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Part III: 4 Tips to Design Functional  Cannabis & CBD Product Displays

Part I  of this series introduced 4 Tips to Identify the Desired Longevity of Cannabis Product Displays. That post provided: desired brand experience, your buyers' likelihood to suffer brand fatigue, the look and feel for your display, and a per unit budget range.

Part II  focused on getting your desired display at a budget-friendly per unit cost to deploy them into storefronts. We concentrated on helping you create memorable cannabis displays that drive revenue due to a significant in-store presence with 3 Tips to Manage per unit Cost of Cannabis Retail Displays.

Last but not least, Part III shares insights on how to hone in on the functionality of your cannabis and CBD product displays with 4 Tips to Design Functional Cannabis and CBD Product Displays.

Tip #1: Understand the Space Parameters

Whether you are an established brand or new to the market, the first step in designing your display's functionality is to understand the retailers' essential space parameters.

Working with your retailer partner to understand how many SKU's of each product they are willing to carry will help you determine the optimal display size. In traditional retail, it is customary for more well-known, established brands to be granted more real estate. However, a well designed engaging display elevates your product's brand and the retailer's shopper experience. If you are new to the market, share sketches and renderings of your displays with retailers during negotiations to earn more space in the store. 

Tip #2: Ensure Your Display Follows Regulations and Retailer Standards

In the cannabis and CBD industries, stringent regulations determine how products can be displayed in a storefront. Most products need to remain behind the counter, where a Budtender is the only one with access. If your product display follows these parameters, it's essential to consider creating a recognizable brand statement from a distance. 

Clean, simple messaging and bold logo placement are two examples of this type of design thinking. If your brand has several products that will be displayed close to one another, you may also consider the holistic look and feel, as it's likely the displays will sit next to one another behind the counter. 

If your allocated space is on the countertop and shoppers are in close proximity to your products, it's typical to have a component that allows them to be locked. The ability to lock an accessible display is essential from a regulatory standpoint and to reduce theft. Loss prevention is a high priority across the cannabis and CBD markets. 

At IDD, we offer both stock and custom lockable displays. While the custom option delivers more unique design opportunities, stock versions can tell a brand story on a budget if designed correctly. 


The products themselves sometimes carry their own display requirements. For instance excessive heat and light can damage some cannabis products. IDD creates display solutions that highlight merchandise while minimizing the effect of light and other environmental factors on your products' integrity. 

Tip #3: Know Your Customers, Current and Future

The NACB requires digital advertisements for cannabis brands or products only to be shown on websites with no more than 15% of its audience made up of viewers under age 21. However, a more realistic figure is 30% since this is a requirement of advertising in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon according to Vana, a cannabis marketing platform. This means the first encounter with your brand may be in a brick and mortar store. Incorporating messaging or education into the display itself can offer a shopper the opportunity to better understand your differentiators. A straightforward, concise design or an LCD screen are good examples of how to educate your potential buyer. 

Designing product displays that tell your brand story, while also being conducive to your budget, timelines, and the parameters surrounding the cannabis and CBD industry is not an easy task. We hope that through this three part series you are able to more effectively navigate the design process.

InStore Design Display is a domestic custom retail display design + build firm with more than 100 years of experience bringing brands to life in brick and mortar stores. IDD has also been heavily involved in developing and maintaining in-store brand experiences for cannabis and CBD brands for several years. We would love to help you bring your brand to life INSTORE.

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