Cannabis Marketing — Not Just Blowing Smoke

By Kerri Accardi

Turn on the TV at home, listen to the radio in the car, or surf the internet anywhere and you will be feed a steady diet of drug ads. Some are so frequent that you can recite the side effects by heart. But where are the cannabis ads? Why aren’t legal cannabis companies running media campaigns? We all know Budweiser is the King of Beers, but who is the Potentate of Pot?

The main reason we do not see more cannabis commercials, even in states that have medical and adult use laws, is not legal prohibition as you might suspect. It is because most cannabis companies are unaware that they are legally able to bring their cannabis business to both broadcast and digital media channels.

420MEDIA is a full-service media agency that works exclusively with cannabis brands. It has established distribution relationships across mainstream TV, industry and consumer print publications, digital media platforms, OTT, and dispensary programming, providing the cannabis and hemp industry with integrated cross-platform solutions across both traditional and new media marketing channels, enabling mass reach and demographic and geographic targeting.

It hasn’t been easy. The push-back has come from the cannabis industry shying away or questioning the validity of mainstream advertising. Broadcast television and mainstream radio have been extremely cautious, often changing their minds about broadcasting an ad at the last minute.

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The landscape is changing rapidly. Patients are changing public perception about cannabis with their compelling and honest stories of hope. In the world of ‘Fake News’ real voices do matter. And the story of a person using cannabis to manage a medical condition moves the discussion beyond stoner jokes.

Education is the key. Informed consumers and regulators will be able to see through the myths and the misinformation. Whether it’s about the way cannabis affects our bodies, the economy, brands, products or our rights — we all need to know!

The cannabis and hemp market are growing at a rapid pace — lack of knowledge will be the only thing that holds us back from flourishing as an industry and nation. Within five years, cannabis and hemp will become more normalized through media, people will be healthier and wealthier, and our economy strong.


Kerri Accardi is the visionary behind 420MEDIA offering a unique combination of full-service digital marketing services, media distribution, and industry expertise.