What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules?



Learn how to get your brand in front of the right audiences, despite challenging advertising rules

Table of Contents

• What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules?
How Do Cannabis Advertising Rules Affect My Business?
Why is Brand Identity So Important?
How Can Marketing Cannabis Content Help My Business? 
Powerful Advertising Starts with These Content Services
• How Can Social Media and Influencers Help?
Don’t Forget the Underrated Power of Cannabis PR and Events
Here’s Why Being Fluent in Cannabis is So Important
Cannabis Marketing Experts Know How to Win Without Ads
Does Your Marketing Agency Have Cannabis Fluency?

What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules? 


What is one thing that two-thirds of Americans support and/or consume, but have never seen traditionally advertised via TV, radio or most print outlets? If you guessed cannabis, you couldn’t be more right. And while there might be a day when a cannabis ad could be wedged in between cereal commercials and Saturday morning cartoons, it’s inconceivable right now. 

Despite the winds of legalization blowing across the country, cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. This means many advertisers are fearful of government backlash for promoting THC-based products. 

How Do Cannabis Advertising Rules Affect My Business? 


These types of regulations mean that trying to market and sell cannabis is, well, tough. Many cannabis businesses can’t let products be displayed, shown or really talked about on some of the most viable marketing and advertising channels out there, including traditional media, all the way up to digital giants such as Google and Facebook. 

With limited options, many businesses are forced to market products via grassroots methods, without any guarantee of success. Instead of passed-by print ads, tattered fliers or overpriced billboards, the better way for burgeoning businesses to boom in growth is through thoughtful, strategy-oriented marketing—which all starts telling a great story. 

Why is Brand Identity So Important?


Brands may be everywhere, but that’s because they’re everything when it comes to standing out as a company. From the Wal-Marts of the world, down to the local grocer, every business must attempt to only reach consumers, but resonate with them on a deeper, more personal and wholly memorable level. To do this, companies must develop a stand-out brand that involves much more than just a logo or a name. 

Good brand is all about having an identity and differentiators that are defined by real values and a distinct personality. In our industry, this might involve growing premium, top-tier, super fresh flower while dispelling all snooty notions by making the product extremely affordable and conveniently accessible. 

If this story of this brand can be messaged the right way, through the correct channels, audiences will not only be engaged and enthused, but fall in love and become heartfelt advocates, which helps your business stand out in a sea of sameness. Of course, with a set brand identity, creating and marketing eye-grabbing content to continue elevating your brand comes naturally. 

How Can Marketing Cannabis Content Help My Business? 


To understand the importance of content marketing, let’s first touch on Search engine optimization (SEO). This is the continual process of meeting the standards and demands search engines like Google rank as highly as possible in relevant searches by the audiences you’re trying to reach.

Appeasing Google and hitting the top of search pages starts with stellar content marketing that uses relevant search topics (e.g. cannabis business), search keywords (e.g. cannabis business marketing), and engaging stories that draw in search users (e.g. What is the importance of cannabis business marketing?)

But meeting search users where they’re at and engaging them is just part of the SEO riddle. In the eyes of Google, content must not only be relevant and useful, but create a level of trust and credibility. See, it didn’t take long for the internet to turn into an ocean of spam, false information and, well, junk. To be a better search engine, Google wants to ensure its users are getting the most quality content possible. 

Powerful Advertising Starts with These Content Services


At a glance, cannabis marketing uses a number of components to reach both broad and niche audiences, including: 

• SEO

• Content Marketing

• Inbound Marketing

• Branding

• Curated Events

• Cannabis PR

• UX/UI Design


How Can Social Media and Influencers Help?


Currents of content marketing also trickle over to social media. In fact, in the world of big canna, social media has become one of the most fluid and essential ways to promote cannabis business—mostly because limits on advertising mean that reaching niche audiences directly is more important than ever before.

While selling cannabis on social media isn’t allowed, brands can use platforms like Facebook or Instagram to get hundreds to thousands to millions of followers, let alone views, shares, likes and other invaluable interactions, all of which grow brand awareness by the second.
In this social space, countless cannabis connoisseurs have begun developing social clout to become affiliate marketers for a plethora of brands who can alter the performance of a business or product with just one post. These, of course, are the coveted influencers of cannabis. 

Because awareness in your company or brand can’t be built through traditional marketing, like hearing a radio ad or seeing a TV spot, building trust in your products or services is even more challenging. That’s where influencers come in. With a self-grown audience of like minded followers, their word is bond. So let them build trust for you. A similar concept applies to using trusted media outlets and face-to-face, real-life communication.

Don’t Forget the Underrated Power of Cannabis PR and Events


Because cannabis advertising is hindered at every turn, public relations is a tool within marketing that is key to getting in front of the world. And having an agency that understands and can harness complex relationship-building mojo is crucial. 

With creative publicists connected to hundreds of journalists looking for specific stories, a brand can wrangle its narrative and begin telling a unique, captivating story through cannabis journalists

Pitches, emails and phone interviews are part of this game, but so are must-attend events. Curated, exclusive event marketing can turn a company from nothing into something based on the fact that an event lets you meet and mingle with real people. Instead of getting stuck across digital barriers, you can sell yourself in real-time to fellow humans.

With great Event Marketing, you get to demo the wares, flaunt the expertise and cement interest with grand gestures of breaking new ground. From this, you can generate hundreds of useful connections and potential business leads, just from one night of having fun and chatting cannabis. 

Here’s Why Being Fluent in Cannabis is So Important

Cannabis has developed its own unique language. And being fluent in it says wonders to your intimate knowledge of this magical plant and the multibillion dollar industry surrounding it. And a deep and thorough understanding of everything that goes into what you’re selling means nothing will get lost in translation. 

That helps when you’re jumping headfirst into this booming marketplace. Those who can speak canna can instantly create a bond with fellow insiders, enthusiastic audiences and the supposed experts. 

Cannabis Marketing Experts Know How to Win Without Ads


With no standard pillar of advertising to lean on, every cannabis business needs to connect with the media. It’s really that simple. Through media placements come that first hint of credibility, which snowballs into the first round of stories, then a ton of shares across social media, then clicks on your website and, before you know it, sales.

Grasslands founder Ricardo Baca knows this media connection well and how it has helped transform the cannabis industry. After 20 years of journalism experience and working as the world’s first-ever marijuana editor-in-chief, Ricardo has dedicated himself to becoming fluent in cannabis and tying together our nascent industry to hungry writers who want a great story that audiences can’t stop reading. 

It’s this cycle that inspired Ricardo to use his unique expertise in both cannabis and journalism to start Grasslands. He knew well that, without a marketing agency out there understanding the finer points of both cannabis and the media cycle, brands would simply have nowhere to turn. The door to advertising is shut. The grassroots options don’t see results. Social media is just a start. 

To Ricardo, the only true path to success has to come from using a team of strategic marketers and PR experts to make your brand seen and heard. 

Does Your Marketing Agency Have Cannabis Fluency?


Beyond utilizing the right strategies to amplify your brand, finding a cannabis-fluent agency that can enact the complex tools and methods detailed here is essential to standing out and growing into a national household brand. Are you ready to market your business for the better? At Grasslands, we love to talk shop. Reach out anytime.



Why is Marketing Cannabis So Important?

Three marketers sit working

Strict advertising makes marketing the best way to stand out as a cannabis business

Table of Contents
What is the Real Power of Cannabis Marketing?

Effective cannabis marketing comes down to using messaging, branding, content, search engine optimization (SEO), analytical data and a variety of other strategic tools to build up businesses within a fast-paced industry—one that is booming with savvy competitors and huge profits.

Why is Marketing Cannabis So Important?

In any business, trying to sell a product or service without the right approach is close to impossible. Have you ever tried to convince your friends to help you move without an added incentive, like pizza or cash money? What about trying to offload an old couch at a yard sale without a little sales jargon, like barely used or this gem just needs a little dusting?

In the overly competitive world of cannabis, emerging companies must use all the right methods to reach the right audiences and stand out. This is why marketing cannabis is so crucial to achieving real success in the ever-growing green marketplace.

Navigating the Current Cannabis Industry

By 2026, it’s estimated that the recreational marijuana industry within the United States will be worth more than $40 billion dollars, while medical sales are projected to zoom right past $11 billion, as projected by Brightfield Group (via Statista). This makes sense considering that state legalization momentum hasn’t slowed, and 9 out of 10 Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis nationwide. But while these numbers indicate that the end of prohibition may be right around the corner, cannabis companies are still facing challenges when it comes to reaching consumers.

Understanding Cannabis Advertising Rules

Despite being of the people, by the people and for the people, the federal government has thus far ignored popular opinion to keep cannabis on its list of illegal controlled substances.

As a Schedule I narcotic, marijuana is considered to have no accepted medical use (despite a growing body of scientific evidence to the contrary) and sits right alongside heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Because of this, advertisers across the nation refuse to promote cannabis out of fear of governmental backlash. This includes search-engine leaders like Google, social media giants like Facebook and many mainstream media outlets.

State regulators are taking a similar hard line, including in Colorado, which developed regulations with the goals of ensuring cannabis adverts won’t be seen by anyone under the age of 21 (putting major limitations on ad exposure for anyone watching a TV channel, listening to the radio or scrolling online at any given time).

Good Marketing Starts With the Right Cannabis Branding

With no traditional advertising options and countless competitors vying for recognition, fledgling cannabis companies must work harder to break out. Instead of using expensive but rather ineffective grassroots tactics, like print ads or a billboard, marketing cannabis is the real key. And everything starts with exceptional branding.

The most effective cannabis brand marketing comes down to having strong messages that will resonate with target consumers, then keeping them engaged and coming back for more. This process of generating brand awareness and advocacy is made easier through marketing strategy.

In researching the market and analyzing competitors, it becomes easier to understand what makes your brand different, plus the types of messaging that best define these differentiators. From this, branding for a specific audience becomes a lot easier to accomplish.

From Branding Comes Cannabis Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the best ways a brand can start owning space on the internet by grabbing the attention of search-engine users with engaging blogs and how-to articles.

This type of content not only focuses on providing specific and useful information, but hits on trending search terms and therefore meets the objective of search engines. In the case of Google, it wants to send its users to content that displays good EAT (“expertise,” “authority” and “trustworthiness”).

This EAT content must answer questions using real (yes, real) facts and legitimate sources, which plays right into good SEO.

What Is Good SEO Marketing and How Can It Help?

To break out as a cannabis brand, you don’t just need awesome products or services, you need to be discovered. Because almost all discovery happens on the internet these days, especially via search engines like Google, a company that isn’t being found online can’t compete.

Search engines index the internet to help this act of discovery along. When search users enter search terms (e.g. best Colorado cannabis dispensary), engines like Google comb through billions of sites, pages and content to find the most relevant results.

Applying SEO best practices ensures your site can meet the sky-high, constantly changing standards of search engines. This includes both the backend Technical SEO aspects of your site, like creating a sitemap and backlinks, as well as On-Page SEO like content that contains the right search keywords and relevant information.

What Does Content Marketing Involve?

At a glance, cannabis content marketing uses a number of components to reach both broad and niche audiences, including:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Branding
  • Events and Expos
  • Public Relations
  • UX/UI Design
What Makes Cannabis Social Media and Influencers So Useful?

Social media content is also crucial for successfully marketing a cannabis business. Because of strict advertising restrictions, using direct social channels and engaging posts is the best way to reach specific audiences.

And while cannabis businesses are not legally able to use social media platforms to solicit products, brands are able to use these channels to grow a massive following and interest in what they’re selling—and direct the audience to their comprehensive website, creating a positive cycle of engagement.

For brands that are trying to garner interest among everyone from cannacurious, first-time consumers to seasoned aficionados, social media is a key component. Of course, in trying to avoid gatekeepers from flagging and killing off cannabis-related posts and pages, influencers are another powerful ally.

Cannabis influencers use social media to build up their own brand and use it to become an affiliate ambassador of other social media users, new products and up-and-coming companies. With the ability to influence a swath of like-minded consumers, these social stars are able to promote cannabis alongside an army of faithful followers.

Why? Because word-of-mouth recommendations from a trusted source—whether it’s a friend or a cool influencer with the lifestyle consumers desire—are one of the best forms of marketing. This same approach applies to reaching people via traditional media or even in person.

Using Public Relations and Event Marketing to Grow Your Brand

Solid public relations and event marketing are two more standout ways to counter limited advertising. With publicists working hard to pitch intriguing stories to a network of publications, cannabis journalists and mainstream news reporters can find a new story idea or source, and burgeoning brands can get in front of readers in the markets they’re targeting. Everybody wins.

Another win is hosting or sponsoring a must-attend event that brings together industry insiders, top media representatives, business leaders and influencers to rub elbows with your brand. The right event helps build great brand awareness and associations among all the right people.

Consider that events can serve multiple purposes. They can kickstart new company goals and initiatives, for one. And in promoting an event, there are opportunities to grow a network: Creating impressions via social posts, a dedicated email list and other tracking methods are crucial steps to expanding brand presence.

Here’s Why Every Marketing Agency Should be Fluent in Cannabis

With a PR and marketing agency that is fluent in cannabis on your side, you will find a partner that understands your needs. Whether it’s connecting you with the right media, facilitating networks, preparing for an unforeseen crisis or coming up with a tailored marketing strategy to meet your goals, it’s all about speaking your language—the language of cannabis and highly regulated industries.

Grasslands Founder and CEO Ricardo Baca comes from a long history of cannabis fluency. In a journalism career spanning two decades, he became the first-ever marijuana editor for a major mainstream media outlet, The Denver Post. There, he launched and ran the award-winning online vertical The Cannabist, a pioneering publication that covered the news of the industry and culture of legalization in Colorado and across the country.

Ricardo knows that expertise is fleeting in this ever-evolving industry, and partnering up with an agency that isn’t well-versed in changing policies, product trends and B2B services doesn’t result in success. Fluency in cannabis is the only way to know what a brand needs to build on its growth trajectory.

How Can You Start Marketing Cannabis?

If you’re still wondering how cannabis marketing can impact your brand, just think about the products you shop for and the brands you care about. How do you find them? What makes them your ideal brand? It’s a sure thing that good marketing played a role in your decision-making.

Marketing cannabis starts with strategy and employs tools like media outreach, events, optimized content and influencer-driven social to sway people to your business, products and brands, the right way. It all starts by using an agency with extensive industry experience and smart, goal-forward marketing services. Are you ready to harness cannabis marketing and PR to your advantage? Let’s chat.

What is the Current State of the Cannabis Industry?

An Estimated $41B in Sales by 2026 Means Navigating This Booming Marketplace Takes Strategy



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From therapeutic medicine, to recreational enjoyment, to self-care and wellness, cannabis has become a hot commodity that is part of a fast-growing, multibillion-dollar industry. With millions of American adults supporting legalization and state after state enacting cannabis reforms, the demand for this special plant is exploding.

Cannabis Industry Data: Let’s Take a Look at the Numbers

Recent reporting from cannabis consumer data firm Brightfield Group (via Statista) shows that recreational sales in the United States are projected to surpass $23 billion next year, and reach more than $41 billion by 2026. Meanwhile, the medical cannabis market is projected to double from its 2019 size and be worth more than $11 billion by 2024. 

These huge numbers mean that, in less than five years, America’s cannabis industry could grow exponentially into an economic powerhouse that shows no sign of slowing down. 

The times are a-changing—quickly. Growing social acceptance of cannabis, coupled with sweeping state-level reforms to laws and regulations, are fueling the booming marketplace. This includes decriminalization and new medical cannabis programs in states that were once staunchly opposed to legalization in any form. Throughout the South and Midwest, new markets are opening to meet the demand of outspoken consumers seeking access to safe, regulated products.

What Makes the Cannabis Marketplace So Different?

Like almost any other American industry, the growth of cannabis is being driven by competition. Countless new companies and brands are hustling to gain a first-mover advantage in this rapidly expanding marketplace by diving in with fresh innovations, products and services. The flood of new entrants into this still-evolving business landscape means companies and brands need a north star for navigating a path to success in a crowded field and earning consumer loyalty. That’s where branding strategy comes in.

What Makes for Powerful Cannabis Branding?

If developing a new product or service is the first step in a company’s growth, branding is the long walk toward understanding what will make consumers really invest in it. Creating meaningful messaging around the personality and values that make a company tick is one of the main ways to earn invaluable brand awareness, engagement and advocacy. This process starts with doing in-depth research into target markets, direct competitors, and, of course, how to get those brand messages in front of the right audiences, without the use of traditional advertising channels.

How Are Cannabis Advertising Rules Shaping Brand Awareness?

Despite winds of change blowing across the nation, cannabis remains illegal on the federal level. This means many national and state-level advertisers, both digital and traditional, do not want to risk drawing attention from the government by promoting cannabis-related products. Without typical advertising channels, marketing and selling cannabis is a real challenge.

Why Is It Important to Stand Out Through Marketing Cannabis?

Due to strict advertising constraints, legitimate cannabis cultivators, manufacturers and retailers are forced to sell their products and services through grassroots methods, including out-of-home displays like cryptic billboards, backpage ads and even hand fliers. The way to supplement these outdated tools and connect with target customers is with agile marketing, rooted in strategy, that can intersect fledgling ventures and hungry consumers.

What Are Cannabis Marketing Services?

The power and reach of exceptional cannabis marketing involves combining individual aspects to inform an overarching strategy, starting with:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Searching Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Branding and Messaging
  • Events and Expos
  • Public Relations
  • Web Design
How Do You Find the Right Cannabis Marketing Team?

If getting your cannabis company to the top of search pages, inboxes, social media feeds and, generally, the eyes of potential customers sounds a bit daunting, it’s time to push forward. By using an agency that is fluent in cannabis, you can gain a crucial advantage in this challenging industry, as well as a reliable compass to give you the right direction in becoming a household name. Are you ready? Reach out today.



What is Cannabis Marketing?

cannabis marketing at Grasslands: A Journalism Minded Agency



Here’s How Cannabis Marketing Can Help Your Brand Succeed and Grow in an Oversaturated Industry

Table of Contents

What Is Cannabis Marketing?
What Is the Current State of the Cannabis Industry?
What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules? 
Why Is Marketing Cannabis so Important? 
What Are Essential Content Marketing Services?
What Is the Purpose of Cannabis SEO?
What Is Cannabis Content Marketing, Exactly? 
Why Is Cannabis Social Media so Necessary? 
Why Are Cannabis Influencers Coveted?
How Should Cannabis PR and Event Marketing Be Utilized?
What Makes a Powerful Cannabis Brand?
What Is the Key to Finding a Cannabis Buyer Persona?
How Can Fluent Marketing Help My Cannabis Brand?
What do Cannabis Marketing Experts Have to Say?
Does Your Marketing Agency Have Cannabis Fluency?

What Is Cannabis Marketing? 

Cannabis marketing uses a variety of strategic tools to grow businesses within a booming industry that isn’t slowing down. An agency that is fluent in cannabis excels in this space by using a combination of public relations, specialized content marketing, events, social media and influencers to generate targeted buzz and amplify brand awareness. 

Working with an agency that has deep industry knowledge and a savvy approach to marketing and digital advertising can help established companies, emerging brands and ancillary businesses flourish in the face of fierce competition. 

What is the Current State of the Cannabis Industry? 

Right now, cannabis is flexing its economic potential as an in-demand commodity—one that is fueling a nationwide industry whose value continues to grow by billions of dollars every year. It appears the end of federal prohibition is drawing near and millions of American adults support the legalization of cannabis in some form to be used for health and wellness, self-care or recreational enjoyment. At the same time, an overwhelming majority of states have enacted cannabis law reforms, from decriminalization and record expungement to creating regulated marketplaces. If it isn’t evident, the demand is real and skyrocketing. 

What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules?

With all the talk about pending legalization on the state and federal level, and new freedoms being granted to plant-lovers everywhere, it’s easy to gloss over one very important detail: Because cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, many national advertisers and advertising platforms aren’t willing to promote THC products out of fear of government intervention. 

Meanwhile, state-level advertisers feel the same way. In Colorado, one of the first states where recreational marijuana was legalized by voters back in 2012, a hard set of rules ensures no marijuana-related advertisements reach audiences under 21 years of age.  

These types of regulations mean that trying to market and sell cannabis is not simple. Many cannabis businesses can’t let products be displayed, shown or really talked about on many of the most viable marketing and advertising channels, including traditional media, all the way up to digital giants such as Google and Facebook. 

Why Is Marketing Cannabis So Important?

Plant-touching companies (which are defined as cultivators, product manufacturers and retailers) remain under the scrutiny of the federal spyglass and basically have to market their products blindly. Many legitimate ventures get stuck promoting premium products via billboards, print ads and fliers. 

To counter such limited advertising channels and taking these shots in the dark, good marketing is crucial. Executing on a comprehensive cannabis marketing strategy is the only real way for budding businesses and new entrants into a market to draw in the right audiences and connect with potential customers in a meaningful way. 

What Are Essential Cannabis Marketing Services?

At a glance, cannabis marketing uses a number of components to reach both broad and niche audiences, including:

SEO
• Content Marketing
• Inbound Marketing
• Branding
• Curated Events
• Cannabis PR
• UX/UI Design

What Is the Purpose of Cannabis SEO? 

As a cannabis business or brand, breaking through the noise isn’t just about having a special product or service—it’s about being seen! Before something can be tried out, then appreciated or adored, it has to be discovered. While differentiators count in a crowd, if a company isn’t being found on search engines, trying to compete is a moot point. 

That old saying “ask and ye shall receive” has never been more true than with current search engines, including the most-used and ubiquitous of them all, Google. When someone hops online to ask a question or find a piece of information, the engine crawls billions of websites and pages of content to find the most relevant and useful results for that particular search inquiry. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the continual process of ensuring that your site meets the search standards of Google and other engines’ algorithms to rank highly as both relevant and useful content. Beyond ensuring your website meets all the proper technical SEO specifications like having a sitemap, structured data, inbound/outbound links, canonical tags and 404 pages, cannabis content marketing is your best means to breakthrough in search rankings and get discovered by the right audiences.

What Is Cannabis Content Marketing, Exactly?

As the backbone to great SEO, content marketing is one of the best ways a brand can begin to not only own space on the internet, but gain a dedicated following of customers. Using an informative approach, the best cannabis content marketing clusters pieces of content together using relevant search term keywords and tidbits of knowledge that draw searchers in and appease the Google algorithm gods. 

Effective content marketing in the cannabis space starts with capitalizing on useful, compelling content that is not only trending, but meets a search engine’s primary objective to point search users to content that shows “expertise,” “authoritativeness” and “trustworthiness”—otherwise known as EAT. 

Just as this text is being sourced here, SEM Rush defines EAT as content that must be informative and answer questions through authentic, factual information. No more link farms or spammy blog trash reading, just easy-to-comprehend text and knowledgeable videos from experts in the field. This plays right into SEO too.

Why Is Cannabis Social Media so Necessary? 

The content marketing space can’t just exist on websites alone, however. Bustling social media platforms have become one of the most essential ways to market a cannabis business. With advertising restrictions comes a need to reach niche audiences directly and social media meets that, tenfold.

Despite not being able to directly sell or solicit products or services, cannabis brands can use spaces like Instagram to show off the goods and garner interest, to the tune of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of followers. 

This is an exciting prospect for companies trying to get clout among the canna-curious and veteran consumers. However, there’s a delicate balance to maintain when presenting cannabis products on social media to avoid getting an account banned for violating a platform’s community standards.

At the same time, a handful of cannabis connoisseurs have found a way to leverage social media to build a brand around themselves and use it as a springboard for promoting hundreds of products. Enter the cannabis influencers. 

Why Are Cannabis Influencers Coveted?

With the power to gain tons of followers by marketing a certain image or lifestyle to niche audiences, social media influencers have become beyond important to promoting cannabis culture.

This is because some of the best marketing comes from word of mouth, like a recommendation from not only a trusted source, but a respected or admired one. This includes family, friends and most definitely celebrities. And with the very idea of “celebrity” shifting from the silver screen to the Instagram grid or TikTok feed, influencers have become overly valuable, idealized tastemakers who can make or break brands. 

It turns out that trust goes a long way when it comes to selling more. This same rule applies to trusted media outlets and in-person events. 

How Should Cannabis PR and Event Marketing Be Utilized?

Considering that cannabis advertising is so limited, effective public relations can be key for raising brand awareness. And having an agency’s knowledge and support is also critical for handling crisis communications if the need arises. 

By having a team of savvy publicists connected to a network of journalists and publications, a brand can disseminate valuable information to cannabis journalists who are hungry for a story and ready to report it. 

Event marketing is also crucial for elevating brand awareness. Between large-scale expos and conventions down to curated, exclusive events, companies can get in front of niche audiences to demo new products, flex their knowledge and draw people in with fun displays of innovation. Tying events in with future marketing goals and generating lasting connections through social media or newsletter sign-ups makes for unbeatable marketing presence. 

And just like event marketing has been able to reshape the landscape by bringing together some of the most important industry veterans with new entrants, cannabis journalism has brought a standard of legitimacy and accountability to the entire market. Both elements allow brands to be understood in whole new ways. 

What Makes a Powerful Cannabis Brand?

With a booming cannabis market comes some very stiff competition. With so many new states hopping on board with cannabis, new brands are cropping up like dandelions without much direction. 

Knowing the right messages and ways to broadcast them are the first steps in building out a brand that will keep audiences engaged and enthused. By digging into target market research and competitor analysis, this in-depth process defines what types of messages will hook in potential customers, just as much as helping a brand stand out among the many others in the crowd. 

Branding is about defining the “you” within a business right down to its personality and values. Think of scarfing down a McDonald’s hamburger. On one hand, the end product is a quick meal, but it also comes with the underlying values of being inexpensive, convenient, consistent, familiar and even nostalgic for many. 

With the right marketing tools, the art of branding for a specific audience becomes a lot easier to understand. 

What is the Key to Finding a Cannabis Buyer Persona?

From eager entrepreneurs who are ready to enter the market to longtime veterans preparing to open a new venture, the possibilities seem endless, but only when standing out among the weeds as an eye-popping flower—one with the right appeal of mission, messaging, growth plan and products—to really connect with consumers. That’s easier said than done. 

Part of being a successful cannabis brand comes down to knowing your audience like an old friend and being empathetic to their journey. Understanding exactly what experience consumers want to have with a product or service, as well as exactly what pain points they have experienced or want to avoid, are paramount to solving issues before they occur and refining products and services so they will actually sell. This all starts with devising an in-depth marketing persona that defines who your ideal customer is, as well as those you’d like to make aware of your business. 

First, think of the ideal audience for your company, then do some research into who your audience may be based on factors such as needs, wants, demographics, location, price point, previous sales and behavior. From there, painting a descriptive picture of both ideal customers and those who would be great to reach is easy. Of course, tapping into the psyche of your customer is complicated and requires real fluency in cannabis. 

How Can Fluent Marketing Help My Cannabis Brand?

Cannabis has a language all its own. And fluency speaks to understanding the complexity of not only the plant itself, but the entire multibillion dollar industry it has created. Without a real on-the-ground understanding of cannabis and all the processes that go into cultivating it, turning it into a variety of different products and the science behind all of it, everything will get lost in translation. 

The truth is, when it comes to entering or thriving in the fast-paced world of cannabis, one of the most important things any brand or company can have is help pushing forward, and scaling their business with agility. Those who are fluent in cannabis have a distinct advantage over others when it comes to jumping in and lending a hand. 

What Do Cannabis Marketing Experts Have to Say?

It’s critical for a marketing agency to have an established connection to the media industry. And Grasslands founder Ricardo Baca has a connection that’s as deep as it gets, along with a singular perspective on the cannabis industry itself. 

In addition to more than 20 years of journalism experience, he holds the title of the world’s first marijuana editor-in-chief. He oversaw coverage of historic legal cannabis sales and a changing culture for The Cannabist, an award-winning online vertical that he created and ran for The Denver Post, Colorado’s largest news organization. 

This means most of his waking moments in the past decade have been dedicated to becoming ever more fluent in cannabis. Because no matter how much expertise one can gather over days, years or a lifetime, this industry keeps changing and evolving. 

Working with an agency partner that isn’t actively staying up with cannabis—or trying to market it just like any other industry—is a risky challenge. As Ricardo explains, the journey to success starts with speaking the language, knowing what’s next on the itinerary and using a strategic map to reach the next destination. 

Does Your Marketing Agency Have Cannabis Fluency?

Beyond utilizing the right strategies to amplify your brand, finding a cannabis-fluent agency that can enact the complex tools and methods detailed here is essential to standing out and growing into a national household brand. Are you ready to market your business for the better? At Grasslands, we love to talk shop. Reach out anytime.