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420 with CNW — How to Make Marijuana Websites Compliant with ADA Requirements

For more than 30 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has protected people with disabilities from discrimination in all public places on the basis of their disabilities. This legislation ensures that all public places, including schools, public transportation and office buildings, are designed to accommodate the needs of people living with disabilities. Now that ecommerce is one of the most dominant forms of trade across the country, businesses in America’s state-legal cannabis sector should also make their websites ADA-compliant.

In many ways, websites have replaced the brick-and-mortar stores of old. They allow people to visit different “shops” and make purchases from the comfort of their homes. For people with disabilities, ecommerce websites can save a lot of hassle, especially if the sites also offer home deliveries.

Making your website ADA-compliant will make it more navigable for people with disabilities, and could help you attract and retain customers. Although the ADA Act currently doesn’t apply to business websites, taking the plunge will likely do more good than bad for your business.

Andrea Golan, a lawyer at Vicente, a cannabis law firm in Denver, said that California does not extend the ADA Act to websites while some courts in other states view websites as public places and expect them to be ADA compliant.

Liz Hartsel from Fortis Law Partners in Denver, said that even if the ADA Act does not explicitly cover websites, businesses are at risk of being sued if they are inaccessible to people with disabilities. It is a matter of when you will be sued, not if, Hartsel explained, adding that as a business owner, it is in your best interest to make your websites ADA-compliant.

Making your business more accessible to consumers is always a win, and it may help you stand out from the rest of the competition. It will also save you the hassle of dealing with a lawsuit if you are sued. Hartsel notes that she has seen some 50 cases involving website accessibility in the last two years, and they all settled without a trial. According to Barclay Damon partner Rob Thorpe, settling a lawsuit will be less expensive than defending one in court, so most companies prefer to settle when they are sued.

If you are currently facing an accessibility-related lawsuit, Hartsel recommends immediately making the website more accessible and ADA compliant. Since websites are always being updated, Hartse recommends making your website accessible in the present and keeping it as accessible as possible as time passes.

This includes making sure there are alt tags to allow the use of screen readers if there are a lot of images or providing ways such as captions to allow hearing and vision-impaired people to access the information in videos. In addition, figuring out the best color contrast balance will make it easier for people with color blindness or limited vision to read your website.

The need to adhere to ADA requirements doesn’t only apply to marijuana companies. Even companies such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) should consider the needs of persons with disabilities when designing their websites.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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