Why Dispensary Marketing Fails

January 12, 2021

Have you realized that your dispensary marketing techniques are failing? Or maybe you’re just cautious as you start your cannabis dispensary and you want to ensure your marketing is a success. Whatever your needs are, remedial or preventative, we have you covered. In this article, we will discuss some of the main reasons why dispensary marketing fails.

Cannabis dispensary marketing is limited by online advertising restrictions

It is complicated to understand the extent of these restrictions because the use of marijuana for medical purposes and recreational purposes in some countries under strict guidelines, has been legalized, yet it cannot be openly advertised the way you would a sports clothing company, for example. This means that all the giants you would use when you want to advertise your business online have imposed restrictions. Most have banned dispensaries, retailers, growers, and other marijuana-related products and services from advertising on their platform.

For example, Facebook is a social media platform that is used to advertise businesses worldwide but their advertising policies prohibit Ads that promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs. Again, even though marijuana has been legalized under strict conditions, it is still considered a political risk. This is only likely to change if the ban on marijuana is lifted worldwide, but even then it could take some time for peoples’ perspectives to change.

Our suggestion

Using organic content and techniques that other cannabis businesses have been using. One of the most effective approaches is to use influencer marketing where you pay someone with many followers to promote your dispensary products and services. You need to ensure that they will reach your target audience. The next organic approach is by creating video content. Finally, decide which platforms to use for your cannabis dispensary marketing that would work well for your brand because the more platforms you are on the more you are seen.

Cannabis dispensaries have a poor SEO ranking on their website

When you search on Google or other search engines, the websites and content with the best SEO rankings show up first. So, another reason why dispensary marketing fails is they do not utilize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) effectively. Multiple techniques can be used to help online cannabis businesses achieve a good SEO ranking. Some of these include keyword optimization and link building.

Our suggestion

You can use services like SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner to help you choose the best cannabis keywords for your website. You can also use a service like LinkLifting to help you with link building for your website. Alternatively, if you have tried these options on your own and failed, you could consider hiring a team of SEO professionals to help work on optimizing your website.

Ignoring inbound marketing as a dispensary marketing approach

Inbound marketing uses approaches like content marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and branding to draw customers in. It basically entails a targeted approach to your direct target market, rather than trying to outwardly push your cannabis dispensary products or services onto people who are not actively interested in your brand in the hopes that it may bring in prospective customers, which is outbound marketing.

Obviously, this is an intelligent approach since you will be targeting people who are interested in your brand but the key is to be seen. You need to consider using techniques that help you to identify your target market. There are many online strategies and methods to help you.

Our suggestion

If you want to use inbound marketing for your dispensary effectively here are some viable options. You can conduct market research and identify cannabis-specific industry trends, analyze your competitors to understand how they are successful, determining who is not your target audience and, most importantly, using the power of analytics.

You can use Google Analytics for your online dispensary marketing. This goes hand in hand with the intelligent approach of using algorithms that works by analyzing both users’ past behavior such as what they have searched for online. The key to the success of these algorithms is the amount of data they have access to. The more data, the better they can identify which users to display your online content to. You can use professional marketing services to help you. Algorithm, for example, is an SEO and performance marketing agency based in South Africa that provides algorithms teams and tools.

Failure to consider alternative advertising channels

Have you heard of Weedmaps? Or the High Times? Many cannabis businesses fail to consider the power of utilizing advertising channels other than the obvious ones. The benefit of alternative channels is that some of them have already perfected the tricks of the cannabis trade. This means that they have become a place where cannabis dispensaries can advertise their products and services without having to research all the restrictions themselves.

Our suggestion

Listing your business on Weedmaps will help the people in your area to find your cannabis dispensary. Using marijuana-centered online publications, such as High Times, to market your dispensary by placing your ads and marketing your offers is also an effective solution.

Underestimating the power of offline marketing to sell cbd products

Yes, online marketing is very effective and often used to market businesses because we live in an era where technology is rife. However, this means that offline marketing is underrated at the moment. It is possible to market your dispensary using offline approaches too and be successful. After all, how did businesses market effectively before online marketing became the main approach?

Our suggestion

You can establish your cannabis brand by using sponsoring local events where your brand logo can be advertised at the event. Another intelligent approach that businesses have used for years is using community outreach as a dispensary marketing strategy. It is so successful because it is a non-invasive method that gives your business a positive public image and helps to build trust with the people in your community.


If you want to up your game to ensure that you market your cannabis dispensary successfully then it is important for you to consider the five suggestions we have discussed in this article. Remember, if you are starting up your business or are struggling at any point with successfully carrying out these techniques, you can use the services of online marketers and marketing agencies to help you.

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