Marketing Your Cannabis Business to Build Your Brand & Generate Sales
The excitement regarding cannabis and medical marijuana, already a multi-billion dollar industry, continues to grow. More states are making it legal and the movement toward legalization at the federal level is viewed by many as inevitable. How will you stake your claim?
If you already have or are starting a cannabis-related business, the potential is enormous, but critical to your success will be your marketing. A copywriter for cannabis/medical marijuana businesses and CBD products can help you gain visibility, build your brand and maximize sales.
Whether your cannabis business is plant touching (dispensaries, producers, distributors) or non-plant touching (smoking accessories retailers, industry-specific tech company), marketing is critical.
Yet cannabis is an industry completely unlike any other. Businesses selling cannabis products cannot advertise on traditional media like newspapers or TV, or in virtually any public place. The limitations on how you can advertise cannabis are greater than those on alcohol and cigarettes.
While traditional marijuana marketing and advertising tactics are not available to marijuana business owners, digital marketing and copywriting open a whole new world of possibilities for products and brands to be discovered.
With the cannabis industry so new and the types of products just beginning to emerge, a major focus of any cannabis-related marketing must be on education. By writing useful information you are nurturing and gaining trust from your customers.
The content you generate should be designed to answer consumers’ questions and guide them along the buyer’s journey. Consider using some or all of these marketing tools:
“The recreational and medical marijuana ‘revolution’ is well underway as the entire cannabis industry continues to expand at a rapid pace and sales have continued to grow steadily,” according to MarketWatch.
It is dynamic, changing and evolving with each passing month. In 2018, much legislative progress was made. Canada legalized cannabis nationwide.
In the U.S., lawmakers included industrial hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, which marked a major turning point likely to fuel further reforms, innovation and business growth.
In June 2019, Colorado surpassed $1 billion in marijuana revenue to date since adult-use marijuana sales began in 2014, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR), as reported in Forbes.
“This industry is helping grow our economy by creating jobs and generating valuable revenue that is going towards preventing youth consumption, protecting public health and safety and investing in public school construction,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis in a press release. Other states are closely monitoring Colorado and are hungry for cannabis-related revenue.
In September 2019, the House of Representatives approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to protect banks that service marijuana businesses. It was to see the first standalone piece of cannabis reform legislation to clear the chamber, but perhaps even more impressive was that it garnered bipartisan support. While support for letting banks service marijuana businesses isn’t necessarily indicative of support for legalization itself, it’s clear that the bill would benefit legal states.
One of the most exciting aspects of cannabis production is all the different forms cannabis can take, thereby broadening its appeal to both sellers and buyers alike.
Among the popular cannabis products available for purchase are:
Flowers – Traditional marijuana buds
Edibles – Marijuana-infused food products, often sweets
Pre-rolled joints – Sold in legal pot shops
Concentrates – Oils, dabs, hash, shatter, wax and more
Beverages – Cannabis-infused drinks
Tinctures and sublinguals – Available for both medicinal and recreational use
Cannabis topical products – Oils, lotions, creams and balms
Cannabis capsules – Use them to create your own cannabis-infused item
Along with the legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill came the legalization of all its derivatives, including CBD. Cannabis extracts such as hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) oil quickly became some of the most promising segments of the legal marijuana industry.
Though the Food and Drug Administration still technically prohibits companies from adding CBD to food, beverages, or dietary supplements, change appears to be on the horizon. More companies nationwide continue to test those limits and take advantage of the lack of regulation of CBD products.
In May 2019, advocates, industry representatives, regulators, health professionals, and marijuana legalization opponents went before the Food and Drug Administration in the first ever CBD regulations meeting to share their perspectives about how to best approach regulating the cannabis compound, CBD.
Clearly, cannabis and CBD represent an exciting new industry bursting with opportunity for entrepreneurs. Green Entrepreneur states that investment grew over 600% percent in 2018 and industry job growth doubled in 2018.
The legalization of medical and adult-use marijuana is creating a multi-billion dollar industry that is contributing to economic growth across the U.S.
According to Weedfacts by Weedmaps, the regulated cannabis industry in the U.S. is projected to generate $23.4 billion in annual sales by 2022. That means more job creation, tax revenue generation, and broad-based economic growth.
Those cannabis and CBD companies that take steps to gain visibility in the industry through creative marketing, thought leadership and informational copywriting, are the ones likely to see the greatest growth in the coming years.
One area that offers numerous opportunities for copy-driven marketing is the medical angle of cannabis and CBD. What health benefits can cannabis offer?
If you think that’s pie-in-the-sky or a thinly veiled excuse to encourage cannabis use, consider some of the players getting involved.
A Canada-based company called Atlas Biotechnologies announced in 2019 that it is partnering with the Medical Cannabis Institute at Harvard Medical School to look into the use of cannabis for chronic pain and neurological conditions. Its potential to become an alternative to opioids could also provide deep value, as the nation’s current opioid crisis shows no signs of abating.
“We know medical cannabis has been recorded to have medicinal value for pain and neurological conditions for thousands of years. But the problem is that it is very anecdotal. Even the science is very conflicting,” says Wil Ngwa, director of Harvard Global Health Catalyst and professor in radiation oncology at Harvard Medical school via videoconference.
The company will partner with the Harvard institute over at least three years, supplying cannabis products along with about $3 million, with the goal of conducting clinical trials beginning in 2020.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Many medical and pharmaceutical companies are also exploring the exciting possibilities for cannabis use in healthcare. Pet pharmaceutical companies, large and small, are even creating CBD products for dogs and cats.
The breakthroughs that are yet to come will eventually result in more marketing of cannabis, further adding to the industry noise but at the same time offering opportunities to educate the public with copy-driven informational materials.
The world of weed is on fire with opportunities for entrepreneurs. Potpreneurs are sprouting up across America, legally cultivating, curing and cooking cannabis in record numbers.
Also growing as fast as weed are the many offshoot businesses from on-demand medical marijuana delivery services to cannabis-friend bud & breakfast inns to cannabis cuisine catering.
Entrepreneurs face many obstacles:
But for creative entrepreneurs, the cannabis industry offers a once-in-an-industry opportunity. And it’s definitely not too late to get started.
According to Green Entrepreneur, “Don’t mistake saturation in certain zip codes and complicated regulations for lack of opportunity. One particular area might have many established dispensaries and cultivators but few cannabis testing labs, for example. Hurdles in any industry are also opportunities to exploit means of monetization. You just have to be creative when choosing your location and coming up with your business idea.”
Whether your cannabis business is established or yet to be launched, marketing should be a priority. Consider working with an experienced cannabis copywriter to help your business reach its fullest potential. A professional writer in the industry can help you raise awareness and name recognition for your brand, while differentiating it from the competition.
Experienced cannabis copywriters can tell your brand’s story and create copy that has a consistent voice. They can develop copy for a wide variety of projects, from landing pages and articles, to sales sheets and email campaigns. Finally, they can use words to reach prospects by cutting through the clutter, engaging and converting them into customers.
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