Brands entering the US cannabis market face a legal labyrinth in that the sale of cannabis products is now legal in 11 states, plus the District of Columbia, but brands are fairly rigorously excluded from traditional forms of advertising.
National TV and digital marketing on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are out, yet brands are under pressure to compete, or risk falling behind in a strongly growing market.
Figured from market research company Packaged Facts show retail sales of cannabis products, including hemp, in the US grew around 24% to $14.4 billion in 2019.
To beat restrictions, brands are increasingly turning to experiential, event-based marketing, according to Ad Age.
The title describes one solution run by a duo of cannabis entrepreneurs in Northern California who host all-female “garden parties” they describe as “like a Tupperware party, but for cannabis”.
The idea is to create a non-intimidating environment in which potential consumers can learn about the product.
Marketing cannabis, even where legal, is fraught with compliance laws and regulations at every level, from the city, to the state and federal level.
For example, marketers can publicise products at events, but samples and selling cannabis at the same time is normally not allowed.
Published: March 15, 2020