In terms of marketing, the internet is king. Advertisers spent nearly $40 billion more on internet advertisements than television in 2018, topping TV for the second year in a row. Nearly $20 billion was spent on advertising on social media. For a business in this era, to not be on social media is tantamount to not existing.
"We do have an issue with Facebook shutting down our pages sometimes. So, we have to be really careful on how we're promoting our content and making sure that it is really educational and informative,” Mannix said. "Facebook views cannabis as an illicit substance. So, basically, they don't allow, technically, cannabis companies to have pages."
Mannix said that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, would also shut down posts and pages using marijuana-related hashtags, which on Instagram is key to expanding your brand’s visibility. Facebook’s policy for drug and drug-related advertisements prohibits content that “promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs.” This has caused confusion with companies arguing that Facebook allowing advertisers to choose to market to states where the sale of marijuana is legalized should still fall within their guidelines. The problem is, if Billy from California, where marijuana is legalized for recreational sale, shares a sponsored post for a new vape pen with his Facebook friends, that ad could digitally cross state and international borders and end up in places where the sale of marijuana and marijuana-related products are illegal.
That seems to be Google’s thinking with the search giant banning all marijuana ads due to it not being legal on a federal level. Mannix calls this a problem, but says Cannabrand “comes up with creative and strategic ways to kind of circumvent the problem." However, Facebook and Google are advertising behemoths representing 58 percent of the advertising market in 2018. The two are too large and influential to ignore, so marijuana brands have to be more than creative to grow. They have to be everywhere.