In the rapidly growing cannabis marketing industry, businesses are facing unique challenges when it comes to their campaigns. Despite the increasing legalization of cannabis at the state level, its federal classification as a Schedule I substance continues to cast a long shadow over marketing efforts. This classification not only restricts traditional advertising channels but also complicates digital marketing strategies, particularly with tech giants like Google and Facebook enforcing strict policies.

Cannabis Marketing: Hurdles

One of the major impediments to marketing in the cannabis industry is the federal classification of cannabis. This classification places cannabis in the same category as heroin and LSD, substances considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. As a result, businesses are severely limited in their ability to advertise through conventional channels such as television, radio, and print media. This has forced many companies to turn to digital platforms to reach their target audience.

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However, digital marketing is not without its challenges. Tech giants like Google and Facebook have implemented stringent policies regarding marketing of cannabis and related products. These policies often result in the rejection or removal of ads, making it difficult for businesses to utilize these platforms effectively. Furthermore, companies like LegitScript have come under scrutiny for their role in creating a “pay-to-play” environment. LegitScript, which provides certification for businesses looking to advertise CBD products on platforms like Google and Facebook, has been criticized for its high fees and strict requirements, which some argue create a barrier to entry for smaller businesses.

Cannabis Marketing: Regulated to Death

The situation has led to frustration among cannabis businesses, who feel they are being unfairly targeted and excluded from key advertising channels. “the federal government needs to move from schedule 1 to schedule 3,” says Boris Jordan, Executive Chairman at Curaleaf.

In response to these challenges, some businesses are turning to alternative cannabis marketing strategies, such as influencer partnerships, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) to enhance their online presence. Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, while still imposing certain restrictions, offer more leeway for cannabis-related content, allowing companies to engage with their audience more freely.

Despite the obstacles, the cannabis industry continues to grow, with businesses constantly innovating to overcome the hurdles of marketing in this unique landscape. As the legal landscape evolves and public perception shifts, there is hope that the marketing challenges faced by the cannabis industry will become less daunting, allowing for a more level playing field for businesses of all sizes.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re still in despair about your cannabis business…fear not. CaniDeals offers numerous ways to grow your cannabis business including: SEO packages, traditional marketing, social media campaigns and more. If you’re interested in learning more about our offerings check out our Cannabis Marketing options today! For an added bonus us code CDMKT2024 for 15% OFF all marketing plans.