Marketing Marijuana – and some of the weird rules

Because cannabis is becoming legal on a state by state basis the regulations around its marketing are equally fragmented. If you take the fragmented state by state approach and layer on an inclination by states to develop elaborate regulations, rules and taxes. Some of what follows is hard to believe – a case of fact being stranger than reality.

CBD Extraction at Chalice Farms


Arizona. If you want to learn about licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona, you will have to undertake some primary research because Arizona doesn’t share its list of licensed dispensaries with anyone but registered medical marijuana patients.

California. When transporting cannabis goods, you are prohibited from using watercraft, drones, railways, human powered or unmanned vehicles.

Connecticut. Typically, businesses are illuminated at night for a variety of reasons, including to deter theft. The lighting usually includes a sign with the business name/logo that lights up to promote the business while the owner sleeps. Don’t look for such illuminated signs at medical marijuana dispensaries in Connecticut because all illuminated signs are forbidden in the state for marijuana dispensaries.

Delaware. In Delaware, print and broadcast advertising is not allowed. Instead, medical marijuana-related advertising is only permitted in directories and phone books

Maine. Edible medical marijuana products are legal in some states. If you live in Maine and have a doctor’s authorization, you can buy edible medical marijuana products, but they’ll cost you a bit more than they would elsewhere. That’s because the state adds a 7% Meal Tax on all edibles.

Michigan. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 spelled marijuana as “marihuana,” so why change it now? Michigan still uses that spelling in the Michigan Public Health Code and in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act passed in 2008.

Nevada. Nevada’s signage rules limit marijuana dispensary signs to using just two font styles. The state prefers sans-serif fonts. While serif fonts might be okay, script, decorative, and gimmicky fonts are not okay—ever.

Oregon. Signage rules in Oregon are quite easy to follow because the only font allowed is bold, 80-point Times New Roman or Arial. No other sizes and no other fonts are allowed.

Massachusetts. Medical marijuana dispensaries are not allowed to produce or sell any kind of T-shirts, novelty items, or promotional gifts.

Washington DC. In Washington, DC, marijuana may not be sold anywhere that also sells gasoline, apparently to prevent impaired driving. But that’s not all. Marijuana cannot be sold in any location that also offers auto repairs.

It’s complicated even confusing – choose a marketing agency that reads the small print, so you don’t have to.


First published by Adrian G Stewart at OOKII.Company

Adrian G Stewart

Adrian G Stewart

About adriangstewart

Senior executive with expert knowledge of all aspects of strategic marketing and a track record of creating sustainable competitive advantage. International management and leadership experience in both B2B and B2C organizations. Specialties:Strategic marketing management including; new product development, product life cycle management, business relationship management, market segmentation, marketing information systems, e-commerce and social media marketing.
This entry was posted in Consumer Behaviour, Cultural Differences, Marketing, Public Relations and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.