Cannabis Advertising Statistics
Cannabis Advertising Facts 2019-2020
- Social media cannabis advertising cannot be geared toward anyone under the age of 21
- California, cannabis ads can only be displayed where at least 71.6% over 21 years of age in billboards, radio and TV media
- Digital display cannabis advertising use geo-fencing to target appropriate age groups
- Within the past 5 years, cannabis purchase and use has grown by 25%
- Researchers project the cannabis industry will reach $24 billion in revenue by 2025.
- There are 4 federal prohibitions against advertising cannabis products
- Advertisers are focusing on mothers that control 85% purchases and almost $2.4 trillion in spending power
1. There are limits to marketing marijuana on social media platforms.
Social media is one way to advertise businesses in the cannabis industry. Web-based advertising is likely to give a better return on investment for nontraditional businesses. However, while social media ads can be very effective for some businesses, there are some limitations when using this medium. Like any other advertising, ads for cannabis business are products cannot be misleading. The advertising cannot be geared toward anyone under the age of 21 or promote irresponsible use of the product. In addition, the advertising cannot make any claims about the product’s effectiveness for treating any medical condition. On some social networks like Twitter, cannabis cannot be advertised at all.
2. Rules for advertising cannabis vary by state.
Although many states are making strides in the fight to legalize cannabis, it is still an illegal substance at the federal level. This means that the rules governing advertising are also set by the individual states that have legalized it for medicinal or recreational use. California was one of the first states to legalize cannabis, so it has more in-depth rules in place than many other states that are just beginning the process of regulating it. However, experts believe that in the coming years, more stringent rules will be put in place nationwide (much like the restrictions that were placed on the tobacco industry years after its inception). In California, cannabis ads can only be displayed where at least 71.6% of the audience is expected to be over the age of 21, based on audience composition data. In addition, ads cannot be placed within 1,000 feet of day care centers, primary and secondary schools, playgrounds, or youth centers.
3. There are more creative ways to use the web for advertising.
Many cannabis businesses have struggled with using the major social media networks for advertising. While it is useful for these businesses to have a social media presence, as many of the target consumers are heavy social media users, it may not be the best idea to pour money into social media ads. In many cases, networks such as Facebook and Instagram do not allow cannabis advertising. However, Mantis, Thrillist, Pitchfork, Slate, Complex, and Thrasher are open to the cannabis industry. Many businesses are also having better luck with nontraditional mediums, such as web-only radio stations, for their advertising. Businesses are also using “advanced geo-fencing” to target the best places to advertise to the appropriate age groups and those that are likely to use their products. They often target advertising in places like concerts, festivals, and colleges.
4. People are concerned about the effect of cannabis advertising on children.
A recent study attempted to determine how recent cannabis legalization efforts have influenced younger audiences. The study found that the amount of cannabis advertising seen by children has increased drastically in recent years. The advertising has also changed. For example, it is more likely to feature products like edibles that would catch the interest of younger audiences. These changes have corresponded to an increasingly positive attitude toward cannabis among adolescents, and lawmakers are concerned about how this will affect their cannabis use in the coming years.
5. In Canada, personal testimonials are not allowed.
Canada has been another leader in the fight to legalize cannabis. While recreational use is legal there, the freedom comes with restrictions for advertisers. One of the more controversial restrictions targets personal testimonials from customers who have used the brand. Many business owners find this particular restriction to be particularly problematic as word of mouth is a vital part of brand recognition.
6. There are federal regulations on cannabis advertising.
One major problem that has existed for the cannabis advertising industry is the fact that while many states are legalizing cannabis, it is still illegal at the national level. When it comes to advertising, there are a total of four federal prohibitions against advertising cannabis products online or in print. This can be a major headache for those operating cannabis businesses in states where it is legal. Even if the advertising is permissible in accordance with state regulations, this doesn’t necessarily protect the business from federal sanctions. There is currently a lot of uncertainty about how the regulations apply, so there is an opportunity for cannabis companies to push back against the prohibitions in the coming years as laws become more defined.
7. Advertising should avoid stereotypes.
As cannabis use becomes more widespread, it is vital that cannabis businesses advertise their products to a wider audience. One way to do this is to be conscious of any stereotypes that could leak into advertisements. Many people have a negative and inaccurate picture of the typical cannabis user: often a lazy, unkempt individual. By avoiding these stereotypes in their advertising, cannabis businesses can potentially increase their own audience and client base by making users feel seen and represented. For example, one retailer created a magazine featuring interviews with artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs. These articles incorporate cannabis as a topic, but not a focal point, demonstrating the wide variety of users that exist.
8. Consider in-store experiential advertising.
One unique method of advertising that has been working well for cannabis business is having days in which customers can come into the business to get firsthand demonstrations and information on the products. This serves as a way to get customers into the store, teach them about the products face-to-face, and get an idea of what types of products your customers want. Many people may be interested in trying a cannabis product, but struggle to find reliable information. Allowing them to visit the business and get their questions answered is a great way to advertise the products and begin to build brand loyalty.