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DHHS Recommendation Could See New Era in Cannabis Advertising

As the global cannabis industry continues to absorb what a potential US rescheduling of cannabis would mean for its future, VDX.tv’s Director of Client Partnerships for CBD, Lauren White, explained to Business of Cannabis why this could ‘enable cannabis companies to step out of the shadows and establish themselves in the mainstream market’. 


Emerging Avenues in Advertising for Cannabis

The US Department of Health and Human Services has recommended reclassifying marijuana as a lower-risk drug, which would in turn ease restrictions. While this new Schedule III recommendation holds a myriad of implications including banking and tax codes, a standout beneficiary will be the domain of advertising. With barriers lifting, advertising platforms and strategies for cannabis (and CBD) enterprises are set to revolutionise.

As federal restrictions around this category ease, the media world, once apprehensive about cannabis advertising, should see a renaissance. Previously off-limits platforms will likely open up, enabling cannabis companies to step out of the shadows and establish themselves in the mainstream market.

A few reasons why it will be crucial for CBD and cannabis brands to work with reputable adtech partners that are versed in this industry:

  • Harnessing the Power of Streaming: With audiences transitioning from linear to streaming TV, it’s becoming essential for brands to meet consumers where they are. These cannabis companies need to understand that modern viewers, especially the younger demographics, never had a “cord to cut” in the first place! Being present on platforms like connected TV (CTV), over the top (OTT) and online video isn’t just about being trendy; it’s about being where your consumers are and educating them about these products.
  • Innovative Measurement and Integration Tools: In the modern age, data isn’t just power; it’s insight, foresight, and strategy all rolled into one. Brands that leverage comprehensive measurement tools stand to gain a deeper understanding of their campaigns’ impact. For instance, being able to measure sales lift directly from a campaign can offer invaluable insights. Strategic integrations related to measurement and shoppability of ads further amplify the power of ongoing campaign optimization and immediate return. This not only streamlines the customer journey but also fosters immediate conversion, enhancing overall consideration and purchase intent.
  • Staying Compliant: The world of cannabis, given its tumultuous history, is rife with legal intricacies. For these cannabis companies navigating these complexities can be daunting. It’s crucial to prioritize compliance and stay abreast of the latest guidelines, especially from agencies like the FDA. A slip-up here can damage brand reputation. This is where being in tune with the legal side is invaluable. It’s important that advertising partners understand all sides of the industry to ensure brand safety and best practices.
  • Building Bridges with Publishers: In an evolving landscape, not all players are equal. Building relationships with forward-thinking publishers can be the differentiating factor in a brand’s advertising success. Publishers who understand and are excited about the cannabis industry can offer avenues and insights that others can’t. That’s where a managed service partner can help open doors that others may not be able to. As cannabis brands start to embrace advertising, its critical to find trusted partners who reach the right audience, in the right way, with the right message.

In essence, the cannabis industry stands at the cusp of an advertising revolution. As the barriers slowly fall away (or show promising momentum that direction), brands have an unprecedented opportunity to redefine their public persona and bring in new customers.

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