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HiFyre, which is a digital product studio, recently built an e-commerce platform for cannabis retailer Fire & Flower for use by customers in Canada.

HiFyre, which was acquired by Fire & Flower last July, has also developed marketing technology for other cannabis retailers including Mettrum Health, Starseed Medicinal, and Canopy Growth, reports Retail Insight Network. The development is just one of many recent initiatives aimed at building digital marketing capabilities within the cannabis industry, which is growing rapidly.

Indeed, a handful of factors will support the rapid development of cannabis digital marketing. First, the overall cannabis industry is rapidly expanding. According to Grand View Research, the worldwide legal marijuana market is supposed to be worth $146 billion by 2025. If it reaches that level, it will have generated an impressive 34.6% compound annual growth rate.

As a new emerging industry, furthermore, content and content platforms for marketing cannabis are still in their early stages of development. Finally, as more states have been legalizing marijuana, opportunities to market the product are growing grow, thereby justifying increased development of digital marketing resources.

Cannabis companies are increasingly turning to marketing to spread the appeal of their products among affluent individuals rather than pitch cannabis as something for counterculture stoners, says Taylor West, senior communications director at Cohnnabis, the cannabis division of Denver-based advertising firm Cohn Marketing. In a recent ANA article, West maintains that advertising related to cannabis could quickly become a $1 billion a year industry.

Investors have taken notice. Just recently, Canopy Growth Opportunity, which invests in cannabis companies, allocated assets to Tökr LLC of New York, which is the creator of a marketing app that provides personalized experiences for cannabis users, including users of medical marijuana, reports Roottie. The app can be downloaded from the iTunes store as well as the Google Play Store. Among other functions, it can help users find nearby retail locations and arrange for delivery services.

Many deals involve Canada cannabis companies. In that country, marijuana was legalized last fall on the federal level, unlike in the U.S., where legalization has been handled by individual states, thereby complicating marketing efforts. For example, since marijuana is illegal in the U.S. according to federal laws, advertising cannabis over television and radio networks that are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission is prohibited.

In regards to Canada, Postmedia Network Inc., which assists companies in that country with marketing cannabis, has made an investment in cannabis media company PRØHBTD Media Inc., which has offices in Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver, reports The GrowthOp. Postmedia and PRØHBTD will work together to help cannabis companies produce videos and other marketing content. The content will be made available exclusively in Canada.

Best-selling author and comedian Chelsea Handler is also getting into the act. After having conducted a cross-Canada speaking tour with cannabis content company, she decided to invest in the company, reports MediaPost. Handler says cannabis has made a difference in her life and in the lives of her friends and she has seen firsthand how Civilized is trying to smash outdated stereotypes regarding cannabis.

Civilized had previously captured investments from Canadian concert promoter Michael Cohl and former group president of Conde Nast Mitch Fox. Late last year, it announced that it was acquiring marketing agency Revolution Strategy of Los Angeles.

In the U.S. meanwhile, the hodgepodge of state, local and federal regulations are likely to continue creating challenges for marijuana marketing, says Harris Damashek, CMO at Acreage Holdings, a New York-based company with a portfolio of cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensing operations in the U.S. In the ANA article, he explains that programmatic advertising, all in all, is problematic because cannabis advertisers need to get permission from individual websites due to differences in state regulations.

Last modified on Monday, 25 March 2019
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