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Cannabis Trends in 2022


read time:

3.5 min

digital insights

Weed is sprouting in more ways than one. But before we dive into some trends for weed marketers, whether you are for or against CBD there is no denying the immense growth and changes the industry has seen during the pandemic. So what does the cannabis market look like right now?

“Building trust with the customer is paramount. It’s important when selling any product, but it’s crucial in cannabis because there are a ton of dubious products and misinformation out there.” — David Fudge, Co-Founder and CEO of Aplos

In the US, cannabis is a $17.5 billion industry. The medical cannabis market alone is estimated to grow from $6.8 million in 2020 to $53.8 million by 2030. And the cannabis user audience may be a little different than you think with nearly 84% of users employed full-time. We aren’t just talking about Gen-Zers or Millennials as the core audience - many working professionals fall into the CBD consumer audience. Some other interesting audience demo tid-bits we found are: they skew more male than female, 65% of CBD users have a household income over $75k, and less than half of total users are parents. In this blog, we dived into cannabis trends to watch out for in 2022 for marketers:

The CBD brands that will win excel at lifestyle UGC marketing

Much of the success of top CBD brands is getting consumers to trust you and want to wear your products. This extends to shirts, backpacks, and accessories. The cannabis brands that are the most followed and engaged on digital do a great job of earning trust and building a relationship with brand authenticity, realness, and raw content. In a crowded market space, users who choose to buy from you will go the extra mile as ambassadors because of the work the brand puts into those relationships. If you are a CBD brand and not prioritizing lifestyle marketing in your strategy, in the long run, your brand (and ultimately sales) will suffer.

Even with high regulations, CBD online advertising will gain more momentum

It’s no secret that the CBD industry is highly regulated and faces many more challenges than the average product or brand engaging in paid advertising these days. As a general rule, most cannabis brands cannot advertise on Facebook and Google right now. Google prohibits the advertising of “marijuana” as well as “pipes, bongs, cannabis coffee shops.” And Facebook says ads can’t “promote the sale or use of illicit or recreational drugs, or other unsafe substances, products or supplements.” And that’s before we even get to state legalization (more on that later). So how can you promote online? A creative and carefully thought-out communication strategy (which definitely should include SEO tactics) must be created.

Often we’ve seen creative organic marketing work the best to generate buzz and awareness about CBD while avoiding getting flagged by the platform. It’s walking a tightrope for sure. Even with all that said, we’re starting to see ad tech open their platforms to CBD and my guess is that this will continue to pick up momentum and shift digital strategy within the industry. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for murals like this one from GorillaRX that show some of the most creative marketing campaigns you’ll find out there.

Legalization on the rise across many states

Whether we like it or not the political landscape will always play a part in the industry. Many are predicting that cannabis will become legal in Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island at some point in the near future. For now the biggest thing any CBD brand or agency representing them can do is just be aware of the current status of the legislation in the state you're representing/located. We’re predicting a few more will legalize in the next year.

More podcast marketing (and we’re here for it!)

If you follow Your Brand. Your Story podcast, you know we’re fully aware of the growth in podcast marketing but for those who need more proof: Insider Intelligence estimates that podcasting will be a $94 billion industry by 2028, 424 million people will listen to podcasts worldwide (which accounts for 20% of Internet users), and just in 2022 alone we’re expecting a 6.6% increase. We believe podcast marketing and CBD are the perfect mix.

For one, there are far less restrictions about what you can advertise on Spotify as opposed to Facebook and Google. Lisa Buffo, Founder and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, believes hemp-derived CBD brands can advertise on podcasts that stream to Apple and Spotify, but they need to follow regulations set out by the FTC and FDA. There are still going to be some careful guidelines to follow but CBD marketers have seen success with podcast advertising and we expect that to continue. Additionally, beyond just podcast advertising, creating lifestyle audio content can also help build a larger lifestyle audience for your brand. Hint: any CBD marketers out there we’d love to have you on the #YourBrandYourStory podcast :)

Follow us on social and stay tuned for our weekly blogs, monthly #DataDoneDifferently insights and reports, and #YourBrandYourStory season 2 podcasts.

cannabis marketing
cbd marketing
digital insights
Megan Ingram

February 23, 2022