home.
From groceries to medications and even now medical cannabis, consumers are always looking for an online platform - either app or website.
In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know to build a cannabis eCommerce platform in Canada within your budget.
So, let’s start with the top benefits of selling cannabis online via an eCommerce platform.
How will your decision to build a medical cannabis eCommerce platform benefit you and your customers?
In 2020, Canadians have purchased items worth C$52 billion via eCommerce platforms.
This number alone depicts the fact that people are finding eCommerce platforms convenient, affordable and reliable.
Talking about the benefits of the cannabis eCommerce platform, the following are top benefits or the reasons people are more likely to use it.
- Consumers can get medical cannabis at a much lower cost than physical stores.
- Consumers can buy medical cannabis without stepping out of the home which saves their time to a great extent.
- Consumers can explore all cannabis products and compare the prices.
- Consumers can track the order status of medical cannabis.
- With product guides, user reviews, videos and social validation, consumers can make a more informed decision.
- If you run a telemedicine program through your platform itself, consumers can get the medical documents from the physicians and order the cannabis from the same platform.
Cannabis Seller Benefits:
- You can run your business with lower operating costs as you don’t require any physical store.
- You can gather consumers’ data which you can utilize for marketing purposes or to understand their buying patterns and make data-driven decisions.
- You can enjoy a wider customer base as you are now not limited to just a single locality.
- From the admin panel, you can manage your in-house staff, delivery drivers, cannabis growers, inventory and queries of customers.
- Your business remains open 24/7/365.
- You can easily expand your cannabis business as you don’t have to invest in any physical space.
Which are the regulations you should address to sell medical cannabis online in Canada?
If you are planning to build an eCommerce store to sell cannabis online, you not only require a seller license but also require to follow data privacy laws.
Your app or website would be collecting, using and sharing a lot of data of patients or your customers.
And thus, a federal-level privacy law - PIPEDA and several provincial-level privacy laws will apply to you.
Talking about the provincial-level privacy laws, it depends on the province where you want to sell cannabis with your app or website.
Because, every Canadian province has imposed different privacy laws.
These privacy laws have many technical and operations requirements.
The major motive of these regulations is to ensure that your online platform is secure enough to not put the personal data of users at risk.
If you violate any of these regulations, you can be liable for the hefty fine.
Thus, it is vitally important to always develop a compliant mobile app or web app for selling cannabis online.
We accommodate in-house compliance experts who will make sure that your online platform is compliant with all privacy laws.
Most popular eCommerce platforms among Canadians buying cannabis online
Our well-versed business experts always analyze the market players so that we can find their pros and cons and help our clients to outperform existing players.
1) Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS)
It is Ontario’s only online retailer and wholesaler of legal recreational cannabis.
It sells legal and clearly labelled cannabis products by working proactively with licensed producers or growers of cannabis.
It also makes consumers aware of cannabis and its use.
People are loving their variety of cannabis-infused soft chews coming in several mouth-watering flavours.
2) Just Cannabis
Just Cannabis is a British Columbia-based medical and recreational marijuana dispensary.
It provides Canadians with easy access to affordable and licensed cannabis products.
Through blogs and videos, they share the knowledge of cannabis and its usages to consumers.
Talking about the products, they offer marijuana strains, cannabis concentrates, weed edibles, vapes, CBD, shrooms, and more.
Namaste is Canada’s premium recreational cannabis brand launched by Zenabis which is one of the largest licensed producers in Canada.
Namaste sells several products online such as dried flowers, vapes, softgels, Oral Sprays etc.
It also runs a different brand named NamasteMD which is the cannabis telemedicine platform.
Why should you integrate telemedicine with your medical cannabis eCommerce platform?
With legalization and physicians prescribing cannabis for treating many illnesses, the Canadian cannabis market is expected to continue growing.
However, 2020 has completely changed consumer behaviour.
They are now expecting to get all healthcare services from the one platform itself.
This is the reason - why many online pharmacies have started telemedicine programs and selling wellness products via the pharmacy app itself.
Same way, you as the online cannabis store owner should launch the telemedicine program from your eCommerce itself.
With it, your consumers can talk to physicians, get medical documents (prescription) and order cannabis from your platform itself.
This will not only enable you to generate an extra revenue stream but attract more consumers.
After all, customers need to have a medical certificate (prescription) to buy medical cannabis legally. Then why don’t you provide a medical certificate as well?
To start a telemedicine program from your online cannabis platform, you only need telemedicine features in your app/website and a group of physicians.
If you are building a website for selling medical cannabis online, you should read this:
If you have already made your mind to invest your hard-earned money into the website, we would suggest you invest it in a progressive web app.
Because a progressive web app (PWA) is the future of websites.
Unlike a static website, a PWA runs fast, works offline, supports push notification and costs just slightly higher than a typical website.
This way, by investing low - you will be able to provide the ultimate user experience to your customers. This will result in higher sales.
(Not to mention - even a progressive web app can’t replace a mobile app and its usability!)
But that does not mean you only consider PWA. You can consider mobile apps and static websites as well.
The following table will help to select the most suitable option for you.
What should you select between a mobile app, website and PWA to sell cannabis online in Canada?
That is it for today. You must have now enough knowledge to launch the cannabis eCommerce store in Canada.
We’re Canadian tech experts, ready to help you with app/website/PWA development & compliance
We are an Ontario-based team of healthcare-specific app developers, designers, business experts and compliance consultants.
We have been working with several healthcare providers for 7 years to solve their all technical and compliance issues.
After doing the same thing 8 hours a day for 7 years, we earned the authority in healthcare IT solutions including cannabis apps or websites.
We don’t say that there is no one better than us. But we are sure that there is no one better than us when it comes to helping clients beyond contract terms.
We work with a pure mindset, vision and goal. We are very clear about our actions. We never bluff - we only talk with data!
So, let’s have a first conversation - where you share your requirements - we share our knowledge!