How do you market cannabis with all the marketing regulations?

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Cannabis companies are having to start fresh with new ideas and markets. The only question now is, how?

Rundle Social Solutions has taken a big step over the past month. We have stepped into the cannabis industry helping one of our clients create and implement their brand, marketing strategy and social media plan. As we get further into the process we started to ask ourselves, how do you market an industry that cannot be marketed? 

According to Statistics Canada from a 2018 cannabis statistics study, 4.9 million Canadians used Cannabis in 2017 spending over $5.6 billion on cannabis products. This just goes to show how much potential there is within this market, and how it will only grow once recreational consumption is legalized in October.

As our client is working to get the storefront and product ready for the upcoming cannabis legalization, they initially ran into a major roadblock. They can’t advertise their products. Laws and regulations are changing often as the legalization of cannabis quickly approaches. Similar to the prohibition of alcohol, companies have to start fresh with new ideas and markets. The only question now is, how?

Cannabis companies cannot provide promotion, packaging or labeling of cannabis that could be considered appealing to the youth, and must ensure that product information is clearly presented to consumers. Restrictions on cannabis advertising and packaging will generally mirror what is in place today for tobacco. This advertising law will prove difficult to brand and market a new product, industry and market.

Advertising will be restricted to locations where there are no minors, and there will be limits on displays and in-store promotion, not to mention the already long and strenuous process to obtain permits and city, provincial and federal licenses.

The solution? Getting as creative as possible to market cannabis while following Canadian regulation. With conventional advertising essentially prohibited in Canada, a need for social media, monthly newsletters, events and trade shows are becoming the top platform to spark dialog with customers without using celebrity endorsements, daring behaviors or anything other than recreational cannabis usages. This is difficult but also exciting! We are having to create new and exciting ideas rather than relying on traditional marketing tactics to help our client rise above its competitors. 

Do you have any questions on the best way to market your product? Do you feel like it is impossible? Contact us for a free one-hour consultation!