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Why Broccoli? Cannabis Companies Grapple With Marketing and Advertising Hurdles

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This article by Lauren Wilson was originally published on Weedmaps (NASDAQ: MAPS) and appears here with permission.

Advertising in the cannabis industry is hard. Inconsistent rules call for creative solutions and some unintended consequences (like commandeering the broccoli emoji’s identity). Watch Weedmap’s reluctant weed mascot, Brock Ollie, above and read on to learn more about cannabis censorship and what it means for the cannabis industry at large.

If you work in the cannabis industry, it’s no secret that marketing and advertising remain a challenge. If you don’t work in cannabis, this might seem like a curious problem for the industry to face, considering that as of writing this article, medical cannabis is legal in 38 states while adult use is now legal in 19. And the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) reported that 11 other states have legislative efforts in the works for possible legalization in 2022.

Even for an industry that employed more than 320,000 Americans, hit about $25 billion in sales, and had a total U.S. economic impact estimated at $92 billion last year, it remains very difficult for businesses to carry out basic functions like banking, advertising, and marketing.

Why are marketing and advertising hard for cannabis brands?

The legal, regulatory, and business landscapes of the cannabis industry are continuously shifting, which in turn affects what brands can and can’t do when it comes to marketing and advertising. What brands can and can’t do also changes at the state and federal levels by channel, publisher, and platform. Managing all of these variables requires significant investments of time and money.

While it would make sense for cannabis businesses to look to other successful non-cannabis brands when developing strategies, many of these traditional marketing and advertising tactics are off-limits. In addition, under federal tax code 280E, marketing, and advertising expenses cannot be claimed.

“In cannabis and CBD we have to play this game with one hand behind our back,” said Chris Shreeve, co-founder of PrograMetrix, a digital advertising agency that supports cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), and hemp brands. “How in the world can we expect cannabis brands to grow, scale, and thrive without access to proper marketing and advertising channels?”

The biggest players in digital advertising — Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Meta (NASDAQ: FB)’s Facebook and Instagram, and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) — all explicitly ban the paid advertising of “illicit and illegal substances” — which includes cannabis. Sometimes, the ban covers hemp, the non-intoxicating …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Source: benzinga.com

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Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform

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With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Post: benzinga.com

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue

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A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Article: benzinga.com

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP

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Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

What Happened

The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Source: benzinga.com

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