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NY Cannabis Dispensaries Struggle with Advertising Constraints

NY Cannabis Dispensaries Struggle with Advertising Constraints

"Cannabis Advertising Struggle"

New York cannabis dispensaries face challenging marketing and advertisement limitations that can negatively impact their business operations. The strict regulations in place often result in limited brand exposure, making it tougher for these dispensaries to establish a strong market presence.

Ellis Soodak, owner of Manhattan’s first legal adult-use dispensary, expressed his concerns over these constraints, fearing they could create significant hurdles in the operation of his business. He emphasises the need for a more supportive legislative environment that encourages the growth of such businesses.

The New York Cannabis Control Board initiated these regulations in September. The rules prohibit billboard advertisements and ban marketing methods that could appeal to young audiences. Despite criticism for being overly restrictive, these rules are seen as a necessary measure to safeguard the wellbeing of the community, particularly the youth, and to maintain a responsible and regulated cannabis industry.

Current regulations allow dispensaries to display their brand names on their premises but restrict the use of symbols or images. Advertisements can only be in areas where 90% of the residents are adults. Further, the use of discounts or customer loyalty schemes is prevented.

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Coss Marte, co-founder of a Manhattan-based dispensary, notes that the regulations limit the languages available for advertisement, creating obstacles for businesses catering to non-English-speaking communities. Newer dispensaries may struggle because they are denied conventional advertising methods such as billboards and radio advertisements.

Aaron Van Camp, owner of Buffalo’s first dispensary, underscores these apprehensions. He mentions that the stringent protocols of conventional advertising mediums might hinder the development of emerging enterprises in this sector. Therefore, the industry needs to explore more lenient and progressive advertising means to ensure sustainable growth and competitiveness.

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