Goodbye 2020, you won’t be missed! Although 2020 brought a mix of hardships, it also brought new cannabis legalization and increased cannabis and CBD consumption. As of now, 11 states have legalized cannabis, and more are likely to do so soon. That’s a victory we can celebrate! Cannabis sales are projected to grow to nearly $25 billion by the end of 2021, increasing by about $5 billion in medical and recreational sales. The point is: cannabis is growing (some pun intended), are you able to stay ahead?  

Below are our top cannabis marketing trends to utilize in your 2021 media plan.  

Keep it Local 

Local advertising is important when it comes to marketing cannabis and CBD products. Advertisers often run into legal issues while advertising their products in outlawed states. This essentially means the safest approach is to offer hyper focused and hyperlocal advertising. Partnering with local dispensaries, growers, and other local members of the cannabis industry will create brand awareness. Collaborating with local partners can lead to a mutually shared brand campaign, which in turn affects your brand credibility and visibility.  

SEO Drives Organic Instagram Visibility  

It’s no secret that search engine optimization (SEO) helps drive traffic to your website, but did you know it can also be used for Instagram? And no, we’re not just talking about strategic hashtags. In November 2020, Instagram announced it would become more search-friendlymeaning, if you search for a keyword in the search bar, relevant videos, profiles, and posts should populate. This means increased opportunities for more reach on posts. Especially since Instagram is notorious for blocking cannabis content, including highly searched keywords in your profile, videos, and posts will help increase traffic to your profile.  

Take early advantage of this update and include relevant keywords in your captions that will help Instagram identify what’s being shown or talked about in your post. Consistently posting content that’s relevant to your cannabis niche will help get your profile noticed by users.  

Instagram Reels  

With the uncertainty of TikTokInstagram released Reels – a 15- or 30-second long video that is essentially an Instagram story on steroids. Instagram is, and has been, moving towards the trend of video – especially short-form video to ignite organic Instagram exposure. This pattern was seen in 2016 when Instagram Stories were released. Now in 2020, attention has moved away from Stories and feed posts but is exploding for Reels. Instagram’s new User Interface (UI) update has put IG Reels front and center, a key indicator that Reels will be a big part of 2021’s cannabis marketing trends.  

Utilizing Reels in an effective way to ignite organic Instagram exposure. Showcase your dispensary’s products, let users be a part of your cannabrand’s staff, or release new products and services in an engaging way with Instagram Reels.  

Brand Authenticity is Here to Stay  

We are excited to announce that brand authenticity will continue to be a cannabis marketing trend! Smart businesses understand that being transparent, authentic, and even vulnerable is smart marketing in 2021. This means the brand should be personified in a way that reveals who they stand for and what they stand for. A huge part of the cannabis industry is creativity. Show off the creativity of your cannabis brand to help build your brand’s authenticity.   

Keep Regulations in Mind  

As we mentioned above, 11 states are legalized! But that also means that 39 states aren’t – yes, we can do math. Google, Instagram, and other similar platforms are filled with regulations on what you can and cannot post when it comes to cannabis content. Our advice for 2021? Continue to stay on the Food and Drug Administration’s good side. Be careful when calling attention to the medical benefits of cannabis and CBD, ads with products that say: “it treats and prevents” and “may cure human diseases” are phrases to stay away from. Unless you backup this claim with scientific evidence that include clinical and proven study, your add may be flagged “unlawful”. Familiarize yourself with the regulations at the federal and state level and keep these regulations in mind as we head into 2021.  

The cannabis marketing trends listed above can help grow your brand and help you become an established part of the cannabis industry. The experts at Cannabis Brands – a full-service cannabis marketing agency – can assist in helping you create engaging Instagram Reels, maintain your brand’s authenticity, build your SEO strategy, and help you serve your local community all while following federal and state regulations. Contact us today to grow your cannabis business.  

About Cannabis Brands 

Cannabis Brands serves cannabis corporations, growers, distributors, and dispensaries providing award-winning marketing communication strategies that give you the competitive edge. Cannabis Brands is a branding, digital marketing and inbound marketing firm, specializing in the cannabis industry. Cannabis Brands provides branding, website development, digital advertising, inbound marketing, SEO and video production services. Grow your cannabis business with proven cannabis marketing and advertising strategies. Contact Linda Fanaras, CEO/Strategist at or visit Cannabis Brands, to learn more.