How to Market Your Dispensary

The legalization of recreational and medical marijuana in Canada has opened doors for cannabis businesses, both online and offline.

However, it has also led to stiff competition in the cannabis industry in North America, so unless you have a tried and tested dispensary marketing strategy in place, you can get kicked out of the race.

This handy post on how to sell weed online covers every aspect of effective cannabis marketing for local businesses.

How to Market Your Online Dispensary

The need for effective online dispensary marketing ideas is not limited to the cannabis industry. But for the cannabis businesses, there is a concern for federal laws which can make it even more challenging.

With that said, top dispensary marketing ideas are as follows. 

Understand the rules for cannabis marketing

Weed for both medicinal and recreational use is legal in Canada, but it is a tightly regulated industry. Under the Canadian Cannabis Act, retail cannabis dispensaries are prohibited from promoting a cannabis-centred lifestyle or promoting anything about cannabis price or its distribution.

In addition, testimonials and endorsements about marketing cannabis companies are also not allowed. The Cannabis Act also has strict rules regarding the promotion and use of certain terms, including logos, publication, sponsorship, and display advertising.

Non-compliance or failure to follow the rules under the cannabis marketing act can result in problems with the law and can be detrimental to your cannabis business. Check out the Cannabis Act for all details related to promotion prohibitions.

Create cannabis marketing strategies for your target audience

Identifying the target audience for your cannabis business can seem counterintuitive and almost impossible. However, cannabis consumers fall under distinct categories if you take a good look at the industry.

Some people use marijuana for medicinal purposes; there are recreational weed users, while others indulge in it as a wellness product. People buying cannabis for their pets are also not uncommon. Once you narrow down your cannabis product for a specific audience, you will find it easier to implement the right marketing plan.

Effective dispensary marketing ideas include identifying your competitors, knowing your customers and a clear definition of your online dispensary value proposition.

Invest in a website that is user-friendly

Up to 80% of shoppers abandon their carts because of slow or lagging websites. Omnichannel is another popular way businesses are making their sites user-friendly. The top ways to improve your cannabis website are:

Optimize content

A content marketing plan for your online dispensary should be built around your target customers, their shopping behaviour and needs etc. An exclusive cannabis marketing content drives organize foot traffic to your local business. 

Blog posts

Blogging about the medicinal properties of marijuana, online customer reviews, search strategies and how to sell weed online are some options. The blog posts can be on your cannabis website or third-party sites.

Local SEO

 Marijuana and other highly competitive industry top brands’ digital strategies feature prominently a focus on local SEO or search engine optimization. Local SEO improves your cannabis brand’s online reputation and drives organic foot traffic

Keyword research

Google is the reigning platform for inquiries, particularly the importance of search related to cannabis or otherwise.

Long-tailed cannabis-related keywords such as online dispensary marketing, marijuana dispensary, and cannabis marketing are among the topics on search engines.

Update Google My Business

Google remains a top choice among search engines for dispensary marketing and other industries. So update your local weed business information on the platform, and potential customers will find it easier to find and buy from you.

Provide accurate and up to date information

Whether it is on online directories or social media platforms, make sure that all information about your business is accurate and up to date.

Potential customers in the cannabis industry or outside of it refer to this identifying information to locate your online dispensary and local businesses.

Incorrect or outdated information such as your dispensary’s contact number, email addresses, or hours of operation can result in low monthly search volume. It’s also important to stick with cannabis trends to stay up today with products.

Mix traditional with digital marketing channels

Using a hybrid of traditional and digital marketing channels can eliminate some of the biggest marketing challenges in the cannabis industry.

Among the traditional marketing channels for weed, promotion includes billboard advertising, satellite radio, print media, and word of mouth marketing efforts.

With digital marketing for cannabis brands, you have several options; including email marketing, social media marketing strategy, effective mobile marketing, SMS marketing, e-commerce marketing and other social media interactions.

You can also provide mobile apps for your cannabis business and publish your content on all your social media accounts.

Other digital cannabis advertising methods include search marketing, digital ad buying, online reviews, increasing social media presence, and providing timely regulatory news to engage past clients and attract new customers.

Research your top competitors'

In addition to identifying your cannabis consumer base, a piece of good knowledge about your competitors can also help with your dispensary marketing tactics.

You can do so by performing a competitive analysis or research.

This will help you identify the top cannabis competitors in the industry and understand their marketing tactics and their performance so you can step up your dispensary marketing strategies.

Offers and promotions are customer magnets

Major players in the cannabis dispensary reward both existing customers and potential customers with offers and deals that are irresistible.

Consider cannabis marketing tactics such as welcome offers and package deals for new customers.

On the other hand, loyal customers on your cannabis site can be offered loyalty programs, curated offers, holiday/events deals, and bundle offers.

Other offers and deals for dispensary marketing to consider are birthday offers, exclusive membership deals, and gift cards. For local businesses and online dispensary owners, digital advertising support and options are limitless.

Referral campaigns

Another digital marketing channel for cannabis retail stores is a referral program. Similar to the word of mouth advertising, referral relies on existing customers becoming your cannabis brand advocates.

Referral or affiliate campaigns for cannabis websites not only drive traffic for your local businesses, it increases the cannabis brand visibility and improves local SEO.


Businesses in the cannabis industry have a lot of potential for growth in the coming years. However, most major media properties surrounding dispensary marketing and the marijuana industry is still under a short leash.

However, online reputation management with tools such as email marketing, text message marketing, leveraging the power of social media, and using effective mobile tactics can be indispensable in dispensary marketing and taking your local business to the next level.

Looking to market your cannabis store Clout Brands can help. Learn more about our services. 

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