What You Need to Know About Marketing Your Cannabis Business in Massachusetts

Wondering what you need to know about marketing your cannabis business in Massachusetts? You’re not alone!

What You Need to Know About Marketing Your Cannabis Business in Massachusetts

Believe it or not, Massachusetts was actually the first state to ban cannabis on a state level. However, just over a century after in 2016, voters decided to legalize cannabis recreationally.

At this point, Massachusetts has become one of the leaders in cannabis reform. And as the regulated cannabis market becomes better established, we expect digital marketing will become more and more commonplace among cannabis businesses in MA.

To date, there are a number of restrictions that have been placed on marketing and selling cannabis products in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is in charge of implementing these marketing and advertising regulations for the cannabis space. These are the primary considerations:

  1. Age restrictions
  2. Health warnings
  3. Advertising discretion

But we’ll cover those a bit more in-depth later. If we’re going to start somewhere, we should begin with the CCC Massachusetts guidelines.

Looking for SEO and content marketing specifically suited to the Massachusetts cannabis space? Maintain your compliance and grow your online presence organically with our team’s targeted efforts.

CCC Massachusetts Guidelines

According to Mass Live, the Cannabis Control Commission’s rules permit marijuana businesses to “engage in reasonable Advertising practices that are not otherwise prohibited … that do not jeopardize the public health, welfare or safety of the general public or promote the diversion of Marijuana or Marijuana use in individuals younger than 21 years old or otherwise promote practices inconsistent with” the laws of the state on cannabis.

In almost every form of advertisement – radio, television, web, mobile apps and billboards, social media, and print ads – the CCC demands that the business advertising by analyzing the composition of its audience that those aged 21 or over comprise 85 percent or more of the viewers. This is a rule that serves to restrict advertising opportunities and requires companies to connect with customers through new channels.

Age Restrictions

The CCC wants to guarantee a minimum of 85% of the target audiences that are observing ads on radio, mobile applications, social media, television, and the internet are reasonably believed to be at least 21 years of age.

Furthermore, cannabis businesses in Massachusetts cannot advertise using people under the age of 21. They also cannot incorporate elements like cartoons, sponsorships, celebrity endorsements, or mascots in their advertising if they’re thought to appeal to people under the age of 21.

Cannabis business operators should also ensure their brand’s website has an age-gate. This verifies every site visitor is at least 21 years of age.

Keep in mind that it’s crucial to package products in opaque or plainly-designed, child-resistant containers that have been certified by a qualified packaging testing firm. It should be resealable if your product includes multiple servings, too.

You’ll also need to have a packaging design that doesn’t appeal to minors. This involves avoiding:

  • Bright or neon colors
  • Looking similar to existing branded consumer products that aren’t infused
  • Using cartoons, celebrities, or symbols that are typically involved in marketing targeting minors
  • Incorporating images of minors; and
  • Using wordage that’s commonly used to market to minors.

For cannabis products that have multiple servings, you’ll need to have a way for consumers to easily separate the product into single services. This is why you’ll typically see infused chocolate bars that contain 100mg of THC per bar that’s capable of being broken down into ten 10mg rectangles.

Health Warnings

What you need to know about marketing your cannabis business in Massachusetts is that all marketing, advertising, and branding that is to be viewed by the public must include a message that tells users to “Please Consume Responsibly. This, along with a minimum of two of these warnings:

  • “There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.”
  • “For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children.”
  • “Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.”
  • “This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming.”
  • “Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.”

Furthermore, all marketing, advertising, and branding need to include this warning, including the capitalization of certain words:

“This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of edible marijuana may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.”

In addition to this, you’ll need to have this statement on your packaging, with capitalization, in a minimum of size 10 Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica font: “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.”

For cannabis products that have multiple services, you’ll need to have the following statement on the outside of the package. The font cannot be smaller than 10-point Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica font and must include all capitalization: “INCLUDES MULTIPLE SERVINGS.”

Advertising Discretion

While your cannabis business might already have a logo, it’s crucial to avoid using medical symbols, marijuana and marijuana-related images, or colloquial references to the plant in your brand’s logo.

If you operate, a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll need to avoid installing external signage that’s illuminated 30 minutes before the sun goes down.

Promoting cannabis products should be done discretely. Do not use any of the following advertising methods:

  • Unsolicited pop-up advertisements online, advertisements on or in public or private vehicles, or at transportation waiting areas
  • Advertising your products on the exterior or interior of any licensed premises that don’t regularly and typically keep cannabis products for sale
  • Gifting, coupons, giveaways, or “donated” or “free” cannabis products
  • Using radios or loudspeakers (this includes those that are on or inside vehicles)
  • Advertising your cannabis products on cups, sporting equipment, novelty items, apparel accessories, clothing, drink holders, electronic equipment or accessories, or any other comparable portable promotional items
  • Mentioning your cannabis products’ pricing in any marketing material

Marketing a Cannabis Business in Massachusetts FAQ

How do you market a dispensary?

Marketing a dispensary involves learning about your target audience. From there, you’ll research competitors to determine what’s working and how you can improve. However, you’ll also need to determine which platforms you’ll use for your marketing efforts.

Can cannabis brands advertise?

Yes, cannabis brands are allowed to advertise. But with limitations on multiple primary digital marketing platforms, we recommend organically using content marketing and SEO to appear higher in the SERPs.

How do I sell to dispensaries in Massachusetts?

Selling to dispensaries in Massachusetts will involve forming relationships with these operations. You might have to show up to the dispensary multiple times with products in hand before making a sale. Ultimately, it’s about outreach, being friendly, and speaking with decision-makers. Don’t forget to bring samples!

Closing on Marketing Cannabis Businesses in Massachusetts

At No Strings Content, we have decades of combined experience marketing cannabis businesses, and we’re eager to help you grow your cannabis, CBD, hemp, or ancillary brand. We’ll ensure your operation follows all cannabis marketing regulations as it grows in this budding space.

Contact us now for digital marketing strategy creation, implementation, monitoring, and management. We’ll increase awareness and drive conversions as we manage a multi-pronged digital marketing strategy for your cannabusiness.

No Strings Content

Your strategy should scale your success. We’ll analyze your business, your competition, your content, and your audience to plan and execute your digital marketing strategy.

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