Marketing in the cannabis industry is a legal minefield. In this article, we’ll discuss five tips to take into account when marketing cannabis goods or services.
Cannabis businesses must make sure their brand is fully protected. On the flipside, they must also make sure their brand doesn’t infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any other individual or business.
Intellectual property rights in the cannabis industry are a bit murky, but there are ways marijuana businesses can protect themselves. For example, many states offer marijuana-specific trademark registration and registration in general classes at the federal level may also be possible.
Before choosing a cannabis brand name or logo, be sure to perform a comprehensive search to determine if the name or logo is available.
The most common concern voiced by anti-cannabis advocates is the prospect of marijuana ending up in the hands of individuals under the age of 21. As a result, regulations across the U.S. severely limit the way in which the cannabis industry advertises.
Cannabis ads shouldn’t in anyway appeal to minors. This means that cannabis companies should avoid using cartoon characters, toys, etc. in their marketing. Some jurisdictions also require a business to obtain audience data associated with a marketing medium to ensure that the ad will not be seen by a disproportionate number of children. Be sure to consult your jurisdiction’s regulations for specifics.
Cannabis compliance extends beyond complying with the cannabis-specific regulations. Influencer marketing is a perfect illustration of that point.
Anyone utilizing influencers in the marijuana industry should consult the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations and resources. In short, the relationship between a marijuana company and influencers must be disclosed to consumers. Businesses should also assume that they’re on the hook for any slip up by an influencer.
Cannabis companies seem to mistakenly assume that they’re immune from the scrutiny faced by hemp-derived CBD companies when it comes to making health claims. A recent case out of Sonoma County in California showed us that’s not the case.
Do not claim, directly or indirectly, to be able to treat any disease or condition. Period.
Make sure any cannabis advertising identifies your business’s license number, and maybe even its address. This may sound obvious, but it’s a commonly overlooked requirement in many states.
By definition, there’s no hiding from marijuana regulators when it comes to marketing. Consider these 5 tips the next time you market your cannabis business.
© RYAN T. KOCOT, ESQ. 2021
DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION IS STRICTLY EDUCATIONAL AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.