Cannabis Media Council releases guidelines to help weed companies succeed in advertising

cannabis media council full spectrum report

Being a cannabis operator is a tricky business all around. From regulatory roadblocks to raising funds, there are challenges at every turn. Marketing is no different. According to a recent survey, over 85% of cannabis business owners said reaching their target audience is difficult.

A new report from the trade group Cannabis Media Council seeks to take some of the guesswork out of the confusing world of digital marketing. FULL SPECTRUM: Guidelines For Responsible Cannabis Advertising is an annual overview of the cannabis advertising landscape, offering best practices, tips and tricks for success, and case studies featuring brands finding success with their high-level creative.

The report was led by marketing expert Rachel Boykins, a founding board member at Cannabis Media Council with experience in several highly-regulated industries, including alcohol.

“The cannabis industry is rapidly growing as legalization and curiosity peaks, so we must evolve to support this influx of new users,” Boykins said in a press release sent to GreenState, a Hearst publication. *Hearst is an advertising partner of the Cannabis Media Council.

“Similar to the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries, it’s important that we establish best practices as advertisers that are responsible and ethical in order for mainstream media to see cannabis as a safe space.”

The first edition of the report proposes “seven core pillars for responsible advertising,” as recommended by the Cannabis Media Council. This includes creating fact-based campaigns that seek to educate the masses on cannabis, remaining compliant, ensuring diverse representation, and utilizing eco-friendly practices whenever possible. 

FULL SPECTRUM also provides a checklist for engaging with media outlets and advice on influencer marketing. The report makes a compelling case to the press on why they should consider working with cannabis brands.

The guidelines are directed at 2018 Farm Bill-compliant hemp companies as well as state-legal THC brands. It’s noted that “further cannabinoids, synthetics, chemically derived compounds or isomers are not contemplated or addressed” and that the landscape of cannabis advertising is evolving on a daily basis.

The Cannabis Media Council, which seeks to “de-program the war on cannabis” by harnessing the power of mainstream media, hopes the guidelines will further legitimize the nascent cannabis industry and provide a level playing ground for all operators. 


rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter