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Best Marketing Ideas for Dispensaries

published on May 27, 2021
by James Hammer

The satisfaction of opening up a dispensary is something that many entrepreneurs would celebrate. After going through all of the hurdles you need to open one up, a celebration is most likely to be on your mind. Dispensaries tend to take far more action than traditional retail stores to receive the clearance for starting one. The amount of paperwork and regulation you need to deal with is tiresome but worth it once everything has settled.

That said, opening up your dispensary isn’t the only thing you need to concern yourself over. Since your place just recently opened up, you need to ensure that people are aware of the existence of your dispensaries. Just because you are one of the few dispensaries operating in your location does not mean that everyone is going to suddenly drive to your store and purchase some cannabis products. Dispensary operators need to let everyone know that your store exists and that you are offering some great selections of cannabis products to entice them to your store.

To spread the word about your dispensary, you are going to need to use marketing strategies that ensure your name gets out to your customers. However, dispensary marketing can be a challenging process to go through. While Cannabis is considered legal in your state, on a federal level, it is still treated like a “Schedule 1 Drug,” making it prohibited from being marketed through traditional mass media and digital platforms. Stuff like CBD and hemp Ads are restricted under plenty of advertising guidelines.

These annoying restrictions mean that you need to think outside the box and use other means of marketing strategies to get your dispensary out into the public sphere. Take some time to conduct research and understand the changing trends to act fast on these opportunities. For this article, we are going to provide you with some of the best marketing ideas for your dispensary.


Build your Web Presence

The website you create for your dispensary is in your total control. It’s the place where you can legally converse and engage with your audience. However, you need to ensure people are entering your digital door and make sure they keep coming back. Driving traffic to your website is far more challenging than you think. With how competitive the cannabis industry has become, it can be easy to disappear among the crowd.

Let’s go over what you can do to improve the presence of your website:


Proper SEO

With your SEO, make sure you are targeting the right keywords on your home page, product page, and blogs, with monthly search volumes running between 500 to 1,000 for high-value, obtainable first-page search rankings. SEO is most likely one of the best ways a dispensary can increase its exposure to its potential customers.


Have an active blog

Google is one of the more popular search engines out there. It’s used by billions of people each day to find their specific needs. Google rewards websites that provide a fresh website to their search engine by ranking them higher on particular search terms. The search engine crawls every indexed page on a website domain in search of relevant content. Meaning, the more blog posts (or new updates), the better your website will rank in organic search. Blog about anything related to cannabis, from your products, your dispensary, the staff, the industry as a whole, and fulfill the search intent on precious cannabis-related keywords.



The adoption of smartphones has grown significantly in the past decade. These days, most of the world’s population has some kind of mobile device on hand. The average US adult spends over two hours and 55 minutes on a smartphone. Furthermore, a significant number of web traffic tends to come from a person using their smartphone to access these pages. To ensure your dispensary drives customers to its page, you need to ensure it’s mobile-friendly and easy to engage with you.


Easy to navigate

Overwhelming customers is never a good idea. You need to ensure your website is seamlessly navigable. Narrow the number of times a person needs to click to look for what they need. Causing your customers to become frustrated halfway through is terrible for business. Making the navigation process confusing can cause your ranking on a search engine to lower, so take the time to label everything out. The products you place in your shop should be labeled appropriately so customers can know the difference between the different items you are offering.


Contact information

Lead capture plays a significant role in your marketing strategy. The most successful dispensaries have plenty of chances to acquire contact information from their customers. It can be done in several ways, such as signing up for newsletters, providing a free e-book download, or during the checkout process.


Social media

The relationship you cultivate with your customers starts with them potentially looking through your website. However, having an active social media presence is an excellent way to further engage with them and develop a community around your brand. These should also include links to any and every social media platform you use on the homepage. Social media also provides an alternative channel of marketing for dispensaries. Federal regulation and stringent community policies will hinder you from posting content that promotes your sales or consumption of cannabis, but there are ways around this little problem.

Plenty of popular dispensaries managed to create a thriving social community through the usage of content that informs the audience about cannabis. They take the time to also share some eye-catching images around cannabis culture. Share any content you have from your website, and encourage your followers to sign up for your newsletter.


Share video content

Sharing video content has become increasingly popular over the past few years. The idea of having to sit back and watch something that provides you with both visual and information is something that everyone appreciates. Best of all, creating these videos is easy and doesn’t require you to spend an arm and a leg to get started. With how advanced smartphones have become, you can merely use yours to record a quick video about anything you want. The editing process isn’t too challenging either, and tons of editing software can be acquired for free or cheaply.

The video series you develop can be pretty much about anything that you think would catch the attention of potential customers. From educational videos about cannabis to comedy shorts convincing people to shop at your dispensaries. These videos can be about almost anything you want to create, it just needs to remain on-brand. For example, if your dispensary is all about helping the local community during rough times, have a video series showing you and the staff taking some time to help out through local charity works. Or start a topic about how medicinal marijuana can provide relief for certain people.

Video content has become one of the most popular ways to engage with an audience. Try creating videos that make your brand stand out from the rest and doing while having fun.


Reward Programs

Dispensaries have more restrictions in place in how they can interact with potential customers. That is why dispensaries must continue upselling to the existing customer base they already acquired. A reward program can cultivate a long-term relationship with your dispensary, increasing the value of your business among your customers.

There are several ways you can frame your reward program:

  • Grant customers with points for every purchase that can be used to purchase a selection of free products.
  • Build a discount card with incentives that activate after the customer makes a set of purchases.
  • Establish a membership that grants access to special promotions or sales (maybe some freebies on birthdays)


Capturing leads on-site is essential for the continued success of your business. Nurturing the ongoing relationship with your customers ensures your dispensary continues to generate a steady stream of profit. Take the time to ask them for their email address in the checkout line for an e-receipt, and offer them a chance to receive promotional emails, text messages, newsletters, product updates, and so forth. Another excellent way to pull this off is to have some tablets installed that allow your customers to finalize orders and fill in the contact form themselves, right from the counter.


Referral Campaigns

Promoting your dispensary’s products upfront may not be possible for the most part, but some people can help you with this situation: your customers. Word-of-mouth has always been one of the most effective marketing tactics and can provide a dispensary a marketing channel they desperately need. Customers who leave your store satisfied with your service will become brand advocates who do the marketing for you freely. According to a survey conducted by Neilsen, 92% of internet respondents stated that they trust recommendations from friends and family over every other form of brand information and advertising.

Dispensaries need to take advantage of personal referrals by motivating them. Consider giving your customer a discount or some minor free products in exchange for referring them to people they know. Not only does that offer you more chances to cultivate new relationships with people who are more prone to trust you, but it can also develop a positive reputation for your brand. That shall encourage even more people to come in and check out your cannabis products.



Dispensaries have a challenging time marketing their business compared to others. The hurdles they need to overcome can be frustrating and tedious but well worth the effort once you start seeing those customers piling into your doorway. Ensure you use the tips we provided here to further improve your marketing and expand your business into a successful and profitable one.