Whether it's Snoop Dogg's new weed-inspired social media platform Merry Jane, the marijuana friendly Mantis ad network or newspapers looking for weed critics, growing legalisation of cannabis is opening up a number of new business opportunities. We're accustomed to seeing over the top anti-marijuana PSAs, but the tide is turning, and Adweek says the "weed tech sector—comprised of app producers, websites and other digital products and services—attracted $100 million in venture capital last year". And as it's tough for some of these companies to buy ad space (Facebook doesn't allow ads selling marijuana), they're getting creative—and some agencies are getting in on the fun too.
Marijuana directory Weedmaps, given the restrictions on advertising, took to YouTube with a clip that shows two refined gentlemen ordering at a restaurant and discussing the danger of alcohol.
And here's something similar.
As US consultant Christian Hageseth mentioned in the main feature, it might not be the weed itself that brings in the money. It's likely to be the products around it, like Neos vaporisers.
This spot played on the jumbotron at a NASCAR event, before being pulled after complaints from Drug Free America.
Subscription services are going gangbusters at the moment. And yes, there's already a few options for weed in California: PotBox and Marvina.
The The New York Times featured a full-page ad promoting medical marijuana earlier this year, following state legislators' passing of the Compassionate Care Act, which allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to people with serious ailments.
This change in law does not however mean that thick plumes of Mary-Jane are going to be obscuring the view of the digital billboards at Times Square any time soon, because the New York legislation only permits the prescription of non-smokeable forms of marijuana.
The ad in the publication is for Leafly, a start-up company that provides users with a guide of more than 800 strains of medical marijuana available in the States.
Although the ad was a first for the New York Times, it wasn't first for the States as whole. Previously, the Seattle Times also ran a full-page ad for Leafly.
In New Zealand, the closest we get is the promotion of the show Weeds on Prime by FCB (for more weed-themed content, check out the web series—and soon to be HBO series—High Maintenance).
Image via Buzzfeed
Just as there are anti-drink driving ads, those with government clients might be in for some more work alerting people not to smoke and drive if we follow the lead of some US states.
While advertising a taboo product might seem progressive, it's really nothing when compared to some some of the other ads that have pandered products over the years.
Nothing like a bit cocaine to keep that canine ache under control. And, in honour of the great Netflix show Narcos, here's a collection of ads for when it was legal to be marketed.
For longer lasting relief, one can always opt for some heroin-containing cough syrup.
And it also seems that non-smokable versions of canabis have been around for quite some time. The only question is whether the Leafly app features a review on these two strains.
See more strange drug-related ads from history here.