The Cannabis Industry: Self Regulating Your Marketing

By Madison Taylor
September 20, 2021
marijuana leaf in front of a setting sun

As more states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, recorded sales have grown rapidly. In 2020, Americans spent about $17.5 billion on marijuana and marijuana products, such as gummies and tinctures.

The industry’s growth means that companies will need to become more competitive, and marketing will play an inevitable role in reaching cannabis consumers. This raises a critical question for the industry: How can it self-regulate its marketing guidelines to prevent a backlash from authorities that want to impose overly strict regulations on how companies advertise their products and services?

The following guidelines can help cannabis companies market themselves effectively without drawing negative attention from consumers, prohibitionists, and regulators.

Know the Existing Regulations in Your Area

Cannabis marketing regulations already exist, but they vary from place to place. Businesses should reach out to state and municipal regulators to make sure they follow current regulations. More often than not, the regulations involve:

  • Making sure billboards aren’t near schools.
  • Avoiding television and radio ads.
  • Not showing images of people using products.

If cannabis companies follow the current marketing rules, it lowers the chance that the government will impose future regulations that make it harder to reach customers.

Don’t Make Statements About Health or Safety

A lot of people use cannabis products for health reasons. Even though researchers have a lot of evidence showing that chemicals like THC and CBD can treat certain health conditions, businesses shouldn’t make any statements about health or safety in their marketing materials.

Even though most consumers are enjoying the intended experiences, thousands of people will visit emergency rooms every year after taking cannabis products. Some have negative reactions because edibles contain more THC than expected. Cannabis could also cause adverse effects in those living with anxiety. While cannabis calms some users, it amplifies anxiety in others. When companies make statements about safety, they might open themselves to lawsuits.

Don’t Glorify Cannabis Use

Marketing for alcoholic beverages often emphasize how much fun people have while consuming products like beer, wine, and hard seltzer. Don’t mistakenly believe cannabis businesses can take a similar approach. Yes, it seems unfair. The reality is that the federal government still considers cannabis illegal, so they do not want to see anyone celebrating its use.

Obviously, businesses want marijuana marketing to encourage people to choose their cannabis products. You will have to do so subtly. For example, show a person staring serenely toward the mountains or ocean instead of a person smiling with a joint between their lips. Imply that enjoyment comes from using cannabis. Do not draw a direct line between cannabis products and fun. It could attract unwanted attention from regulators.

Talk to Madison Taylor Marketing for Effective Cannabis Marketing

Cannabis companies don’t have to take risks when marketing their products and services. Talk to Madison Taylor Marketing about effective ways to advertise your cannabis and medical marijuana without upsetting lawmakers. A reasonable marketing strategy can reach your audience without attracting negative attention.

**The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.