WM Policy Whitepaper Tackles Advertising and Branding in Cannabis

July 19, 2022

WM Policy White Paper

By WM Communications Team

The WM Policy team recently released a new whitepaper focused on advertising and branding in cannabis -- a hot topic when it comes to regulations in states with legalized adult-use and medical cannabis. Currently, laws around cannabis advertising vary wildly state by state. This includes regulations around packaging, digital and out-of-home advertising (i.e. - billboards), and words you can and can’t use  in advertisements  -- just to name a few. 

In the new paper, the policy team tackles a number of issues impacting advertising in cannabis, including the current state of cannabis advertising in the United States, the importance of reasonable regulations around cannabis advertising, and how to address digital advertising. From their research, the WM Policy team outlines six, actionable policy recommendations for the industry: 

  1. Ensure that licensed businesses have the flexibility to advertise across various mediums, including digital and mobile platforms.

  2. Prohibit cannabis advertisements from featuring individuals under the age of 21 and appealing to youth audiences.

  3. Ensure that advertising policies facilitate online ordering for delivery and in-store pick-up.

  4. Place reasonable restrictions on advertisements from making false or misleading claims on public health matters.

  5. Allow advertisements to describe the intended effect of a cannabis product.

  6. Allow retailers to have visible storefronts and signage.

According to the paper and the WM Policy team, the goal of these recommendations is to help policymakers adopt reasonable advertising regulations that ensure advertisements do not appeal to children but help “further the professionalization of the cannabis industry.” To quote the paper: “In many ways, the cannabis industry is unique; used as both a medical treatment and a product for adult consumption, cannabis requires intentional and thoughtful regulation. However, in many other ways, the cannabis industry is a traditional consumer business involved in the producing, manufacturing, distributing, and selling of products to consumers. With reasonable safeguards, such as prohibiting advertisements from appealing to children, cannabis businesses should be allowed to advertise in a manner similar to other industries.”

For more information on WM Policy, and view other whitepapers, visit their website, or contact them directly