The western world is warming up to cannabis with Canada and California in the driver’s seat. Interestingly, cannabis patrons no longer have to hide their love of the substance, at least from authorities. Unfortunately, the wider society and the business establishment is not yet accommodative of the new narrative around cannabis. No wonder marijuana-focused businesses face many challenges when they want to run cannabis ads.
Why is it difficult to run cannabis ads?
In the US, medical marijuana is legal in more than half the states. On the other hand, just about 23 states, with California as the leader, recognize recreational marijuana as legal. While individual states are gravitating towards accepting marijuana, the federal government is still adamant. Indeed, the DEA considers Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the substance found in marijuana, as a Schedule 1 drug. In particular, the classification implies the federal government is certain that chances for people abusing marijuana are extremely high.
Arguably, the lack of clarity in the legal status of marijuana makes it difficult to run cannabis ads. Interestingly, many broadcasters, particularly TV stations, avoid advertising cannabis because of legal grey areas. In Canada, the same law that decriminalized cannabis denies cannabis-focused advertisers the opportunity to promote their products. Specifically, the Canadian Cannabis Act prohibits advertisers from promoting cannabis “in a way that targets youths.” As such, many advertising agencies do not want to risk flouting the regulations because ads might reach these youths eventually.
Luckily, alternatives exist
Particularly, the biggest issue that mainstream advertisers have with cannabis ads is that they may reach the unintended audience. This is evidence of another problem that mainstream advertising mediums contend with, the problem of targeting. Admittedly, mainstream media is ubiquitous and it reaches millions of people in a matter of hours. Unfortunately, the impressions generated do not translate to conversions, implying that the media is inefficient.
Fortuitously, alternative advertising media like pizza boxes provide an excellent way to circumvent the challenge of targeting. Notably, advertisers can print their ads on pizza boxes and then deliver them to specific pizzerias. For example, you can deliver the custom printed pizza boxes to a pizzeria that next to a bar. The assumption is that all of the customers that buy from the pizzeria are adults who wouldn’t mind a puff. Additionally, many people who drink in bars do not have a problem with messages promoting cannabis. Therefore, you can pass your message without breaking any law.