Outdoor Advertising in The Cannabis Marketing


No business can thrive without a perfectly targeted advert. According to research conducted by a CBS News correspondent, every American is exposed to about 5,000 words per day. That was way back in 2006. You can guess as many ads we would be exposed to now, 14 years later. That is why outdoor advertising is an effective tool aimed at the promotion of your cannabis goods and services to the wide audience. This advertising approach offers entrepreneurs the next perks:

  • Large selection of advertising locations
  • High ROI
  • Long period of impact on the target audience

Keep reading to learn why you need to consider outdoor ad for you next marketing campaign.

The Essence of Advertising Cannabis

A sign with a cannabis shop ad.
Cannabis is legalized in a big number of states, so advertising is a strong marketing tool these days.

The Cannabis business is the newest goldmine. Due to the Cannabis Legalization policy that is sweeping the world with U.S. included, there is the need to employ the most effective Cannabis advertising medium to ensure maximum profitability in this booming business. Cannabis has now been legalized in 33 states with millions of users ready to get their hands on quality products. What makes it even sweeter is the fact that these groups of users who make up 50% of the total users have the financial capacity to support their cravings. Some interesting statistics show that:

  • The market size of legal cannabis in the U.S. would be worth at least 73.6 billion dollars by 2027. That’s how fast and far the legal cannabis business is going.
  • The United States has the highest legal Cannabis market size.
  • About 4 million dollars were spent between on cannabis advertisements between just 2017 & 2018 alone. That’s an increase of at least 20% in advertising.

All these statistics are an attestation to the fact that advertising is essential to cannabis marketing and growth. These advertisements also help in sensitizing and informing the larger society about the decriminalization of the medical and sometimes, recreational use of marijuana.

Types of Cannabis Outdoor Advertising Channels

A billboard with cannabis ad.
There are five types of outdoor ads that, so you can choose the best one for your business.

There are a variety of ways to market your cannabis product using outdoor ads. The following are the most popular outdoor marketing channels which you could choose from. These are:

  1. Billboards
  2. Lamp Post
  3. Bridge
  4. Transit advertising
  5. Retail advertising

The cannabis marketing terrain present platforms with lots of business opportunities which if explored would prove to be a fertile financial investment. Meanwhile, outdoor advertising is one of the tools that are effective in helping prospective customers take the right purchasing decision. It gives the important features of specific products amidst other competing goods. The more attractive your advert is the higher conversion rate you’re going to get.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Outdoor Advertising Medium

Before choosing a particular advertisement channel, you have to first ensure you read and understand the legislative rule guiding the use of such an advertisement approach. The next thing is to consider whether the particular outdoor ad type would be suitable for your business. Let’s take a close look at the most popular types of advertising outdoors and what they can bring you:

    1. Billboards. It is the best advertisement channel that can be easily tailored to meet with whatever regulatory demands of your respective state. Billboards can be placed at strategic locations with the ability to reach out to specific groups of people.
    2. Lamp posts. They are another effective outdoor advertisement approach that can be used for marketing your cannabis-related business. They are quite effective during the night and are placed on the streets or parking lots. The issue however is that direct advertisement with targeted audience may not be ensured.
    3. Bridge. It is the greatest way to target commuters. During rush hour times, bridge banners are created on small bridges especially in busy highways.
  • Transit advertising. Public transportations are by no means a popular and easy marketing medium. Tourists, commuters and people living in cities use public transportation often. That is why this channel has a really wide coverage. The downside here is that it is often hard to get this ad within your target audience. 

Legislative Advertising Regulation

Cannabis ad made of LED light.
Each state may have its own law regarding cannabis ads.

The law guiding the advertisement for cannabis differs by state. At the Federal level, cannabis remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance with the tag “illicit”. More often than not, states stand on and borrow the existing legislative framework that controls alcohol marketing. For example, Colorado had to base its cannabis advertising regulation on the pre-existing alcohol advertising regulation. Being the first to legalize cannabis for medical purposes, other states followed suit in this regulation pattern upon their legalizing of cannabis as well. 

The tricky part is that what is allowed in a particular state may be counted as illegal in another. Hence, there is a need to fully study the advertisement regulation of a particular state before putting out your advertising. You have to be witty and smart to work your way around the regulations while outdoor advertising the particular goods.

The Examples of States and their Specific Cannabis Advertisement Laws

    • Alaska for example, specifically states that a cannabis dispensary or retail outlet must not have more than 3 identifying signs on its premises. 
    • Connecticut on the other hand highlights that all cannabis adverts must be submitted to the Commissioner before such an advert proceeds is pasted for public consumption. 
    • Delaware stringently stipulates that no compassion center should be built or located within the same block/office space. Also, that compassion centers must not refer patients to specific physicians.
  • Did you know that in the District of Colombia, dispensaries and retailers are not allowed to display or put up the prices of their cannabis products on the window?

These are just a few states with peculiar marijuana advert laws. Some states have tough and lengthy regulations, while others do not have marijuana advertising laws and a few others do not even permit marijuana to be advertised at all. 

Predominant Cannabis Advertisement Laws

Some marijuana advert laws cuts across several states. The most common tips to keep in mind while considering your next outdoor ad campaign include:

  • Your ads shouldn’t be places where at least 30% of young persons below 21 years would be exposed to it
  • Marijuana itself should never appear in whatever ad you are going to place
  • The use of marijuana should not be displayed in any advert
  • Marijuana ad billboard and other such advertising paraphernalia should not be found within 1,000 feet of public institutions like Churches, Schools, or other such facilities that cater for children
  • Marijuana symbols are not to be displayed in public transport services
  • Your advertising must not contain false claims and information
  • Any medical or therapeutic benefits should not be made except with tangible medical backing

These and many more rules are contained in the Cannabis Advertisement Act of several states. The Assembly Bill 1470 stipulates various penalties for defaulting on every marketing law. Should you need more information on the laws regarding cannabis use in the United States, you should check out the National Conference of State Legislature or other similar sources.

Which Advertising Channel Then Is the Most Suitable Cannabis Marketing?

CBD on the board in the street.
A good ad should appeal to a target audience and not kids under 18.

With all the above regulations and many more you still have to read up on, you may be tempted to ask that what then would be the appropriate advertisement medium that would stick to the rules while still appealing to the target audience. It is very simple; outdoor cannabis marketing, particularly the use of billboards is the most advisable. When you go on TV, there’s no guarantee that up to 30% of children audience wouldn’t be tuned in, hence, risky. Radio stations, Newspapers, have the same problem; you never can tell who is listening. 

With Billboards and the sharing of leaflets, however, you could target a specific group of people and locate the Cannabis Billboard advert right close to them. You could locate it close a factory where you know it is mainly adults with purchasing power that work there. 

In conclusion, outdoor marketing is the smartest way to rig around restrictive cannabis marketing rules. Create perfectly tailored adverts and situate them close to adults that are 21 and above with the financial muscle to buy. 

Solver Author: Solver

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