Marketing Marijuana, Your Cannabis Business – Part 2/2

In branding, compliance, marijuana marketing, packaging by Josh Whitaker

Hello again! Welcome to Part 2 on Marketing Marijuana, Your Cannabis Business. In Part 1 we discussed social media, email marketing and product vision. In this part we’ll talk about branding , packaging, and what not to do when marketing your cannabusiness!

Branding and Packaging

Print Media for Branding:

Pinning a business card to a cork board? Let’s hope not. Paper coupons? Perhaps your time and money are spent better elsewhere. It may still be good to have them around in some measure. There are still those, particularly the older demographic, that may not actually have a smart phone.

Think about where you want to focus your product and how much time and money you have to spend in each area. Print media still gives exposure and branding. Placement in marijuana magazines can still be important to continue your seamless presence from online, to hard copy.


Perhaps more than anything, packaging has the power to rebrand marijuana as a mass-market product.

Gone are the days when buying marijuana was strictly green buds in small zip up baggies. Elixirs, edibles, tinctures, oils, resins, waxes and more, are available and packaging, as in all attractive products, can make your brand stand out. Dixie Elixers has some clever ideas for 5mg mints. They come in cute packaging that appeals to customers. It sells them on an idea that marijuana products are also more of a throughout the day experience, rather than a higher-dosing end-point. This, in of itself, is an excellent idea to increase your demand. The box of mints also acts as branding and marketing in of itself. Kudos Dixie!

Truman Bradley, a dispensary owner in Denver says that packaging is more likely to appeal to new customers. Experienced customers, on the other hand, just want the right product for them, whatever the package.

Packaging Laws:

Packaging laws are getting more precise. That’s news to celebrate. Really, it is. We swear. Less variability means lower potential to have to completely repackage. Regulations and laws are rapidly changing in the cannabis market, including around packaging. You must be flexible to be ready to change your product’s presentation if the need arises. This is something Dixie Elixers knows all too well. They made their flagship product early this year only to have to completely repackage to account for new packaging laws. They added measured dosing, a resalable cap, as well as other adjustments. It lost them 90 days of sales in the timely process. More specific regulations will hopefully keep businesses from losing time and money in this way.

Be creative! If dosing is important, how one might package their cannabis cookie to break apart in just the right dose? This is where packaging can have a big impact not only on image, but also on meeting legal requirements.

Maybe you just sell smaller cookies?

Make it cute! Make it legal! Think about how much you want to spend on print marketing. Rebrand marijuana products to reach a wider demographic.

The Dont’s For Marketing Marijuana

Colorado’s marijuana market was $700 million last year. half of which was in edibles or vape sales. Your business wants to cut into a slice of that. So don’t mess it up by making silly mistakes.

The folks over at Leafly give us a nice section on the “Don’ts” of marijuana marketing, and they’re right on the money.

Do Not Market to, or Around, Minors.

Don’t have cute mascots like a penguin, or elephant, drawn like adorable cartoons that can appeal to children. Make sure your businesses are away from schools and their general to and from pathways. Go out of your way to make your packaging appeal to adults. This is not only ethical, but it will increase the trust and credibility for your company if you truly do your best to protect minors from use of your adult-only products. Customers have children, and parents don’t want their children at potential risk of exposure to marijuana products. Do your part to show your business is serious and ethical. Take it seriously and serious customers will respect your business all the more for it.

Don’t Steal Ideas.

Make sure your business isn’t infringing on any copyrights, even if it is in other industries. This could cost you time, money, customers, earn you a bad reputation. It also just makes you look unprofessional. Leafly points to the example where Hershey’s chocolate sued a cannabis business for having a product called “Reefer’s Cups.” Yeah. Don’t do that. There are plenty of other fun, catchy names out there that don’t borrow the coat tails of some other company, especially a candy company that markets to children, double no-no. Whoops.

Don’t be an Asshole.

Keep your advertising fresh, clean, non-derogatory, non-sexist, non-homophobic, gender neutral, non-racist, and otherwise non-asshole-like. Use fair labor practices. Not only build yourself a well-known, reputable, lucrative brand, but help ditch the industry image of marijuana as being anything but a respectable adult product that has many potential benefits for interested consumers.

That’s it. You are well on your way to successfully marketing your marijuana business. Pay attention to the regulations. Keep fair and safe business practices. Make your business overwhelmingly present in social media and easily searchable. Make excellent products and highlight the quality.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our two-part series on marketing marijuana, your cannabis-based business. Please comment and let us know your struggles, ideas, what worked and what didn’t!