Best SEO Podcast Cover
#420 - How to Market Your Marijuana Business

Video Transcript

Are You Struggling With Restricted Marketing? When we talk about internet marketing, do you ever think of restricted products and how you could market them? Do you have a restricted product and are unsure how to market it? Think about marijuana marketing. We live in a day and age where more and more things are becoming acceptable to talk about and do, but what about cannabis? Join Matt and Chris for another thrilling episode of the Best SEO Podcast, featuring “How to Market Your Marijuana Business” by Adam Gregory. TRANSCRIPT:

Chris: Hi and welcome to the SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. My name is Chris Burres, owner of eWebResults.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram, shhhh.

Chris: Shh, this the mellow day. It’s true, it should be a mellow day, right? So welcome to another fun-filled edition of this podcast. This is Podcast #420, so we’re gonna do something fun with 420 today. As always though, we do have a tip from our previous podcast, and that tip is–

Matt: Link building’s important, focus on linkable assets for better results.

Chris: So we’re in the middle of a three part series on linkable assets.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Link building is important, make sure you’re focusing on those linkable assets, and tune in for the next podcast. This podcast we’re gonna change a little bit different. Subscribe. Follow. Boom! I like this. So this is Podcast #420. Matt and I, we’re here in Houston and we are your–

Chris & Matt: Results Rebels!

Chris: If you have– you know what? I gotta jump into this review. This is a review from Louise Stahl and it is of course–

Matt: 5 stars!

Chris: It says, “Obviously 5 stars! You really showed both great interest and knowledge even if you were a Swedish company and you don’t understand the language on the page.” Yeah. I don’t– yeah, punch in the face to you.

Matt: I’ll take it. I’ll take whatever we can get.

Chris: Punch in the face to you, all things are good today. Everything is just good.

Matt: It’s alright.

Chris: Let’s see– no, we’ll get there. If you’re coming back to our podcast, you probably like the tips we give, and you probably would be interested in “5 Online Marketing Mistakes That Can Tank Your Business & How to Avoid Them,” right? You can get that by going to, that will take you to a– just fill out the form, give us your email, and you’ll get those tips.

Matt: And for all of you out there, we know our website’s old and we’re changing it. So, stay tuned.

Chris: We’re working on that.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: We are building a piece of software. Punch in the face to Manny, we were in the middle of a launch and we had some hiccups with URLs, and some other things. And so we’re actually building a tool that will compare and contrast from an SEO perspective, your previous website, the one that really is live, and then the new one that you want launched and make sure that they’re in sync, right? So we’re excited about that, that’s really cool.

This is a teaser of the article. So we are gonna be covering and article today. It’s an in-house article and in honor of 420, we are gonna be talking about, “How to market your marijuana business.” Pretty excited about this.

Punch in the face to Adam Gregory for putting this article together. I felt like it took him a really long time to put this article together. And there are a lot of bags of chips around his desk. This is all humorous, so bare with us during this.

If you are in a position to, we’re gonna ask you to tweet. If you can tweet, we’d like you to twink #–

Matt: Twink?

Chris: Twink.

Matt: Twinkey.

Chris: Tweet #SEOPodcast, this is number #420. Tag us in it, @BestSEOPodcast, @eWebResults, @MattBertramLive, @ChrisBurresEweb.

Matt: Nice.

Chris: And then also, well obviously Adam will contact, he takes care of all of those platforms for us. So again punch in the face to Adam. If this is the first time you’ve listened to the podcast, howdy and welcome to the podcast. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, welcome back. You know what we’re actually going to skip this time. So we run a contest each and every week, and the way the contest works is if we get 10 shikos–

Matt: A share, a like, or a follow.

Chris: If we get 10 shares, or likes, or follows on any one of our social media platforms and we get a review, we don’t tell you the kind of process of how to leave us a review until the end of the podcast. We’re bumping that to the end ‘cause we got a review and we got our 10 shikos.

Matt: Thank you.

Chris: Awesome, thanks to all of you eWebbers out there for continuing to like and follow and share our stuff. I won’t tell them to leave a review at Trust Pilot, I’m not gonna do that, we gotta skip that. Hey, if you’re looking for a free website analysis– I’m excited, we’re gonna get into this article really quickly.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: It may feel like forever.

Matt: It does.

Chris: But we’re gonna get there really quickly. If you would like a free website analysis, got to our website and you’ll in fact find a button that says, “Free Website Analysis.” And I don’t know, you should click it, and then fill out the form

Matt: I like it.

Chris: And then one of our internet marketing experts will contact you for that free website analysis. So again in honor of this being Podcast #420, we wanted to talk about this subject, thought it would be fun, thought it would interesting, and it’s actually kind of in–

Matt: No news?

Chris: No news. I don’t think I had any news.

Matt: We’ll I’ll give y’all a little piece of news. Facebook’s changing it up, Google’s changing it up, but the new guidelines out in Europe–

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Matt: Yeah, we’re gonna cover that extensively with remarketing. I want to give a shout-out to or a punch in the face?

Chris: Punch in face, yup.

Matt: Punch in the face to Kyle with–

Chris: Kick in the shins to you.

Matt: The design [00:05:31] [Indiscernible], for bringing that to our attention and I know we’ve kind of danced around it before, but we’re gonna really–

Chris: Jump into it.

Matt: Yeah, we’re gonna really go into that.

Chris: And we danced around it ‘cause we’re here in the states, and then you know, we’ve got our great podcast listeners who kind of bring it to our attention that–

Matt: We just block Europe, target the rest of the world.

Chris: That is not true! We have clients in–

Matt: UK.

Chris: In the UK, so yeah. Alright. Oh there is some news actually, the royal wedding is on Saturday. I don’t know, do you have like popcorn and are you ready to watch the wedding?

Matt: I know all the ladies out there are.

Chris: And then Deadpool 2 has been released. Is it released? Or I think it’s released.

Matt: I think it’s out.

Chris: It’s out.

Matt: The Avengers was out.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: And I saw that this week.

Chris: It’s time to do back-to-back and summer’s coming.

Matt: I mean yeah, it’s crazy, so many actors in this. It was pretty overwhelming.

Chris: Oh yeah, you said Avengers was like every other scene was somebody who got an expensive–

Matt: I mean they gotta cover a lot of salaries.

Chris: Yup, yup.

Matt: Yeah, that’s good.

Chris: Alright, so how to market your marijuana business. And this actually started off as literally: hey, let’s kind of pay homage to 420, do this interesting paper, write it ourselves and then talk about it in the podcast. And then evolved into: well, how do we make it bigger? Because there’s only a number of states where you can market marijuana, a number of countries, right? And so we really thought about all the areas that there’s restricted marketing, right? So we’ve got clients who– DWI Attorneys, and there’s restrictions on remarketing to DWI Attorneys. We’ve got other clients who are in the medical, healthcare industry, right?

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: And so there’s restrictions on remarketing. And you may be wondering like, “Well, what kind of restrictions are there?” Especially if you’re not in those markets. If you’re in them, you probably know exactly what causes them, and why they’re there. If you’re not in them– so it’s things like this: imagine that somebody goes onto a browser, they’re on their browser and they search– they want to do an AIDS test, right? So they go and they type in “AIDS Test,” and they land on a page, and what we would normally do as marketers is remarket to them. So then when they’re on or any other of the Google Ad Networks, or even on Facebook, they’re seeing ads for, “Hey, get your AIDS test!”

Matt: That could be embarrassing.

Chris: That could be embarrassing, right? So that’s a potential health code violation. It’s the same thing as the HIPAA violation, yeah.

Matt: I was like healthcode?

Chris: Not healthcode, the HIPPA violation. And the same thing kind of goes for DWI Attorneys, Google has decided that they don’t want you to do remarketing for those things.

Matt: We changed that like a couple months ago and it just hurt ‘cause I was killing it.

Chris: Yeah, the remarketing was really working and then it’s gone. And of course marijuana was probably kind of the pinnacle, right? It’s the thing that’s the most restricted in terms of audience, Facebook doesn’t want you running ads about it.

Matt: Tobacco, yeah. Alcohol.

Chris: Firearms also. All of them go into a similar category, but remember– that’s probably really loud on mics– just remember–

Matt: It’s really good too.

Chris: That at least guns are legal in the states, right? And at least tobacco is legal – whether frowned upon or not – in the states, and marijuana is even like more restricted than most of those. So we thought we start here, this is gonna be pretty cool. And ask yourselves, do you have a restricted product that you’re unsure to market? We’re gonna dive into some interesting things here. We live in an age where more and more things are becoming acceptable to talk about, what about cannabis?

Alright, so a few states: Colorado, California, Washington, have it legalized actually for recreational use, if you didn’t know that.

Matt: And Oregon.

Chris: And Oregon. Is it recreational in Oregon as well or is it just medical?

Matt: Yeah. I’m pretty sure it’s recreational.

Chris: It’s at least medical, right?

Matt: No, it’s recreational.

Chris: It’s also recreational. How can you market something like marijuana to very restricted areas? And also where you’ve got these severe restrictions? So let’s kind of dive in and talk about that. First as with everybody, we always talk about target, offer, copy. Like you’ve got to get your targeting right, and then the offer that you’re gonna make to them has to be solid, and then the copy: the content, whether it’s a video, or an image, or text, whatever the copywriting is, make sure that that’s taken care of. So those are the three things. First is audience, so you wanna be smart about your audience. Adam goes ahead and mentions, “Hey let’s be a little smarter than maybe the tobacco industry was, let’s not target children,” right? Lets not target minors for marijuana marketing. So you gotta be careful that you’re not doing cartoons and that it’s not geared towards–

Matt: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chris: Right?

Matt: Also on the websites it says like, “Are you above 18?”

Chris: Yeah, double check.

Matt: So you have like click a button before you to the website.

Chris: To even get into the website.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Absolutely, so put those things in place. Alcohol, right? So we’ve had some clients who are manufacturers of tequila, as one example, and had to have the same thing. And actually all of their marketing couldn’t even be about drinking it, it had to be more like lifestyle marketing. So probably the same applies here. “Don’t market your business anywhere near minors,” right? Big tobacco and alcohol companies have gotten in trouble with that. Also don’t waste your time marketing in states where it’s not relevant.

Matt: So interestingly enough, Facebook was letting you run ads for like legalization as it was coming on voting, and then they killed that.

Chris: They stopped at legalization?

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: That’s interesting ‘cause that should fit like more into political as opposed to like sales.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. So they changed the policy on that.

Chris: Interesting. “Do market your business to the right customers,” right? So one example is Las Vegas. If you’re gonna target people in Las Vegas, you might want to I don’t know, maybe geofence the airport as they’re actually coming into Las Vegas.

Matt: Oh, yeah.

Chris: Just an interesting idea. Alright, so next let’s talk a little bit about– so that’s you’re audience, make sure you get the right audience. That’s the first and very most important thing. Next is branding and Adam kinda went in, he’s done some research, and he’s like, “Make sure you that you don’t get nailed for branding that is really just stealing somebody else.” So apparently there was a cannabis dispensary, they sold edibles called Reefer’s Cups instead of Reese’s Cups, right?

Matt: They’ve done a lot of that, actually.

Chris: Yeah, and Mr. Dankbar. They got sued by Hershey’s for trade marketing infringement and got shut down. So be creative, but you gotta watch where you’re– tread carefully.

Matt: Yeah. So my best man’s older brother, buddy of mine for forever, he moved up there and became the executive director of a large marijuana distributor in Oregon and they’re across like three states. And I was having an interesting conversation with him about marketing and all that. He’s really, really focused on branding. And he went into how everybody’s stealing everybody else’s brand, and you have to build a brand. And that’s like how it goes because it’s really kind of cutthroat everywhere else, and that’s the only real way to differentiate–

Chris: Yeah, gotta differentiate yourself.

Matt: Yeah, it’s still like the wild west and he was talking about like all the cash, and all that ‘cause there’s no banking.

Chris: What do you have to do with the cash? You can’t put it in banks and yeah.

Matt: And actually he had set up multiple banks and then they find out what he does and they tell them that you have to leave.

Chris: Oh wow.

Matt: He was telling me the whole backstory’s pretty interesting, yeah.

Chris: Yeah, it’s a whole– I mean what do you do with an industry that’s legal in a couple of states and still illegal at the federal level.

Matt: Federal level.

Chris: Yeah, very cool. Alright, so as you’re talking of brand, you’re of course going to be talking about your web design. Remember you’re not marketing Cocoa Puffs, you’re actually selling pot. And I think you wanna take a lot of cues– Cocoa Puff, right? I think you want to take a lot of cues from the alcohol industry, right? Where they’re really not able to like show the shooting, right? If you think about the most interesting man. He’s not Chug and Dos Equis, right?

Matt: It’s a lifestyle, yeah.

Chris: That’s not what the commercial’s about. It’s all about kind of the lifestyle and what you are when you drink that particular brand, right? That’s what it’s really talking about. I would take all of my cues from that side of things.

Matt: So interestingly enough, I was reading kind of some different threads and everything, and you can actually not run Facebook ads.

Chris: If you’re talking about marijuana in general?

Matt: If you’re talking about marijuana. Some people have gotten away with it, but it’s actually against the policy and when they find out, they just shut it down.

Chris: Shut the account down.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, but from a social standpoint, I’ve seen a lot of the sites posting in social and building an audience like organically.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. So you can have your Facebook Business page, you can grow it, you can post things – again, lifestyle focus–

Matt: Grow it.

Chris: Grow it.

Matt: I don’t know, I think it’s still really murky. I mean I think it’s still really murky. I mean I think it’s really murky on what to do, and companies don’t know, and what’s the federal government gonna do? Are they gonna change things? Like who knows? Right? So I think everybody’s kinda tip-toeing around it.

Chris: Absolutely. Alright, one of the things he said– I don’t remember where it is, hopefully we’ll come to it and I’ve highlighted it. He was talking a about how every state is in some stage of legalization, right? So that may be like pushing an agenda, ‘cause it’s clearly not legal and Texas is an incredibly conservative state and so it probably won’t be legal here for a very long time. I mean some state is probably just gonna hold out. So it’ll be down to like the last two states and they’re gonna hold out ‘cause they wanna be the last state that legalizes it, right?

Matt: I mean it’s a tax.

Chris: Yeah, there’s a lot of tax revenue that comes from it for sure. Alright Social Media, make sure– just like Matt says, make sure that you’re focusing or that you understand the social media rules and guidelines and that you’re not running a foul of their rules. Because let’s say you actually do build a really good social following, that could be effort that at some point just disappears potentially, and then just ‘cause Facebook might pull it down or Pinterest might pull it down, or whatever.

Matt: Well that comes back to the fundamentals of: never build your business on somebody else’s platform like it’s rented property. And so you always want to have your own site and use all the different web 2.0 to bring people to your site where you control the experience.

Chris: Yup, and we’ll get into that here in just a second. So remember Facebook actually restricts illegal products or services, tobacco products, drugs and drug related products, weapons, ammunition and explosives, and a number of other things. And that’s really in terms of their ad content. I’m not sure– I don’t think that applies– ‘cause they would’ve pulled down the pages. We’re actually doing the research coming into this podcast. And so yeah, there are dispensaries who have business pages. So whether they’re recent and may get yanked soon, but you certainly are not supposed to– not that you can’t ‘cause you saw ads but aren’t supposed to be running ads for cannabis.

Matt: Yeah, and we actually here haven’t actually brought on a marijuana company yet, so we’re talking from anecdotal– or no.

Chris: Really we did a little bit of research.

Matt: Yeah, just really research and kind of what we’ve seen and read to provide you with the facts. But we actually have not run one of these campaigns yet.

Chris: Yet. Is it our goal? What is our goal?

Matt: I don’t know.

Chris: I think that’d be fun. It’d be very interesting.

Matt: I think there’s a lot of opportunity.

Chris: So here’s one that you might not think you would ever hear from us, and that is: Print.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Right? So print is really important. The reality is if you can’t take advantage in the traditional way– interesting, in the traditional way of a lot of the internet marketing strategies then go–

Matt: Internet’s traditional.

Chris: Yeah, I know. Then go back to even more traditional which is print.

Matt: Stone age.

Chris: Stone age.

Matt: No, print really works, direct response still works.

Chris: We have a lot of clients seeing a lot of success on print ads. So it used to be you got so much junk mail you just threw it all away. No a piece of “Junk mail– wow, yeah.”

Matt: Your email, that’s your email.

Chris: And if it’s your email, then just throw it away.

Matt: Yeah, there’s not as much junk mail, so your email’s becoming where everybody’s spamming, you know?

Chris: Yeah, you just throw your emails away and then when you get a mail piece, you’re like, “Oh, I haven’t seen a mail piece in a while, why is that?”

Matt: Yeah, well I always look at them because I’m interested in marketing.

Chris: Absolutely.

Matt: I save them.

Chris: We are in fact a bunch of marketing nerds on the same way. And then finally we’ve got SEO, right? So this is about building a brand, and I think really from– specifically talking about marijuana an marketing marijuana dispensaries across the country or in the states where it’s regular, SEO is gonna be the best way.

Matt: Yeah, oh yeah.

Chris: And you just want to be answering questions ‘cause there’s lots of people in other states who are on their way, they wanna go visit Colorado or potentially in Oregon, and they want to have their get-high vacation or whatever. And so you’ve got to make sure that you’re putting out great content that engages those people.

Matt: Is that what the– what are they called? Not tour guides but the vacation planners. Your get-high vacation.

Chris: Your get-high vacation, yup.

Matt: I’m sure that some–

Chris: Taking you to the highest peak.

Matt: I’m sure that someone’s marketed it like that.

Chris: Somebody is, yeah. So SEO, and then this is just down to fundamentals. Make you’re providing great information, right? So make sure you’re also out there looking at the websites that are talking about get-high destinations, right? And make sure your business, your dispensary is included in those lists, right? And may even coordinate with a hotel and like those are the strategies that are gonna win for a number of reasons, yeah.

Matt: Yeah, outrage. You want to hit the bloggers. You want to hit the bloggers.

Chris: Alright, so fundamentally yes, do build your brand.

Matt: Do you know what we didn’t check? I want to know like Yelp ratings.

Chris: If there’s Yelp ratings for dispensaries.

Matt: Like which dispensaries should we go to?

Chris: We’ll check that here shortly. Not a good place to get high. Are those stars or leaves? I don’t know. Alright so, let’s talk about the law a little bit more. Really if you’re gonna be doing marijuana marketing, you wanna make sure that you’re following the laws. And that’s obviously true and more sensitive in the case of marijuana ‘cause every state– here’s where he says it, “Every state is at a different stage of legalization,” and every state has different laws. So make sure your conforming to those laws, very important. And then he talks a little bit about how the gun industry and the big tobacco and alcohol companies, they are in these kind of same markets and they have to do the same type of–

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: I don’t know, bobbing and weaving to get some good marketing out there.

Matt: So like 10 years ago, or longer, like when people were talking about, “They’re gonna legalize marijuana. They’re gonna legalize marijuana, ” and it wasn’t legal yet?

Chris: Right?

Matt: Everybody talks about Marlboro or at least like people that I knew. Marlboro Gold and it was gonna be as soon as it was legal, Marlboro was gonna come out with their own–

Chris: Gold Marijuana, yeah.

Matt: Marijuana cigarettes, and they didn’t.

Chris: That hasn’t happened yet.

Matt: That didn’t happen.

Chris: Maybe they’re waiting for 10 states or maybe they’re waiting for something? Because that fits in their niche, right? So wouldn’t it still–

Matt: I think there’s a lot of risk and if it’s not legal in the federal level–

Chris: And you’re a big federal–

Matt: And they’re already a target, so they gotta probably wait until it’s fully legal by the federal government.

Chris: Make sense. Alright, so some other places that you can get into advertising, right? Magazines and newspapers, right?

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: So there’s what? High Times, Leafly, although I know those are kind of online publications–

Matt: There are print too.

Chris: Yeah, there’s print publications that you can get into.

Matt: I mean I don’t subscribe to them or anything.

Chris: Blogs, right? So again, going back to SEO, what are the blogs? Like how do you compare these? This product to that product? You obviously brownies are things that come up when you’re talking about marijuana, so what are the better brownies?

Matt: You know you’re searching brownies on Google in Colorado.

Chris: Yeah, it’s the only one thing comes up.

Matt: No, that’s funny. I don’t if it does, I’m just totally–

Chris: It probably has to. Like if you do like “Brownies Colorado,” like what are you–?

Matt: I mean you could run into trouble there, you know what I mean?

Chris: Yeah ‘cause kids like brownies, that’s a problem. So you gotta be careful of that. Radio, right? So you could do some radio ads. Video. So I’m not sure you can get some YouTube videos out there, video’s gonna be good for your website, it’s gonna be good for the content, right? So interviewing a marijuana expert, a growing expert– actually I was on YouTube and so there was like people who– the company that sells all the equipment so that you can grow marijuana had a really long video and was touring different growers and things like that.

Matt: I would put the video in a press release and then blow it up.

Chris: Pop it out, yeah.

Matt: Get ranked there.

Chris: Absolutely, and then back to internet. Look for those industry-specific things like High Times, Leafly, etc. “Don’t be afraid to market your restricted product, those industries have been doing it forever,” you just have to know the ins and outs of the law and make sure you do it right, and them maybe do– you know, maybe skirt things a little bit so that you can get a little advantage when you’re doing that marketing. So yeah.

Matt: Adam high five.

Chris: Punch in the face.

Matt: High five.

Chris: High five, leaf-shaped five to you.

Matt: Oh wait, a leaf-shaped five.

Chris: Alright, so that brings our podcast to the end. If you liked this plodcast– podcast, I keep saying plotcast. If you liked this podcast we ask you to do something– punch in the face to Chris Webber– I’m confused, what’s the topic here? That is awesome. So if you liked this podcast, please tell three people that you liked this podcast. Maybe this one specifically, maybe you know somebody who’d get a kick out of Podcast #420. Go ahead and share that with them. If you are looking to grow your business with the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet–

Matt: The internet.

Chris: Call eWebResults for increased revenue in your business, our phone number is 713-592-6724. We have a referral program.

Matt: We do.

Chris: And the way the referral program works is we can cut you a check or we can cut a check to your favorite charity.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: You just send people to us who would like internet marketing services, and then when they pay us we cut that check to you or to your favorite charity.

Matt: We white label stuff too guys.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: This was filmed live here at 5999, West 34th Street, Suite 106, Houston, Texas, 77092. This has been a lot of fun doing Podcast #420. If you would like audio, video or a transcript of this podcast, you can find it at We are the most– hopefully this even makes us more popular. We are the most popular internet marketing podcast on the iTunes, in the known universe. That is because of you, all of you all. We appreciate you, thank you for you comments, thank you for your reviews, thank you for your questions. Punch in the face to you Manny for kind of pushing us on some software and until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.

Matt: Matt Bertram.

Chris & Matt: Bye bye for now.

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