The Difficulties of Marketing Legal Weed
Finally, many states are enjoying the benefits of legal weed. You can walk into a store and pick up your favorite kush and a new pipe with no problems. It seems like legal weed is working out well, but the story is not as sweet for the retailers and producers. Getting the word out about their stores and products are full of regulations and complications. Marketing weed isn’t as easy as your favorite budtender makes it seem.
Strict Marketing Rules
Many states might have legalized weed, but they don’t make it easy for retailers to get their weed into your pipe. There are many complicated rules related to the marketing of weed and accessories. Just like prescription drugs, booze, and cigarettes, States regulate how weed can be advertised. The rules are vastly different from state to state, but with weed still being illegal federally, there aren’t any nation-wide guidelines.
The rules differ so much from state to state that it is tough to keep track of what is legal where. Some states regulate where billboards or advertisements can be displayed while others don’t allow any billboards at all. Some states don’t allow indoor ads where kids are allowed, or any ads whatsoever near schools or playgrounds. California wins the award of complicated cannabis marketing laws. For example, in California, all forms of advertising weed, including radio, print, television, and digital ads, are not allowed if 71.6% of the audience is not predicted to be over 21 years old. These laws often change, making legit legal weed retailers chase the newest regulations just to get the word out about their stores and products while trying to avoid getting into trouble with the regulators.
The black market is even more alive and well than you’d think. With weed remaining illegal federally, many storefronts in States with legalization are actually unlicensed and illegal. They do not have State certification and do not follow State marketing laws. They can undercut the legal competition because they don’t have to spend time and money on all the red tape. From street view, these Black Market weed shops look just like legit shops. The states have little power to force compliance because it is technically still illegal federally. It’s definitely a sticky situation for retailers who want to run legal shops.
These days, a huge amount of advertising and marketing happens online through social media, like Facebook, and search engines, like Google. These companies do not allow advertising of illegal drugs. Again, the feds are at fault. Because weed is illegal federally, online advertising is nearly impossible to secure. Instagram even has closed the accounts of weed influencers.
Until it is legalized federally, American pot purveyors are going to have a hard time being stuck between the promise of a legit opportunity and all the restrictions that operating a federally illegal company brings with it. Marketing in the cannabis industry is going to have to keep on top of the current and changing regulations, and be creative to keep one step ahead of the illegal establishments. Visit our website for more details.