If you’re in the cannabis industry, you’ve probably considered a marijuana or cannabis sweepstakes to promote your brand. People love free stuff and giveaways can bring a ton of exposure for your brand.
If you want your sweepstakes to be successful, here are our suggestions for effective cannabis marketing:
1. Follow the Law
Although marijuana growers, distributors and dispensaries are part of a legal industry in some states, cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. See Wikipedia’s map of states where cannabis is legal, whether for all use (medical and recreational) or for medical use only.
With marijuana laws changing at a rapid pace, you have to be very aware of the local and state laws that pertain to marketing and advertising for any type of marijuana or cannabis-infused products. Another good resource is the Internet Advertising Bureau’s list of Marijuana Legalization and Advertising Restrictions in the United States.
In general, here are some of the rules that apply to marketing cannabis or marijuana:
- Make sure that your sweepstakes is only open to entrants age 21 or older, with proof of age.
- Any ads must have a disclaimer about the state’s legal age for marijuana products, if any.
- Similar to the tobacco and vaping industries, brands cannot use any type of marketing that can be construed as trying to appeal to children (characters, mascots, games, etc.)
- Don’t advertise your brand or giveaway in public (or private) places where children may be present, including billboards, buses/vehicles, television, and radio.
- Don’t use Facebook, Google, or any other advertising or marketing channel that specifically prohibits promotions involving illegal drugs, to promote your giveaway.
- Do not allow mail-in entries as this could be considered as interstate commerce.
- Purchases of any related products can’t be required for entry.
- Make sure that sweepstakes and contests are legal in your state and follow all applicable laws.
- Make sure the sweepstakes is only open to residents of states where cannabis is legal.
2. Select a Prize That Will Delight Your Customers
When it comes to selecting a prize for your sweepstakes, you should be aware of what the regulations are in your industry. For example, in Colorado, retail cannabis stores are not permitted to give away cannabis or any product containing cannabis, such as food or drinks.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t give away prizes related to you brand. Here are a few ideas to try:
- Experiences: Offer entrants a chance to win tickets to a cannabis event or a concert in your area.
- Accessories: Your customers will appreciate a chance to win the cannabis accessories they would have to otherwise buy, such as grinders, rolling papers or glassware.
- Growing Equipment: If your business is aimed at growers rather than consumers, you can give away growing equipment such as lighting, ventilation or harvesting tools.
If you have partnerships with other brands, reach out to them to request free products or services and have them help with the prize delivery.
3. Get Creative
Since you will be very limited in the ways in which you can promote your cannabis sweepstakes, you’ll need to get creative if you want to maximize the number of entrants. You can test your entrants knowledge by asking them to answer cannabis trivia. Another idea is to ask them to predict the next winner of the Cannabis Cup.
At the same time, make sure to ask entrants to share the sweepstakes with an eligible friend so that you can help raise awareness about your sweepstakes.