Here’s the Only Guide You Need for Cannabis Advertising (An Acuity Ads article)

05 Sep

June 25, 2019

To put it bluntly: navigating the restrictions around cannabis advertising truly sucks. The laws are ever-changing. There are new restrictions almost every day, changes to what you can (and cannot) show on ads, updated exchanges to run with, etc. Don’t panic – we’ve put together a handy guide to help you plan your marketing strategy. We detail the current restrictions across Canada and the U.S. and put together ways you can target cannabis consumers, where you can run, and what you can say. Let’s get started.


The opportunities around cannabis advertising should not be ignored. Today, legal cannabis is being prescribed as a treatment for chronic pain and illness and is providing an incredible investment opportunity for companies that want to take advantage of the growing (pun intended) market. According to NBC News, in 2018, legal marijuana in the U.S. was a $10.4 billion industry with a quarter-million jobs alone devoted to handling the plants. The combined North American market is projected to reach $16 billion in 2019. The Canadian cannabis industry is also in full bloom. After its legalization in the fall of 2018, the total cannabis market in Canada (including medical and recreational, whether legal or illegal) is projected to generate $7.17 billion in total sales in 2019.


The Acuity Platform decision science technology accesses highly relevant data in order to efficiently and accurately deliver campaigns online. As the cannabis industry continues to mature, it will be critical to take advantage of technology to navigate digital inventory and access relevant audiences at scale. The following is a sample Acuity Live Audience for a cannabis advertiser. Acuity Live Audiences are collections of data points that provide a holistic view of your intended consumer. Acuity Live Audiences are updated every 60 seconds and are proven to improve campaign performance against KPIs.


The Acuity Platform allows advertisers to access every level of targeting available to technology today. You can reach your audience while they are consuming content in premium environments across the open web.

Demographic + Geographic: Your technology provider should give you access to a wide range of targeting tactics as well as audience segments to improve campaign relevance and performance. Acuity Platform accesses demographic and geographic specifications like age, gender, household income, language, zip/postal code, and more. This is particularly important for cannabis advertisers who are required to use LDA compliance mechanisms.

Contextual: Acuity Platform’s contextual page scanning technology looks at page level content to deliver advertising in relevant and brand safe environments. This technology can also help brands to avoid questionable or unsafe environments. Reach your brand’s target on premium publishers within contextually relevant content and retarget users based on their keyword searches on publisher and e- commerce sites.

Inventory Quality + Fraud Protection: A wide range of partners work together to help protect advertisers against fraud and ensure their campaigns are running in quality inventory environments. Acuity Platform has Fraudlogix built-in, a fraud protection service that eliminates bot fraud, human click farms & iFraming units and scores traffic and content. It also uses IP filtering and global, industry- wide advertiser white/blacklists. Finally, it allows advertisers to overlay ad verification tools via comScore vCE, Nielsen OCR, or Integral Ad Science. The Acuity Platform preferred partner for viewability metrics is MOAT to achieve the standards that you set out.

Data Segments: Access 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data segments through Acuity Platform’s strategic partnerships. Use relevant online behavior to target your consumer across the open web with segments like “anxiety,” “natural pain relief,” and “natural anti-inflammatories.”

For the full eBook and to learn more about acceptable and non-acceptable cannabis advertising creatives, download the guide today!

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