The cannabidiol (CBD) sector continues to grow, with new reports projecting the market to hit $591 million this year and could very well grow to $22 billion by 2022. Some of this growth is associated with massive increases in distribution. However, cannabis businesses are shut out from these options as the mere mention of cannabis-related terminology or images can get ads disallowed or banned.
The cannabidiol (CBD) sector continues to grow, with new reports projecting the market to hit $591 million this year and could very well grow to $22 billion by 2022.
The current distribution market consists mainly of online retailers. But wholesale will transform CBD retail, particularly if the 2018 Hemp Bill passes. Proposed by Senator Mitch McConnell, the bill proposes the legalization of industrial hemp. It is currently classified as a Schedule 1 substance due to its cannabis roots.
CBD might be decriminalized thanks to its effects on seizures
Some speculated that DEA will decriminalize CBD. That’s because of the FDA’s approval of the very first CBD-derived pharmaceutical medicine, Epidiolex. The medicine is effective in treating seizures for those suffering from rare cases of epilepsy.
The DEA classified Epidiolex as a schedule 5 controlled substance. That is the lowest criteria for substances that demonstrate medicinal capabilities. However, this scheduling is only for FDA-approved medicine containing 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or less.
Hemp-derived CBD contains a maximum of 0.3 percent THC, making CBD, as CBD oil, non-psychoactive. Taking this into account, cannabis businesses, particularly those that put a lot of attention to CBD, should focus on this benefit to market products successfully.
CBD is still federally illegal. With nine states legalizing recreational cannabis, hemp-derived CBD still faces some legality issues in different states. Even though, this hasn’t slowed the sector much, if at all.
“Twenty businesses now host two-thirds of hemp-derived CBD sales,” according to the Brightfield report. “The evolution of the market has allowed these companies to develop reputations, spread the word about their brands and products through grassroots-level word-of-mouth marketing, and grow their consumer bases tremendously despite the barriers presented by the current regulatory system.”
For any business, advertising and marketing are critical factors that will help promote a brand. In addition, it will increase exposure to different customer demographics. Cannabis businesses face extra hurdles as they deal with a still federally illegal substance which prevents them from operating with standard practices.
Lack of access
While Google and social media platforms like Facebook can be a godsend for marketing campaigns, cannabis businesses are pretty much shut out from these options. The mere mention of cannabis-related terminology or images can disallow or ban ads.
Some brands have managed to successfully launch on social media by utilizing self-censorship and refraining from mentioning the word cannabis as stipulated by Google AdWords, for example.
The same applies to Facebook, as cannabis paraphernalia advertisements or a single image related to the plant could easily result in a ban. Other sites like LinkedIn also have the same rules regarding cannabis ads, taking many popular platforms out of the solution.
Mark Hadfield, founder and CEO of HelloMD, stated that “[Social companies] have legal guidelines, but they’re unevenly applied. Cannabis companies are shut down for no apparent reason. In the same time, their competitors remain open. It’s a very inconsistent gray area.”
There is certainly a high amount of risk in attempting to launch ads on these heavily censored sites. Cannabis businesses must prepare for various scenarios in their marketing endeavors. While it’s not impossible, censorship and the remaining stigma regarding cannabis have made it very difficult to launch ads on well-known platforms. This is hampering efforts and redirecting businesses to other alternatives.
With paid advertisements pretty much out of the question, there are other ways including dedicated cannabis websites. Also, there are other third-party platforms that don’t mind featuring ads related to cannabis.
Organic practices like a strong content marketing strategy can go a long way to help promote a brand and its products. Blogs and videos can create a powerful synergy to launch sponsored content. That can greatly increase engagement and traffic in order to connect with different demographics around the world.
Social networks and cannabis
Using social influencers could be another effective way. Capitalizing on their large network of fans to promote a cannabis brand. A Traackr analysis of the top 250 cannabis influencers, shows that edibles producers increased their influencer use by 32 percent.
Not only that, but a cannabis brand can incorporate its own customers to build up a base of brand ambassadors who can effectively represent marketing links to enhance a brand’s image. A company’s loyal customers can very well serve as a collective advertisement to enhance a brand’s exposure through their social networks.
A marketing partner can guide toward market acceptance
Another way is to have an able marketing and branding partner that can guide a brand toward market acceptance. One such brand is White Label Liquid Inc. (OTCMKTS:WLAB), which provides in-house CBD distribution to cater to various business needs.
WLAB possesses a large volume of mixtures to customize CBD products such as terpene-infused CBD oil, gummies, vape liquid. They can quickly assess the individual needs of businesses looking to incorporate CBD into their ventures. Also, they can rapidly produce the most effective CBD solution to enable the launch of new brands.
Part of the service is coming up with a professional branding image. That can definitely highlight the medical efficacy of CBD products. This service includes comprehensive branding and packaging services. Furthermore, provides unique and cutting-edge designs and logos to appeal to consumers while also bolstering marketing efforts.
They can develop a company’s customer base to build an effective social presence. Using the services of branding partners like WLAB also increases the chance of achieving a successful branding campaign.
(Featured Image by Robert Baker)
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Hemp.im, its management, staff or its associates.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the company only as of the date hereof.