Cannabis Advertising Compliance
Staying compliant and safe is a big deal in the Cannabis industry. We have seen many brands get shut down for putting out false messages or just simply not knowing what they can and can’t do. Fortunately, we have seen it all and we can provide you insight into the guidelines.
Although the guidelines may seem to be complicated they are actually also quite simple and logical on the surface.
CBD and Cannabis Advertising Guidelines
1. Do Not Market Towards Children
This is pretty straightforward for any product that has age restrictions and Cannabis is definitely restrictive to adults 21+ (18 in some states and 19 in Canada). Your messaging and imaging all must fall in line with this guideline. Targeting certain age groups for cannabis and CBD ads will also help you stay safe and will help you gather data from those engaging with your brand.
2. Do Not Show Consumption
When it comes to having a product site you must have an age gate on the site. This means that before a user is allowed to enter your site they must verify their age. This is crucial for every single brand and non-negotiable for cannabis advertising compliance. I implore you to make sure your product site has age gating, it will keep you out of some serious hot water.
3. Cannabis Ad Images of Flower
Again, it is an easy place to go when advertising but it is not creative and not widely accepted. Thus an ad with cannabis leaves all over it is not what you want. Especially when it comes to Cannabis flower.
4. No Medical Claims
As much as you believe that your product can be incredibly beneficial to users, you must remember that any medical claims must be approved by the FDA. Given that Cannabis is not federally legal, this is almost impossible. Be careful what you say when promoting the benefits. Stay away from rhetoric as “will heal” or “cure”, these regulations are standard for pharmaceuticals as well. As a brand, you do not want to be held accountable for claims being made. We gotta take care of our brands even though we all knew Red Bull did not give us wings.
CBD Advertising Guidelines
CBD and Cannabis intersect pretty closely which means the guidelines and rather close and similar. However, CBD is a bit more widely accepted along with Hemp. What seems to be the biggest issue with CBD are the medical claims. It is understandable that the FDA does not want people to be misled, but we do need more acceptance for these products. For example, in 2019 the FDA put out a stern warning to 15 CBD companies that were having issues with medical claims.
A great advertising tip to stay safe advertising CBD is to focus more on the widely accepted products like topicals or tinctures in order to drive to your consumables.
Thankfully, if you play within the guidelines you can be very creative.
Think outside the leaf!