While you won’t find 4/20 on most calendars, it’s widely considered to be the unofficial “Black Friday” for cannabis retailers across the nation. Last year, sales were up 128% across the country, and consumers in Maryland spent the most, with the average sale amount in the state exceeding $100. Whether you’re Maryland-based or not, cannabis practically sells itself on 4/20.
That’s not to say retailers shouldn’t put any effort into their marketing campaigns. With the right campaigns launched at the right time, you can ensure that you earn even more on the best business day of the year. Here are some tips:
If you’re reading this on 4/19, you’re starting to think about your 4/20 advertising way too late. The best marketing campaigns are strategic and perfectly timed. It’s not uncommon for marketers to start planning for major sales and holidays weeks, even months in advance, and cannabis dispensaries and shops are no different.
Invest more in your public exposure in the months and weeks leading up to 4/20. How you do this depends on your budget, location and timeline, but here are some ideas, broken down by cost:
- Local radio ads- $200-5,000 a week, depending on location.
- Billboards- $1,500-$10,000 a month, depending on size and location.
- Email blasts- free, as long as you have a built-out email list.
- SEO - this is a long-term initiative focused on getting more traffic to your website, and most companies spend about 35-40% of their marketing budget on digital marketing.
Of course, different states and cities have their own regulations surrounding cannabis advertising. Before you consider any of the above, refresh yourself on the cannabis advertising laws in your area. Find more info here.
Don’t Forget Local Laws & Regulations
The thing to keep in mind regarding the legality of cannabis (and cannabis advertising) is that it varies from state to state; even some cities have their own ordinances you’ll need to follow. Research the laws and regulations in your city and state before you start advertising -- it’d be a total waste to invest thousands of dollars into advertising only to accidentally break a law and face a major fine.
Considering we’re a Maryland-based dispensary, here are some quick reminders about the legality of cannabis in the state:
- Medicinal use of cannabis is legal, but recreational is still illegal.
- All patients must have a written certification from a licensed physician and register with the state’s program.
- Patients can carry up to 120 grams unless a physician determines they need more.
- In extract forms, customers are allowed to obtain up to 36 grams of THC per month.
- Driving under the influence of cannabis is a crime.
Team Up with Another Company
It’s not just dispensaries that are hoping to cash in on 4/20. In recent years, some of the larger food companies are jumping all over 4/20 advertising. While it’d be great to partner with KFC or Burger King, let’s face it: they’re not going to partner with a cannabis company. Instead, think small: is there a pizza joint or taco shop nearby? Reach out to see if they’d be interested in partnering with you for a 4/20 promotion. If you both deliver and can logistically handle it, consider a promotion that delivers both items together, minimizing the stress on the customer.
- Blaze and Laze- a promotion that includes a discounted massage.
- Wake and Bake- team up with your local brunch spot for a 4/20 promotion.
- Munchie Heaven- discount at the local donut shop (and vice versa).
- Cotton (Candy) Mouth- discount at a local candy or sweets shop.
Is your store optimized for upselling (or just selling, in general)? Per industry best practices, product displays should be set up to the right of the entrance in a counter-clockwise fashion. This is the path that’s most traveled by customers, so you’ll want to strategically place product displays in hot spots around the store.
Other best practices:
- Make a good first impression- this includes keeping the entryway and outdoor signage well-lit, clean and welcoming.
- Don’t overcrowd the floor - your goal should be to convince visitors to make a purchase, not make them feel anxious or overwhelmed.
- Keep things categorized- consider separating your store into subsections that cater to a specific persona (think: outdoor enthusiast, CBD user, etc.)
Last but not least, be selective about the companies you partner with and the products you sell. At CULTA, we would never sell you a product that we wouldn’t be proud to use ourselves. Our cannabinoid and terpene isolates are rigorously tested for safety and quality, and all our plants are raised in a healthy, all-natural growing medium.
To learn more about selling CULTA products in your dispensary, reach out to us at (844) 507-9333.