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Strategies for Cannabis Marketing: Highlights from CMA’s opening ‘Ask a Marketer Anything’ webinar

by | May 30, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

In the opening segment of CMA’s summer web series, “Ask a Marketer Anything”, Lisa Buffo, Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, shared her expertise on the current state of cannabis marketing concerning the DEA’s recent announcement regarding rescheduling cannabis. She covered essential topics including legal implications, compliance, marketing strategies, budget allocation, and the importance of using studies to inform decisions. Buffo also provided updates on advocacy efforts and emphasized the value of networking and staying informed.


Navigating Legal Implications and Compliance

Understanding Regulatory Changes

Lisa emphasized the importance of understanding the legal landscape and compliance requirements in the cannabis industry. This includes staying informed about regulatory changes and consulting with legal and financial professionals for nuanced guidance.

  • FCC and TCPA Regulations: Marketers must comply with truth in advertising, indecent content restrictions, and one-on-one consent for text and email marketing.
  • Rescheduling Impact: Buffo discussed the rescheduling process, highlighting potential tax changes and the implications for cannabis marketing and business operations.

Potential for Full Legalization

Buffo believes that the outcomes of the November elections could play a part on the impact of future cannabis legalization efforts. Rescheduling cannabis may open up funding opportunities and improve data tracking, although regulatory compliance will likely remain stringent.


Marketing Strategies and Budget Allocation

Effective Budget Management

Buffo highlighted the discrepancy between marketing budget allocations in the cannabis industry compared to other sectors. While cannabis businesses allocate approximately 1% (Cannabis Marketing Association, 2023) of their annual revenue to marketing, non-cannabis businesses allocate around 7.7% (Gartner, 2024).

A few things marketers should consider in the context of rescheduling: 

  • Demanding More Budget: Marketers should demonstrate the ROI of current efforts to justify increased budget allocations.
  • Strategic Allocation: Identifying specific needs and strategically allocating additional budget can maximize marketing impact.

Understanding Customer Needs

Effective marketing in the cannabis industry requires a deep understanding of customer needs and engagement. Buffo emphasized the importance of staying curious and learning about industry problems in order to better serve the market.

Some examples include: 

  • Customer Insights: Conducting focus groups and surveys can provide valuable insights into customer preferences and loyalty drivers.
  • AI Tools: Utilizing AI tools like and can enhance marketing strategies and provide data-driven insights.


Advocacy and Membership Updates

Buffo provided updates on CMA member benefits, including the new “GetCannaFacts” content repository and the ongoing War Room Wednesdays sessions. These resources are designed to keep members informed and engaged with the latest industry developments.

Public Comments on Schedule 3: CMA plans to put together public comments and hold a webinar on the public comment period for Schedule 3, ensuring members’ voices are heard.

Networking and Professional Growth

Buffo stressed the importance of building a strong professional network and actively participating in industry events. This helps professionals stay informed and connected, fostering growth and collaboration, and a great means of achieving this is through joining the CMA community as a member


Entrepreneurship and Job Opportunities

Building a Career in Cannabis

For aspiring cannabis professionals, Buffo offered practical advice on navigating the industry. She emphasized the need to solve real problems and provide value, which are key to building a successful career in cannabis.

Other topics covered in the webinar include: 

  • Brand Licensing and THC Beverages: Buffo discussed best practices for brand licensing agreements and highlighted the potential and risks associated with THC beverages.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Leveraging data to understand consumer behavior is essential for developing new product verticals and making informed business decisions.



CMA’s introductory Ask a Marketer Anything session provided a wealth of insights into the cannabis industry’s current state and future prospects. From navigating legal challenges and compliance to optimizing marketing strategies and budget allocation, her guidance is helpful for cannabis marketers and business owners looking to stay on top of the ever-changing industry. By staying informed, leveraging data, and fostering collaboration, cannabis professionals can continue to grow and thrive in a dynamic and evolving market.

Read the full webinar transcript here. 

CMA Members: log into the Member Portal to watch the series so far, and register for the remaining ‘Ask a Marketer Anything’ Cannabis Marketing Summit mini series here.

If you aren’t already a CMA member, join the community today!

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