Cannabis Marketing Strategies: Tips and Channels for Promoting Your Business

Last Updated on Dec 8, 2023

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    The cannabis industry is expanding globally. The market is estimated to reach a staggering $197.75 billion valuation by 2028. But as this industry grows, so do the cannabis marketing strategies needed to stay competitive and attract customers.

    This blog post will discuss essential tips and channels for cannabis marketing success.

    We’ll look at how to create effective campaigns using traditional and digital methods and words of caution about unwise marketing practices that may land you in hot water with regulators. Read on to learn more!

    Key Takeaways

    • Understand the regulations: Cannabis marketing is subject to strict regulations, which vary by state and country. Marketers in the cannabis industry must be aware of the specific regulations in their jurisdiction, and ensure that all marketing efforts are compliant with those rules.
    • Build a brand: With so many new cannabis products and brands emerging, it’s essential to build a strong brand identity that sets your product apart from the competition. This involves creating a unique brand voice, consistent visual branding, and a memorable logo or packaging design.
    • Emphasize education: Many people are still learning about cannabis and its potential benefits, so education should be a key part of any cannabis marketing strategy. Providing clear and accurate information about the effects and uses of cannabis can help build trust with consumers and position your brand as a knowledgeable industry leader.
    • Leverage social media: Social media is a powerful tool for reaching your target audience, but it’s important to use these platforms responsibly and in compliance with regulations. Building an engaged following on social media can help increase brand awareness, promote new products, and drive sales.
    • Prioritize customer service: With so many options available to consumers, delivering exceptional customer service can be a key differentiator for cannabis brands. This includes offering personalized recommendations, responding promptly to customer inquiries, and ensuring a positive experience from start to finish. Happy customers are more likely to become loyal brand advocates and recommend your product to others.

    Cannabis Marketing Strategies

    There are various benefits and drawbacks to consider when marketing your cannabis business. Social media can reach a large audience, but there are risks, such as negative feedback. 

    Through email marketing, you can stay connected with customers, yet make sure the messages are interesting to avoid losing subscribers. Finally, word of mouth is still invaluable, so ensuring quality customer service will help spread the word about your business.

    An Industry Snapshot

    The cannabis market has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by the legalization of medical marijuana as well as for recreational use in many countries and states. 

    With this growth comes the need for effective cannabis marketing strategies to promote and differentiate brands, attract new customers, and stay compliant with often complex and ever-changing regulations.

    The industry is a complex and dynamic market that demands innovative and strategic marketing approaches to thrive. 

    From dispensaries to large multi-state operators, cannabis businesses require marketing plans that reflect their unique goals, target audiences, and local regulations. 

    Social media marketing is decisive for reaching customers, but cannabis companies must navigate strict advertising rules and regulations.

    Importance of Cannabis Marketing

    Marketing in the cannabis industry is crucial for any business when it comes to operating legally. With the growing competition and evolving regulatory landscape, having a solid marketing strategy can help companies to build brand awareness, attract new customers, and drive sales.

    Marketing allows cannabis companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, create a positive brand image, and establish consumer trust.

    Fingers typing on a keyboard as a marketing strategy document is displayed on the laptop screen.

    A well-planned marketing campaign can also help businesses comply with complex and ever-changing cannabis regulations while effectively reaching their target audience.

    In short, marketing is essential for any cannabis business looking to thrive in a highly competitive and dynamic industry.

    Staying Compliant with Cannabis Marketing Laws and Regulations

    When marketing your cannabis business, it is essential to be aware of the rules and regulations for each state. 

    Keep general guidelines in mind, such as making sure your cannabis ads are appropriate for all audiences, being mindful of where you place them, and using caution when using social media platforms. 

    This will help you stay compliant with the laws and regulations that apply to cannabis businesses.

    The Future of Cannabis Marketing

    The industry is rapidly evolving, and so is the landscape of cannabis marketing. With more states legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, the potential market for cannabis-based products is growing exponentially. As the cannabis market matures, companies invest more in marketing and advertising to promote their products and brands.

    You can use practical strategies and channels to reach target audiences with cannabis marketing. Traditional advertising channels such as television, radio, and print are now being used to catch cannabis consumers, albeit in a shy fashion.

    Digital marketing tactics like search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing (SMM) are also becoming increasingly popular among cannabis businesses. As the cannabis market continues to grow, we can expect to see even more innovative and effective cannabis marketing campaigns that utilize a variety of channels to reach consumers.

    Dispensaries: The Cornerstones of the Local Cannabis Industry

    For any cannabis brand looking to make a mark, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve in marketing. One way to do this is by promoting your business through dispensaries.

    Dispensaries are the cornerstones of the local cannabis industry, and they can be a great way to reach new customers. Here are some tips for promoting your business through marijuana dispensaries:

    1. Get listed on dispensary directories. Numerous online and offline directories list dispensaries in your area. Getting listed on these directories will help new customers find your business.

    2. Make sure your dispensary is well-stocked. Customers will only visit a dispensary that has what they’re looking for. Make sure you carry a variety of products so that you can cater to different customer needs.

    3. Offer discounts and promotions. Many marijuana dispensaries offer loyalty programs and discounts to their customers. Offering similar incentives at your dispensary will help bring in new business.

    4. Educate your staff on your products and services. Your team must know everything about how to use your products and what benefits they offer to best sell them to customers. Your team should be able to answer any questions potential customers may have about your products or services.

    5. Advertise in local publications and online directories

    CPG 2.0: Smokable Products as the Future of Cannabis Consumer Packaged Goods

    With strong and clear cannabis brands looking to establish themselves in the market, the competition among brands remains strong. To stand out in a crowded market, it’s crucial to have a strong marketing strategy.

    Here are some tips and channels for promoting your smokable cannabis products:

    1. Use attractive packaging. Your product packaging is often the first thing potential customers will see, so make sure it’s eye-catching and informative.

    2. Create compelling content. Your content should be well-written and engaging, whether blog posts, social media posts, or product descriptions.

    3. Get involved in the community. There are many online and offline communities dedicated to cannabis users and enthusiasts. Getting involved in these communities can help you reach your target audience.

    4. Invest in paid advertising. Paid advertising on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram can effectively reach potential customers who are already interested in cannabis products.

    5. Work with influencers. Teaming up with well-known influencers in the cannabis space can help you reach a wider audience and build trust with potential customers

    Multi-State Operators: The Growing Powerhouses of the Cannabis Industry

    In the cannabis industry, multi-state operators (MSOs) are the big players. MSOs are large-scale businesses that operate in multiple states with legalized cannabis laws. These businesses have the capital and resources to expand rapidly and take over the market share in each state they enter.

    The MSO business model is attractive to investors because it offers a way to participate in the legal cannabis industry without the risk of investing in a single state market. By spreading their operations across multiple states, MSOs can mitigate some risks associated with investing in the cannabis industry.

    The largest and most well-known MSO is Acreage Holdings, which operates in 19 states. Other notable MSOs include Cresco Labs, Green Thumb Industries, Harvest Health & Recreation, and MedMen Enterprises.

    MSOs are quickly becoming the powerhouses of the cannabis industry. They have the capital and resources to expand rapidly and take over market share in each state they enter. If you’re looking to get involved in the legal cannabis industry, investing in an MSO may be the way to go.

    Top Cannabis Marketing Channels

    Cannabis businesses face a unique set of challenges when it comes to marketing. Advertising and social media promotion regulations can make reaching potential customers challenging. 

    Collaborative team of five people exchanging ideas and insights during a brainstorming session.

    However, with the right strategy, cannabis companies can successfully promote their products and cannabis content to build brand awareness. Here, we’ll explore the top cannabis marketing channels, including paid search, social media, programmatic advertising, email marketing, SEO, SMS, and OOH.

    We’ll also discuss the importance of branding, website optimization, and cross-promotion with vendors and brands. Whether you’re a dispensary, CPG, or multi-state operator, understanding the most effective marketing channels can help you reach your target audience and achieve your business goals.

    Paid Search

    Paid search is one of the most effective ways to market your cannabis business. You can reach potential customers actively searching for products and services like yours by targeting specific keywords and phrases. 

    Paid search can be a great way to generate leads and drive sales, but it’s important to remember that it is a paid advertising channel. You will need to invest money to see results.

    You must target relevant keywords and phrases when setting up your paid search campaign. For example, if you sell cannabis-infused edibles, you might want to target keywords like “cannabis edibles” or “THC edibles.” 

    You should also avoid negative keywords, especially if they have nothing to do with your business. For example, if you only sell CBD products, you might want to avoid keywords like “THC” or “psychedelic.”

    It’s also important to set a budget for your paid search campaign. You want to spend on cannabis ads wisely and avoid ending up with little to show. 

    Start with a small budget and then increase it once you see results. Paid search can be an effective way to market your cannabis business. Just be sure to target relevant keywords, avoid negative keywords, and set a budget for your campaign.

    Paid Social

    Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with customers and promote your business. Paid social media advertising allows you to target specific demographics and interests, making it an ideal way to reach your target audience.

    When creating a paid social media campaign, it’s important to consider the following:

    Your budget: How much are you willing to spend on paid social media ads?

    Your goals: What do you hope to achieve with your paid social media campaign? Are you looking to generate awareness, drive traffic to your website, or increase sales?

    Your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your paid social media ads? Consider age, gender, location, and interests when defining your target audience.

    Your ad format: Which paid social ad type best suits your goals and target audience? Options include text-based ads, image-based ads, video ads, and sponsored posts.

    Your call to action: What do you want users to do after seeing your ad? Make sure your call to action is clear and concise.

    Programmatic Advertising

    Programmatic advertising is a form of online advertising that uses software to automate the buying and placement of ads. Programmatic ad buying allows for more targeted, efficient, and cost-effective advertising and the ability to scale up or down your ad spend as needed.

    Some common cannabis marketing strategies include targeted display ads, native advertising, video ads, and social media ads. However, with the ever-changing landscape of online advertising, it can take time to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

    That’s where programmatic advertising comes in. Programmatic ad-buying software can automatically place cannabis ads on webpages and social media sites your target audience is visiting. 

    This ensures that your cannabis related advertisements are seen by people who are interested in what you offer, and it also allows you to adjust your budget based on results.

    Email Marketing

    Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach customers and promote your cannabis business. Here are some tips for getting started with email marketing:

    1. Build a list of subscribers: You can do this by having an opt-in form on your website or blog or running a contest or promotion where people can sign up to receive your emails.

    2. Segment your list: Once you have a list of subscribers, segment them into different groups to send more targeted emails. For example, you might segment by location, age, or interests.

    3. Write great content: Your emails should contain valuable information that your subscribers will find helpful or interesting. Include images, infographics, and links to additional reading material to make your emails more engaging.

    4. Use an email service provider: An email service provider (ESP) will help you manage your list of subscribers and automate some of the processes of sending out emails, making it easier for you to stay in touch with your audience regularly.

    5. Track results: Track clicks, open emails, and other engagement metrics for each email campaign to see what’s working and what’s not. Adjust your strategy accordingly to continue improving results over time.


    Content and SEO are crucial components of any successful cannabis marketing strategy. With strict regulations around advertising, creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content is one of the most effective ways to attract and retain customers.

    By optimizing website content with relevant keywords, businesses can improve their search engine rankings and increase their visibility to potential customers. This can drive organic traffic to the website, raise brand awareness, and ultimately lead to more sales.

    With the right content and SEO strategy, cannabis businesses can build trust and authority with their target audience, establish their brand as a thought leader in the industry, and ultimately drive business growth.

    We helped with their marketing using this exact strategy.


    SMS, or Short Message Service, is a text messaging service that allows users to send and receive short text messages. SMS is often used for marketing purposes, allowing businesses to reach a large audience with minimal effort.

    Remember a few things when using SMS for marketing:

    1. Keep your messages short and to the point. People are more likely to read and respond to a message that is brief and easy to understand.

    2. Make sure your contact information is displayed in each message. This will make it easy for customers to get in touch with you if they have any questions or concerns.

    3. Use keywords and other marketing techniques to make your messages more visible. This will help ensure that as many people see your messages as possible.

    4. Be careful not to spam people with too many messages. This will only make them annoyed and eventually ignore your messages altogether.

    If you follow these tips, you can use SMS as an effective marketing tool for your cannabis business.

    OOH advertising

    One way to reach your target market is through out-of-home (OOH) advertising. OOH, advertising includes any form of brand promotion seen by consumers outside their homes, such as billboards, transit ads, and street-level signage. 

    Cannabis businesses can use OOH advertising to reach a wide variety of consumers, including those who may not be reached through other channels.

    When developing an OOH campaign, it is crucial to keep in mind the location of your target market. If you are targeting local consumers, placing ads near high foot traffic areas in your city or town is an excellent way to reach them. 

    Placing ads in major metropolitan areas is better if you’re targeting a wider audience. You will also want to consider the messaging of your OOH campaign.

    OOH, advertising can be an effective way to reach your target market and promote your cannabis business. When planning an OOH campaign, keep in mind your target market’s location and your ads’ messaging. 

    Remember that a wide range of people will see these ads, so you want to ensure that your messaging is respectful and professional.

    Promotions and offers

    Promotions and offers are powerful tools for driving sales and customer loyalty in the cannabis industry. With competition increasing daily, promotions and special offers can help businesses stand out from their competitors and attract new customers.

    Promotions can take many forms, including discounts, gifts with purchases, buy-one-get-one deals, and more.

    By offering these promotions, businesses can incentivize customers to purchase and buy more than they initially intended. Additionally, by offering special deals to existing customers, companies can foster a sense of loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.

    Brand website

    Building a brand website is one of the most important things you can do for your cannabis business. Not only will it help you build trust and credibility with potential customers, but it will also give you a platform to showcase your products and services.

    When building your brand website, you should keep a few things in mind:

    1. Make sure your website is professional and easy to navigate. First impressions matter, so you want to ensure your website looks trustworthy and credible.

    2. Use high-quality images and videos to show your cannabis related products and services. People are visual creatures, so giving them visual content to help them understand what you offer is critical.

    3. Write a compelling copy that tells people why they should choose your brand. You must sell yourself on your website, so make sure the copy is persuasive.

    4. Offer something unique that sets you apart from the competition. What do you offer that nobody else does? Why should people choose you over someone else? Be sure to highlight what makes you unique on your website.

    5. Provide social proof by featuring testimonials or reviews from happy customers. Nothing quite builds trust like positive reviews from real people who have used your products or services.

    Cross-Promotion with Vendors and Brands

    Cannabis businesses looking for creative ways to market their products and services should consider cross-promotion with vendors and brands. 

    By partnering with other businesses in the industry, cannabis companies can reach new audiences and markets while also building relationships with other industry players.

    When planning a cross-promotional campaign, it’s important to choose partners that complement your business and share your target audience.

    For example, if you’re a cannabis dispensary looking to reach new customers, you might partner with a local smoke shop or headshop. 

    If you’re a grower, you might partner with a hydroponics cannabis company or gardening store. And if you’re a cannabis edibles manufacturer, you might partner with a bakery or grocery store.

    Once you’ve selected your partners, there are several ways to promote your cross-promotional campaign:

    Social media: Use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote your campaign. Be sure to use relevant hashtags and tagging when sharing posts about the campaign.

    Email marketing: Send an email blast to your subscribers promoting the campaign. Make sure to include compelling copy and eye-catching images to get recipients interested.

    Blog posts: Write blog posts about the campaign on your website or blog. Share these posts across your social media channels and email marketing campaigns.

    Press release: Issue a press release announcing the launch of the campaign. That way, your audience will know you’re teaming up with someone reputed and widening your offering of products.

    Digital Ad Buying

    Digital ad buying is critical to any successful cannabis marketing strategy. With the industry’s strict regulations around advertising, digital advertising can effectively reach target audiences and drive business growth.

    By utilizing channels such as Google Ads and social media advertising, cannabis businesses can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, which can help increase their advertising ROI.

    Digital advertising also allows businesses to track and analyze campaign performance, make data-driven decisions, and optimize campaigns over time.

    With the right digital advertising strategy, cannabis businesses can increase their brand awareness, drive targeted traffic to their website, and ultimately increase sales and revenue.

    Conventions and Cannabis Industry Events

    Conventions and industry events offer cannabis businesses a unique opportunity to connect with potential customers and network with other professionals in the industry.

    These events provide a platform for companies to showcase their products, services, and expertise to a targeted audience of industry stakeholders, including investors, regulators, and media.

    New cannabis brands can generate leads, build brand awareness, and develop relationships with potential partners and customers by participating in these events.

    In addition, conventions and industry events provide an opportunity to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, developments, and regulations, which can inform a cannabis company’s marketing and business strategy.

    Participating in cannabis industry events and conventions is essential to a successful marketing strategy for any cannabis business.

    Brand Ambassadors and Word-of-Mouth Marketing

    There are many ways to market your cannabis business, but brand ambassadors and word-of-mouth marketing are two of the most effective.

    Brand ambassadors can help promote your business by talking to people about your products and services and sharing their experiences with others.

    Word-of-mouth marketing is also a powerful tool, as it allows customers to share their positive experiences with your business with their friends and family.

    Public Relations

    Public relations (PR) is an essential component of cannabis marketing, particularly for businesses that aim to establish a positive brand image and reputation.

    Due to the industry’s unique legal and regulatory challenges, cannabis businesses must navigate complex issues surrounding public perception, stigma, and misconceptions.

    Effective PR strategies can help businesses shape public opinion, educate consumers, and build stakeholder trust.

    Four people stand and discuss near a table with a monitor and office supplies, including a notepad, pen, and coffee cup.

    PR can also help businesses stay up-to-date with industry trends and maintain positive relationships with journalists, influencers, and other key figures in the industry.

    Overall, a well-crafted PR strategy can help cannabis businesses build brand awareness and establish themselves as industry leaders.

    Influencer Marketing

    Influencer marketing uses key individuals (or influencers) to promote your brand or product. Influencers are typically people with a large social following who are considered experts in their field.

    There are several different ways you can go about setting up an influencer marketing campaign. One option is to work with an agency that connects brands with influencers. Another option is to reach out to influencers directly and see if they’re interested in working with you.

    Girl uses ring light for professional-looking video production with balanced illumination.

    If you do decide to work with an influencer, it’s essential to make sure that you have a clear idea of what you want them to do for you. 

    Do you want them to promote your product on their social media channels? Write a blog post about your product? Make a YouTube video? Once you know what you want, set clear goals and expectations for the campaign.

    Influencer marketing can effectively promote your cannabis business, but it’s important to do it right. Following these tips, you can create a successful influencer marketing campaign to help grow your business. 

    Finally, remember to measure the results of your campaign so that you can adjust and improve future campaigns.

    Measuring Marketing Results for Commercial Cultivators

    There are several ways to measure the results of your marketing efforts as a commercial cultivator. One way is to track the number of new customers or clients you acquire due to your marketing campaigns. 

    You can also follow the number of sales or revenue that your business generates from these new customers. Additionally, you can survey your customers or clientele to get feedback on their experience with your product or service. 

    This feedback can help you improve your marketing strategy and target your audience.

    Pros and Cons of Hiring a Marketing Agency vs. Building an In-House Team

    There are pros and cons to hiring a marketing agency and building an in-house team.

    On the one hand, an agency has more experience and can offer a fresh perspective. They also have access to a network of professionals and resources you may have yet to come by.

    On the other hand, an in-house team is more familiar with your brand and can be more nimble in their approach. They are also more cost-effective in the long run, but it can take a long time to train them, and you can face a swipe of talent if someone offers them a better deal.

    Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which option is best for your business.


    So, you want to get into the cannabis industry? Whether you’re a dispensary, delivery service, or other entity related to the industry, you’ll need to market your business effectively to stand out in this rapidly growing industry.

    There are many different ways to market your cannabis business. You can use traditional methods like print ads and billboards in some states. 

    You can also go the digital route with online advertising and social media. You can also use more unique methods like guerilla marketing or sponsorship opportunities.

    No matter your chosen methods, there are a few things to remember when marketing your cannabis business. 

    First, make sure you comply with all state and local laws regarding cannabis advertising. 

    Second, be creative and think outside the box – the cannabis industry is still relatively new, so there’s plenty of room for creativity in marketing.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment – try out different channels and strategies to see what works best for your business.

    With these tips, you’re ready to start promoting your cannabis business!