Advertising Marijuana in Colorado: Rules and Regs

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The Colorado marijuana industry is one of the more established recreational marijuana markets in the United States. The state has worked out many of the kinks which come along with a growing cannabis market. Colorado often sets a precedent for many newly legalized states. The Marijuana Enforcement Division in Colorado takes compliance and regulation very seriously and is constantly adapting new laws to keep the industry professional and honest. While the state’s market is thriving, it is facing the same growing pains as many other legal states. In any cannabis market, it takes a unique marketing approach for marijuana companies to gain a significant following. The rules and regulations associated with advertising marijuana in Colorado are what make brand awareness even more difficult to obtain.



Introduction to Colorado’s Marijuana Advertising Laws

The Marijuana Enforcement Division, MED, oversees Colorado’s cannabis market. From seed to sale, the MED takes compliance very seriously and are there to enforce the state’s laws across every aspect of the industry. They are also there to help cannabis companies maintain compliance and interpret any gray areas. The state’s full marijuana Code of Regulations is available on their website. Colorado breaks down the rules and regulations for every marketing outlet available: radio, television, print media, internet, event sponsorship, and signage. Across every outlet, there are some general advertising laws which are vital to maintaining compliance.

General Marijuana Advertising Requirements

  • “A Retail Marijuana Establishment shall not engage in Advertising that is deceptive, false, or misleading. A Retail Marijuana Establishment shall not make any deceptive, false, or misleading assertions or statements on any product, any sign, or any document provided to a consumer.”
  • “A Retail Marijuana Establishment shall not include in any form of Advertising or signage any content that specifically targets individuals under the age of 21, including but not limited to cartoon characters or similar images.”
  • “A Retail Marijuana Establishment shall not engage in Advertising that specifically targets Persons located outside the state of Colorado.”
  • “No Retail Marijuana Establishment may engage in Advertising or utilize signage that asserts its products are safe because they are regulated by the State Licensing Authority.”
  • “A Retail Marijuana Establishment may advertise its products have been tested by a Retail Marijuana Testing Facility, but shall not engage in Advertising or utilize signage that asserts its products are safe because they are tested by a Retail Marijuana Testing Facility.”
  • “Except as otherwise provided in this rule, it shall be unlawful for any Retail Marijuana Establishment to engage in Advertising that is visible to members of the public from any street, sidewalk, park or other public places.”

Advertising with Television, Radio, Internet, & Print Media

  • “A Retail Marijuana Establishment shall not engage in Advertising via the television, radio, internet, and print media unless the Retail Marijuana Establishment has reliable evidence that no more than 30 percent of the audience for the Advertisement is reasonably expected to be under the age of 21.”

Advertising with Event Sponsorship

“A Retail Marijuana Establishment may Sponsor a charitable, sports, or similar event, but a Retail Marijuana Establishment shall not engage in Advertising at, or in connection with, such an event unless the Retail Marijuana Establishment has reliable evidence that no more than 30 percent of the audience at the event and/or viewing Advertising in connection with the event is reasonably ex2ected to be under the age of 21.”

How Regulated Advertising Affects Businesses and Consumers

Advertising marijuana in Colorado is no easy task, but it certainly is not the harshest legalized state. There are still specific marketing outlets for cannabis companies to use including Leafbuyer Technologies. Nevertheless, the advertising regulations of marijuana do have a substantial effect on both the businesses and consumers.

Cannabis Business

Marijuana companies face a hefty challenge when advertising marijuana in Colorado. From spreading brand awareness to maintaining consumer loyalty, cannabis businesses are forced to take alternative approaches. Advertising is tougher for smaller marijuana companies who cannot utilize alternative methods. Event Sponsorship is becoming a popular method of advertising marijuana in Colorado due to its direct to consumer strategy. Product education is particularly tricky to advertise, especially in such an established cannabis market. Overall, advertising marijuana in Colorado makes it tough for cannabis companies to gain a substantial market share.

Consumers

Cannabis consumers have more of a responsibility to educate themselves than most other industries. With the tight advertising restrictions in place, information is not always readily available. It is often up to the consumer to find reliable outlets for product knowledge to answer their questions. Luckily, many marijuana dispensaries focus on providing consumers with marijuana education while shopping for their products.

Nevertheless, it is still important for consumers to do some of their own cannabis research to ensure they know what they are consuming. New marijuana consumers should take some time to read up on local vendors, dispensaries, and the variety of cannabis products available. Having a general knowledge before consuming, makes for a much more enjoyable experience!

Check out other rules and regulations for Colorado’s market, here!