Age gates, also known as age verification systems, aren’t usually legally required. But they’re a best practice for online products like alcohol and cannabis where the legal age is 21.
In particular, with the rise of the cannabis industry, which is predicted to reach $146 billion worldwide by 2025, it’s not a bad idea to include an age gate to your website to cover your legal bases. This is especially true since online ordering may just be the future of cannabis.
There’s no industry-wide standard about what an age gate should look like, so your cannabis company has some liberty to get creative. Age gates don’t have to be yet another annoying pop-up (like all the cookies notifications, privacy policies, newsletter sign-ups, etc. that users currently have to click through).
Ultimately, age gates are the first experience of your brand for users, making them an opportunity for going beyond the age question and showcasing your cannabis brand. Let’s take a closer look at how to make your cannabis age gate unique.
1. Age gates with product-themed designs.
Age gates are best when they’re not generic white boxes asking if you’re 21 or older. You can design an age gate that really matches with your brand image and products. For example, Fluffinity’s age gate is whimsical and colorful, just like their branding.
Of course, how your age gate looks depends entirely on your company. Another brewery that sells a beer called Judgment Day, has a much darker, video-game-esque age gate that matches with their end-of-the-world theme.
2. Age gates with brand-specific wording.
Age gates should also include brand-specific wording. It’s a great chance to get users in the mind-set of how your brand talks. A good example of this is the Valens cannabis company that’s all about personalized cannabis, so they’ve used the slogan “it’s personal” to capture users’ attention through the age gate.
Wording can be silly, uplifting or professional, etc. depending on the brand. Another example, Founders Brewing, which uses adventure as a big theme with their products, has phrased their age gate with “are you old enough for this adventure?” This is a great example of how to create an age gate that transitions users into your brand voice.
3. Age gates that don’t use outdated drop-downs.
Sometimes age gates can be frustrating when they have drop-downs for your age that run a century back. There’s definitely a better way to get the age information you need instead of making users do the infinite scroll through different years.
Hexo Cannabis is one example of a good design for getting both location and age info without the crazy scroll. On their age gate, Canadian provinces are nicely laid out for users to easily click on.
Another nice age gate from Real Ale Brewing has a simplified look with yes or no buttons – and no other information needed, in front of a beautiful Texan landscape. These brands have created modern age gates that are easy and attractive at the same time.
4. Age gates that bounce minors to kids’ websites.
Another fun trend is to bounce minors that click “no” to kids’ websites. A famous example of this is Brooklyn Brewery’s site that redirected minors to the Got Milk site, or American Solera’s site that redirected them to PBS Kids.
The site that appears if a user clicks “no” could be an opportunity for tongue-and-cheek messaging. Or, if your company sells age-inclusive products, you may be able to redirect them to that product portfolio. Abita Beer bounces minors to their nonalcoholic sodas, for example.
Clearly, this will depend on your brand. Age gates and the “no” redirects are a way to express your company’s branding, whether fun, professional or a bit of both.
Ultimately, age screening is likely to stick around for cannabis companies. Get ahead of this website trend by creating branded images and wording, as well as a modern layout to make easy and brand-festive age gates.
Want to add an age gate to your website? Reach out to the Onsharp team for options.