Marketing Ideas for Cannabis Dispensaries


7 Marketing Ideas for Dispensaries

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Kiirsten May, the co-owner of the marketing agency UpHouse

Marketing Ideas for Dispensaries We’ve seen many neat dispensaries pop up in the last few years – both in the US and Canada. There’s plenty of creative opportunities to bring your brand to life in a retail setting. And in crowded markets where consumers have dozens of local dispensaries to choose from, the need to differentiate your brand is greater than ever.

Here are a few ideas to help your dispensary stand out and enrich the cannabis-buying experience. Doing so will turn one-time patrons into loyal customers and advocates.

Make Your Patio A Community Hub

Have a patio or outdoor space at your dispensary? Use it to draw in both first-time and current cannabis users. Look at offering it up to shelter pet meet-and-greets, musical performances, open mics, gardening demonstrations, perennial swaps and other events.

Encourage attendees and collaborators to share and tag social media content from the event.

Embrace “Exploration” 

There’s lots to learn about cannabis, and that lack of knowledge can make some consumers hesitant to walk into a dispensary. Luckily, the intersection of community and exploration is fertile ground for customer engagement tactics. Host scavenger hunts with prizes or offer a pedicab to encourage people to explore the neighborhood. Your brand will make it safe for customers to explore uncharted territory – both in the area and in cannabis use.

Create Explainer Content

Often, dispensaries employ knowledgeable staff who can help customers select the right cannabis product for their goals. Bring this same experience online with Instagram Stories, YouTube videos and website content. Many consumers conduct research online before visiting a store or making a purchase. By offering educational resources on your digital channels, you can help first-time visitors feel more at ease walking into your dispensary.

Own The 8-minute Trek 

In crowded marketplaces, people won’t travel further than 6-8 minutes to get to a cannabis store. Reward that 8-minute trek by creating and distributing 8-minute playlists, pep talks, comedy sets, meditations and nature sounds for customers.

Print A Monthly Community Newspaper

Develop and print a simple community newsletter and give it away in stores. It will strengthen your dispensary’s brand reputation as a friendly neighbor while getting your message into the hands of store visitors. 

Poster Your Neighborhood 

Use the physical spaces around your neighborhood to drive business to your dispensary. Run a poster campaign that features helpful community info (directions to parks, neighborhood facts, etc.) along with tear-away tabs that people can bring into the store for an incentive.

Unveil Signature Pieces By Local Artists

Is there a recognizable shape in your logo? Turn it into a work of art. Partner with a local artist to create a signature piece for each of your locations, and then invite customers to attend an unveiling. Installations such as this can encourage social media tagging, allowing your stores to leverage location-based Instagram searches. 

Want to take this idea one step further? Change up the artwork seasonally to draw people back to the store.

The brands we love most are the ones that go beyond a transaction to enrich our lives in some way. How can you enrich customers’ lives and create a memorable store experience? Bring this philosophy to your dispensary. Doing so will help you differentiate your brand from competitors and turn your visitors into loyal customers and advocates.

Kiirsten May is the co-owner of UpHouse – a marketing agency in Canada. She specializes in branding and helping organizations make their brands incomparable in their product category.

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