Cannabis Companies That Use Brand Marketing Geared Towards Teens Isn’t Helping Anyone

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It is starkly clear that a company, any company, relies heavily on marketing for its success. But what about cannabis companies? Like all the rest? not exactly.

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In a place where hundreds of companies are trying to sell similar albeit slightly different products, building brand loyalty is of paramount importance in order to exploit it most effectively.

Things got even more complicated when CBD was categorized under the same umbrella of Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (SHAFT) by the Communications and Internet Society. This strange and dangerous move led to the banning of promoting CBD via SMS.

Thus, it is essential to understand cannabis regulations and how they affect the market in the path to success.

According to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, a large number of companies operating in the space market are producing products that appeal to children and teens, thus violating state regulations.

Lead author Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd says. MD, MPH, chair of the division of general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: “I had expected that cannabis companies were unlikely to fully comply with current guidelines.” “Some cannabis companies make dozens of posts on social media per day, and there is no current system to monitor or enforce these regulations. However, it was surprising to see how having the guidelines made a difference between countries.”

Related: Has there been an increase in cannabis use among teens in legal states?


Researchers evaluated one year of Facebook and Instagram posts uploaded by retail businesses from four states where marijuana is legal — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

The analysis included 2,660 posts from 14 companies. The researchers looked for both restrictive content, such as discounts, excessive consumption of modeling, youth-focused messages and health benefits, as well as requested warnings.


The results showed that more than a third of the posts included discounts or promotions, despite them being off-limits.

An increase in consumption was found at 12%, while content with warnings, although required, was present in less than half. Moreover, a design that appeals to youth culture and budget constraints is clearly still in use.


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