Marketing a Dispensary: You Built a Beautiful Store. Now, Let’s Get People Through the Door!

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Marketing a Dispensary in the USA or Canada: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Running and marketing a dispensary in a legal state is exciting! You’re offering amazing products but in a brand-new marketing landscape. 

Forget about flashy billboards and catchy radio jingles – cannabis marketing requires a fresh approach. I feel you. 

Navigating legal restrictions and reaching the right audience online can feel overwhelming. But fear not, fellow canna-preneur! 

In this article, I’ll break down the ins and outs of marketing a dispensary in the US or Canada. 

The idea is to show you the best way to market a dispensary and increase revenue.

I’ll answer some frequently asked questions that many dispensary owners have on how to market a dispensary.

I’ll show you how to leverage proven compliant strategies to build your brand awareness, gain a thriving online presence, rank higher, attract qualified customers, and watch your revenue soar!  

Finally, I’ll also illustrate how cannabis digital marketing tactics like e-commerce cannabis website design (with no embeds or I-frames), dispensary SEO, local SEO for dispensaries, cannabis content writing, and digital advertising are essential when strategizing how to market a dispensary.

But first, before we discuss the tactics for marketing a dispensary and boosting store revenue, I’ll start with common questions for opening a dispensary or starting a dispensary for the first time.

So, grab your vape pen or blunt and get ready to discover creative marketing solutions that will have customers lining up at the door of your retail dispensaries (or websites, depending on your state’s laws).  

Let’s dive in and learn how to market a dispensary and get answers to common questions cannabis dispensary owners have about marketing a dispensary in the USA and Canada

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Marketing Your Dispensary: Answers to Common Questions for Cultivating Explosive Growth

Unlike most retail businesses, cannabis dispensary owners face a frustrating hurdle: traditional online marketing channels are off-limits. 

No flashy social media ads with Meta or TikTok and no Google Ads campaigns for you.  

Federal regulations and platform restrictions mean that tried-and-true tactics like blasting your brand across Facebook or Instagram are a no-go. 

This can feel like a major setback, but fear not! It simply means getting creative and leveraging alternative strategies.  

After reading this article, you’ll see that you don’t really need to focus on social media when marketing a dispensary and that Google Ads may not even be the best way to promote your dispensary.

Let’s start with answers to common questions you may have about marketing a dispensary and increasing revenue.

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1. Legal Labyrinth and Regulatory Roadblocks

As a retail cannabis dispensary owner, you’ve likely considered using some form of advertising as part of your dispensary marketing strategy. You’ve likely also considered the legal restrictions on online cannabis advertising in your state.

The laws surrounding online marketing for cannabis vary by state and can be complex to navigate. Which makes using advertising to market a dispensary very challenging.

As a dispensary owner, you need to stay informed about what you can and can’t do regarding social media promotion, email marketing, and website content. 

This might involve consulting a lawyer specializing in cannabis regulations or a cannabis marketing agency, like, that is experienced in the legal nuances of marketing a dispensary in the USA and Canada.

Here’s some good news: You can advertise cannabis online in the USA (legal states only) and Canada. No issues. 100% compliant.

There are two options for marketing your dispensary using digital advertising: programmatic display advertising with site retargeting and Google Advertising on the Google search network.

a cannabis seo agency team discussing how to market a dispensary. cannabis marketing firm. marijuana seo experts.

2. Can I Use Paid Advertising Online to Promote My Dispensary?

If you’re opening a dispensary or strategizing on how to market a dispensary, here’s what you need to know about these 2 cannabis advertising options:

Programmatic Display Advertising & Site Retargeting for Dispensaries

Traditional advertising? Forget it. Cannabis dispensaries in Canada and legal US states need creative solutions from an experienced cannabis marketing agency in order to market a dispensary effectively. 

Enter programmatic display and native ads, designed to supercharge your revenue, both in-store and online.

Programmatic Display Ads: Target, Display, Optimize

Imagine reaching ideal customers across reputable websites. Programmatic display advertising, managed by, does this legally and compliantly!

Here’s what you get from programmatic display:

  • Laser Targeting: Reach adults of legal age, interested in cannabis, in your delivery zone (if applicable).
  • Strategic Display: Ads appear on high-traffic websites and apps, keeping you top-of-mind.
  • Real-Time Optimization: Platforms constantly analyze performance, maximizing your budget for in-store and online sales (where legal).

Native Ads: Blend, Influence, Convert

Native ads seamlessly integrate your message with relevant content on websites that your target market visits daily.

Here’s what you get from native ads:

  • Credibility Boost: Appear as sponsored content, building trust and encouraging clicks.
  • Targeted Content: Tailor content to specific interests, driving targeted sales (e.g., sponsored article about a strain with a link to your online store, if legal).
  • Brand Storytelling: Showcase your commitment to quality and community, fostering brand loyalty and repeat customers.

The Bottom Line:

Programmatic display and native advertising are game-changers when it comes to marketing a dispensary. They allow you to reach the right audience legally, build brand awareness, and foster trust. 

These strategies pave the way for explosive revenue growth, both in-store and online (where permitted). 

Our advertising and media partners include platforms that understand cannabis marketing regulations.

Compliance is key, and these platforms will guide you. Let’s ditch the limitations and watch your dispensary thrive!

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Google Search Advertising for Dispensaries

While traditional Google Ads might seem like a dead end for marketing a dispensary in legal US states, there are workarounds to consider for significant revenue growth, both in-store and online (where applicable). 

Here’s why Google Search Ads may deserve a spot in your cannabis marketing arsenal:

  • High-Intent Users: People searching for “dispensary near me” or “[strain name] for sale” are actively looking to buy. Target these high-intent users with relevant ads and watch sales soar.
  • Laser-Focused Targeting: Go beyond location. Target by demographics, interests, and even purchase history (on a non-cannabis-specific basis) to reach the perfect customer for your products.
  • Boost Online Sales (Where Legal): Direct potential customers to your online store (if your state allows) for a seamless buying experience.

The Nuances and the Workarounds:

Here’s the catch: Google Ads currently prohibits cannabis advertising. But there are ways to get creative and compliant when marketing a dispensary if you are in Canada or in a legal US state and you have a valid business licence!

Focus on Location and Services: Target searches for “cannabis dispensary”, “weed delivery”, or “weed stores” near you (while ensuring compliance with local regulations). Highlight consultation services or educational content and don’t promote price or the sale to stay above board.

Partner with a Pro Cannabis Marketing Agency:  Teams experienced in the legal nuances of cannabis marketing can craft compliant ad campaigns that drive traffic to your dispensary website or landing page. Look for cannabis marketing agencies like who understand the ins and outs of legalities and creative workarounds.

The Bottom Line:

Google Search Ads offer a powerful (and legal) way to reach high-intent customers actively seeking cannabis products or services.  

By focusing on location and services and partnering with the right cannabis marketing experts, you can leverage Google’s power to drive significant revenue growth for your dispensary, both in-store and online (where permitted). 

Remember, with a little creativity and compliance-focused strategies, Google Search Ads can still be a valuable tool in your dispensary’s marketing toolbox.

cannabis dispensary seo expert using a laptop while smoking weed.

3. How Can I Attract Potential Customers Online Without Traditional Advertising?

Local SEO for Dispensaries

SEO for dispensaries is your secret weapon for explosive revenue growth.

In my experience, the best way to market a dispensary is to implement a comprehensive local SEO strategy strategically focused on your customers and their user experience when shopping on your website.

If you want to pack your dispensary with customers, look no further than a local SEO strategy for your cannabis store. 

Why is dispensary SEO the ultimate foundation for your cannabis marketing? 

If you partner with a dope SEO expert or a dispensary-savvy agency, you can sit back and watch your revenue skyrocket. Here’s how:

Be the Top Dog in Local Searches:

  • Imagine dominating online searches for “best dispensary near me.” SEO makes it happen, bringing curious customers straight to your virtual door.

Rule Google Maps:

  • Forget the highlighter – cannabis SEO helps your dispensary climb the ranks on Google Maps, making it easier than ever for customers to find you. More foot traffic, more sales – boom!

See Your Sales Soar:

  • With killer dispensary local SEO, your website becomes a magnet for potential customers. They’ll be crawling in to explore your products and services.

cannabis marketing agency workers analyzing dispensary SEO data for marketing a dispensary

Content Marketing for Dispensaries

Think of content marketing as your dispensary’s megaphone in the crowded online cannabis marketplace.  Here’s how to use it to shout your awesomeness and attract a loyal following:

Become a Cannabis Guru:

  • Craft blog posts and articles packed with informative content about different strains, terpenes, and the latest cannabis trends.  Think “The Beginner’s Guide to Indica vs. Sativa” or “Top 5 Cannabis Strains for Relaxation.”  

Educate, entertain, and establish yourself as the go-to source for all things cannabis.

I’d highly recommend hiring an experienced cannabis copywriter who is well-versed in SEO copywriting. 

Any qualified content writer can write a great article about your dispensary or your cannabis products, but it takes professional SEO copywriting and an understanding of dispensary local SEO to get the blog article to rank in search and drive traffic to your site.

Spill the (Legally Compliant) Beans:

  • People have questions, and you have answers (or at least know where to find them).

    Develop FAQs that address common concerns about legalities, consumption methods, or product selection. Think “How to Choose the Right Cannabis Products for You” or “Understanding Cannabis Regulations in [Your State].”

Embrace the Power of Storytelling

  • Human connection is key.  Share customer testimonials about how your products have helped them, or craft engaging stories about your sourcing or commitment to quality. Highlight local partnerships with other businesses or charitable endeavors to showcase your community spirit.

Content Marketing Tactics for Dispensary Domination

Now, let’s get tactical. Here are some dope content marketing tactics to get you started:

– Interactive Content: Quizzes, polls, and infographics are a fun way to engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.

– Embrace the Visuals: High-quality photos and videos showcasing your products and dispensary environment are essential. Think bud close-ups, educational video tutorials, or even a virtual tour of your dispensary (following local regulations, of course).

– Social Media Savvy: Share your content across relevant social media platforms (while adhering to platform guidelines). Host live Q&A sessions with budtenders or partner with local cannabis influencers for shoutouts.

Remember: Consistency is key. 

By regularly creating informative, engaging, and legally compliant content, you’ll build brand loyalty, attract qualified customers, and watch your revenue skyrocket.  

woman hanging an open sign on her cannabis dispensary front door. how to market a dispensary in USA and Canada.

4. How Can I Target the Right Audience Online While Staying Compliant?

Targeting the right online audience is every dispensary owner’s golden ticket. But with legal restrictions in the cannabis industry, it can feel like aiming darts blindfolded. 

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here’s how to hit the bullseye with compliant online marketing that won’t leave you feeling high and dry:

– Age-Gating: Your Digital Security Guard: This tech acts like your virtual bouncer, ensuring only those of legal age enter your website. 

Easy to implement and essential for staying compliant. Think of it as your first line of defence.

– Geo-Fencing: Marketing with Laser Precision: Focus your online efforts on legal cannabis zones. 

Geo-fencing tools create a virtual boundary, making sure your marketing blasts only reach potential customers who can legally purchase your products. 

No more wasted effort just targeted cannabis marketing magic.

– Content is Still King (and Queen) But Don’t Get High on Your Own Supply: Create informative and engaging content about cannabis (think blog posts, articles, or social media content).  

Focus on education and avoid medical claims or product endorsements. This builds trust and attracts qualified customers (without raising any red flags).

blog concept cloud chart for a dispensary marketing company

5. What Kind of Content Can I Share Online About My Dispensary and Products?

Federal regulations might make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells when it comes to online content for your dispensary. But don’t worry—I got you.

Here are some fire content ideas to keep your audience engaged and compliant:

Strain School 101:

  • Educate your audience about different cannabis strains, their unique effects, and terpene profiles. 
  • Think “The Beginner’s Guide to Indica vs. Sativa” or “Unlocking the Power of Terpenes: A Guide for Canna Connoisseurs.” Focus on the science and experience without making medical claims.

Life Beyond the Leaf:

  • Cannabis is a part of a larger wellness lifestyle. Create content that explores healthy consumption methods, mindfulness practices, or recipes incorporating cannabis (think infused teas or mocktails, where legal).

Customer Chronicles:

  • Let your happy customers do the talking! Share positive testimonials about how your products have helped people (focusing on general well-being, not specific medical conditions). This builds trust and establishes your dispensary as a go-to source.

Community Corner

  • Foster a sense of community by creating a forum (on a compliant platform) where cannabis enthusiasts can connect, share experiences, and ask questions (moderated by you, of course). This allows you to engage your audience organically while staying clear of product endorsements.

Bonus Tip: Embrace the Power of Storytelling:

  • Craft engaging narratives about your brand. Highlight your commitment to quality sourcing, sustainable practices, or your dedication to supporting local businesses. Human connection is key, so showcase the heart and soul behind your dispensary.

Remember, when marketing a dispensary, the key is to educate, entertain, and connect without crossing any legal lines.  By focusing on informative content, creating a community atmosphere, and sharing positive experiences, you can build a loyal following and keep your online presence blazing bright (without getting burned).

online branding concept for cannabis dispensary

6. How Can I Build a Strong Online Brand for My Dispensary?

Standing out in the crowded online cannabis marketplace can feel tricky, right? Even with legal limitations for marketing a dispensary, you can build a strong brand that resonates with your target audience and keeps your dispensary at the forefront of their minds.  

Here’s how to cultivate a brand identity that’s both compliant and captivating:

– Values are Your Roots: What makes your dispensary unique? Focus on building a brand that reflects your core values, whether it’s sustainability, community focus, or top-shelf product quality.  Showcase your commitment to local sourcing or environmentally friendly practices.  People connect with authenticity, so let your values shine through.

– Storytelling is Your Sunshine: Let your brand story blossom! Craft engaging narratives that showcase the heart and soul behind your dispensary.  Highlight the passion of your budtenders, the dedication of your growers, or the inspiration behind your unique product selection.

– Visuals Speak Volumes (Without Saying a Word): Since explicit product imagery is a no-go, get creative with visuals. High-quality photos of your dispensary’s atmosphere, close-ups of beautiful landscapes, or artistic representations of the plant itself can all tell a story without breaking any rules.

– Community is Your Watering Can: Foster a sense of community around your brand.  Host online events or discussions (on compliant platforms) about cannabis culture, wellness tips, or local initiatives you support.  

This allows you to effectively market a dispensary and connect with your audience on a deeper level and build brand loyalty.

Remember: Consistency is key. 

By regularly creating engaging content, showcasing your values, and fostering a sense of community, you’ll build a strong online brand identity that attracts customers and keeps them coming back for more.  

small shopping cart and bag with cannabis and cbd oil

Conclusion: Cultivating Growth Through Compliant Cannabis Marketing

Congratulations! You’ve taken a massive step towards building a thriving dispensary with a strong online presence and marketing a dispensary effectively. 

Remember, the cannabis marketing landscape may have its limitations, but it also brims with creative possibilities.

By harnessing the power of compliant strategies like SEO, informative content creation, and community building, you can:

Attract qualified customers: Establish yourself as a trusted resource for all things cannabis, drawing in potential customers who are actively seeking your products.

Build brand loyalty: Showcase your unique values, cultivate a sense of community, and share positive customer experiences to create a loyal following.

Boost online presence: Implement a comprehensive SEO strategy and leverage legal online advertising options to dominate local searches and get discovered by customers eager to explore your dispensary.

Increase revenue: Ultimately, effective marketing translates to a thriving business. By implementing these strategies, you’ll watch your dispensary flourish and your revenue climb.

So, ditch the limitations and embrace the exciting world of marketing a dispensary with compliant cannabis marketing. 

With a little creativity and a focus on building trust, your dispensary can become a beacon in the online cannabis marketplace, attracting customers and keeping them coming back for more. 

Remember, the future of your dispensary is bright – and it starts with a well-defined marketing strategy.

If you need help marketing a dispensary or a chain of retail cannabis stores, we can help you implement the best way to market a dispensary in Canada or the USA.

Contact us for a 30-minute free consultation or to request a quote.

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