Cannabis marketing experts have long struggled with the best ways to get their clients noticed. After all, marijuana is still federally illegal, and therefore, federally regulated entities such as television and radio are off-limits for advertising it.

So both cannabis companies and the marketing specialists who promote them are excited about the potential of cannabis ads on Spotify.

And for some, they’ll be hearing them much sooner than later.

Cresco Labs Cannabis Ads on Spotify

Sure, you may know Spotify as the streaming service that doesn’t pay their artists a competitive wage. We get it. But regardless of that, it does boast over 551 million users and 220 million subscribers.

And that’s a whole lotta people.

Still, the Cresco Labs ads that will run ads for their dispensary chain known as Sunnyside won’t be tapping into the global market. Even though they operate 70 locations in seven different states, the 30-second audio ads will only run in the Chicago-based company’s home state of Illinois.

Plus, they’ll only be heard by those who listen to Spotify’s ad-supported free service. But that’s still an impressive number. Plus, there will be in-app digital banners that link directly to Cresco’s e-commerce platform.

The Need for Normalization

Cresco Labs’ National Retail President Cory Rothschild recognized that audio streaming services is where it’s at. Companies like Spotify represent a major opportunity for brands to reach a huge audience but in a targeted way. So Rothschild is pretty geeked to be collaborating with them.

“Spotify’s platform will enable our marketing team to target our ads compliantly and profitably to our core shoppers in Illinois where we have a leading share in retail,” he said.

He also pointed out the importance of normalizing cannabis on a digital platform. Especially because the lion’s share of these platforms still ban any and all cannabis content. Facebook and Instagram are both well-known for suspending or even deleting accounts that allude to weed in any way. Meta, their parent company, went as far as to shut down cannabis content from Canada – that enlightened country to the north of the United States that has made cannabis nationally legal.

Google, TikTok, and YouTube are all in the same boat with their strict cannabis ad policies.

Spotify Is Not the First

You may have already noticed cannabis ads on other platforms. And no, you weren’t imagining it.

Acknowledging that legal cannabis companies exist nearly everywhere in the country, Apple now allows legal weed companies to distribute delivery apps on its mobile app store.

What’s more, cannabis marketing folks have started taking advantage of Twitter’s (now X’s) willingness to allow legal cannabis businesses to launch limited ads sharing information about cannabis. And Tumblr gave the go-ahead to accepting cannabis and CBD ads two years ago. Even gaming streamer Twitch, who used to censor pot-related usernames, ceased this practice in 2022.

The Times They Are Achangin’

Regardless of how you feel about the company, the ability to hear cannabis ads on Spotify is a definite step in the right direction toward normalizing and perhaps even legalizing weed consumption in the United States.

In the meantime, if you own a cannabis business and are frustrated by all of the advertising restrictions, contact us today.

We have been in the field of cannabis-specific marketing and public relations for nearly a decade. We know the ins, the outs, and the loopholes. Let us help you.