Where's the online cannabis advertising?
Cannabis is bigger than ever -- it's legal in more places in the US than ever, sales are through the roof, and Americans (and other countries) are bringing the drug into the mainstream. So if things are selling so well, just one question: Where's the advertising?
It's true, in 2018 there's really no reason why we should be asking for more ads (given how prevalent they already are), but it's interesting that cannabis advertising just doesn't seem to be out there. One issue, Digiday points out, is that the two biggest online advertisers, Facebook and Google, just don't accept cannabis advertising. Because the product is still illegal at the federal level, the duopoly (as advertisers call them) have said no go to online advertising about cannabis products.
That federal prohibition is the main issue with advertising: the drug isn't legal everywhere, which can make it hard to target only cannabis users, especially online. Another issue is that even where marijuana is legal, it's an adult product, which also makes it hard to make sure children don't see the ads where possible. And while cannabis advertising is growing, the spends are just still too small to really interest the bigger agencies and advertisers -- one ad network says that cannabis spends are maxing out at about $20,000 per month, and while that's a lot of money to some, it's chump change to the biggest networks.
So at least until the federal question is answered, odds are good you won't see cannabis products show up in your feeds any time soon (unless you put them there yourself). As the legality is cleared up, however, and the business continues to grow, it might become more viable and helpful to advertise cannabis products on a wider level.