Marijuana legalization in the US has led to more relaxed advertising restrictions for cannabis products, with more mainstream brands joining in 4/20 celebrations.
Previously, cannabis brands resorted to influencers and digital platforms for advertising, as mainstream channels were off-limits. Recently, states such as Minnesota, Delaware, and New York have relaxed cannabis-related restrictions, while advertising platforms like Twitter and Google have loosened advertising bans.
The loosening of regulations has opened up new opportunities for cannabis advertisers, who are experimenting with paid ads on platforms like Google, Pinterest, and Twitter.
The new opportunities have been hailed as democratizing business by hitting consumers directly, while allowing cannabis companies to gain more insight into shopper data.
However, marketing is “woefully underfunded”, with cannabis brands spending about 5-8% of their annual operating budget on marketing, compared to 6.4% to 9.5% of company revenue across almost all industries, according to a report from Gartner.
Cannabis spend on digital media amounted to $16m last year, and as regulations are relaxed, experts predict that these figures will continue to rise.