Cannabis Marketing

cannabis-marketingNo matter which side of the fence you sit on, there’s no denying that the cannabis industry is a force to be reckoned with.  Did you know that there are more dispensaries in Colorado than McDonald’s, 7-Elevens, and Starbucks COMBINED?  Due to federal vs state legislation, there are different rules that can break down all the way down to the county level, and this impacts not only your ability to sell recreational vs medicinal marijuana, but also how you can advertise.

Social media marketing is the go-to for any entrepreneur, especially because it’s (often) a less expensive option than traditional advertising.  So how can you effectively market your dispensary or product without breaking the “rules”?  You may have heard that social media channels like Facebook and Instagram have shut down cannabis-related accounts for misuse of their terms and conditions.  In doing some research, page and profile deletion seems pretty random, as some pages (the largest cannabis-friendly accounts) are fine, and other, smaller businesses are not.  Anything posted on social media relating to marijuana has the potential to be shut down, and sometimes that applies to the entire profile.  But, there are solutions!

  • First, understand what the terms and conditions are for the services you are using, and weigh the risk.

Here’s Facebook’s terms on marijuana: “We prohibit any attempts by private individuals to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms or ammunition. If you post an offer to purchase or sell alcohol, tobacco, or adult products, we expect you to comply with all applicable laws and carefully consider the audience for that content. We do not allow you to use Facebook’s payment tools to sell or purchase regulated goods on our platform.”  Facebook Pages should be able to implement age restrictions, like 21+, which might help (but don’t guarantee) against deletion.

Instagram in particular has a stricter stance on marijuana, saying: “Offering…illegal or prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region) is also not allowed.”

Facebook and Instagram are the biggest social media channels, so it makes sense that you would want to create an engaging presence there.  By understanding the risks and what they MAY delete your account for, we can post effectively with minimal, if any, disruption.

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  • Seek out other platforms to communicate with your audience and customers.
There are a couple newer apps built for cannabis appreciators of all kinds to connect without the fear of 1) being deleted randomly, and 2) being seen by all their family and colleagues on Facebook who may not share their affinity for cannabis.
Social High and MassRoots each provide a community of dispensaries, growers, and partakers to connect with.  The environment is warm and inviting, and obviously they won’t be deleting your account for cannabis promotion.  MassRoots also offers a business profile, which gives you the opportunity to connect with over 900,000 consumers!
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  • Videos and YouTube
YouTube is exploding with over 1 billion users worldwide.  Videos are a HUGE piece of social media marketing, and help increase engagement while building your brand.  While I couldn’t find anything in YouTube’s terms and conditions that banned any drug activity on your channel, take a peek at their terms here.  As with Facebook, you could try and safeguard your channel by age-restricting your videos to 18+ or 21+.
My job as a social media guru is to keep you and your business ahead of the curve as the landscape changes, so you can focus on continuing to grow your business.  Have a question about how to build your brand and following on social media, the right way?  Shoot me a note!
Happy posting,
Morgana Signature

Sources:

https://www.coloradopotguide.com/colorado-marijuana-blog/2015/december/26/more-dispensaries-in-colorado-than-mcdonalds-starbucks-combined/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2016/09/27/facebooks-relationship-to-marijuana-its-complicated/2/#58e974bd561f

https://www.youtube.com/yt/policyandsafety/communityguidelines.html

https://massroots.com/business/

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/youtube-statistics/

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