Living the Dream: Helen Cho

Helen Cho
Director of Strategy
Aloha Green Apothecary
Honolulu, HI

Aloha Green Apothecary has a new website! In the first major update since we launched the company in 2016, the site was rebuilt from the ground up with new sections, more transparency into our processes and additional resources. Over the past three years, there have been many changes to both Hawaii’s cannabis industry and within our company. The new website had to reflect these changes while also integrating what we learned about our market and the existing gaps in cannabis education.

Due to strict state regulations on advertising, Hawaii licensees are limited to direct, opt-in marketing channels and websites to connect with patients. The website is our main portal to both patients and potential patients looking for information on cannabis in Hawaii. While restrictions on marketing language still apply to website content, other changes in the state Department of Health’s regulations now allow us to inform patients about our specific products, which means we can post our menu, pricing and promotions — as opposed to only general cannabis education, rules, regulations and company information. 

Including this new (and critical) information made us rethink how patients interact with our website and ensure that we design an online platform that even the majority of our older patients can easily navigate. We also now know after nearly two years of sales, what kinds of questions are most frequently asked, which topics seem to create confusion (and for what reasons) and what our patients love most about our company and its culture. Our new site uses larger fonts and block layouts (for easier viewing), repeats critical information on multiple pages (redundancy minimizes the need for the user to “hunt” for information) and includes many photos of our employees (to leverage the relationships we have built with the community).

We also learned that the public considers our website to be an extension of our dispensary and the experience of being in our dispensary. It took multiple iterations to get the online experience synced up with the in-store experience so that even those who have never been to the dispensary can get an understanding of our culture and atmosphere.

There’s also so much that has changed about the company that needed to be shared. When the previous website went up, we hadn’t even completed our first harvest. Now our standard operating procedures are honed for optimum quality and consistency, we have more than 250 harvests (and counting) under our belt, we have nearly 100 employees and our second dispensary location in Waikiki is up and running with a third in the works. It was important to show the public how much we have grown as a company and that we continue to be among the leaders in our industry.

Our website has finally caught up with the company we have become, even if the goal is to eventually outgrow this version and always have great, new things to show the world.

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