While recreational marijuana is legal in Canada, Uruguay, and parts of the United States — as a regulated substance, advertising and marketing is not straight-forward.
Because of this, many traditional advertising methods and networks are not available to cannabis related businesses. So, I’ve put together this list of cannabis advertising networks and marketing resources. (please get in touch if I’ve missed one!)
I’ve divided the page into display, native, and affiliate networks, though there is some overlap between these categories.
Cannabis-Accepting Affiliate Networks
Affiliate adverting networks connect advertisers (merchants) to publishers (affiliates) through a common platform. Instead of paying for clicks or impressions (CPC or CPM), you pay publishers commissions on sales or leads (CPC or CPL).
The following affiliate networks accept CBD and cannabis-related advertisers:
ShareaSale.com – ShareaSale is one of the largest, longest running, and most reputable affiliate networks that accepts CBD and cannabis-ancillary merchants. Many advanced tools like datafeeds and coupons that are especially helpful for ecommerce sites.
CannAffiliate – Cannabis-only affiliate network with that accepts a variety of legal cannabis merchants including dispensaries & delivery services, CBD brands, vaporizers and accessories. I’ve made & been paid for two-tier sales. Recommended.
Impact – Huge network of advertisers and publishers that allows some CBD and cannabis accessory products. Advanced tools for merchants such as discount codes, pixel tracking, and product datafeeds.
CJ.com (aka commission junction) huge affiliate network with some of the biggest brands across a range of industries, and allow CBD and some cannabis accessories advertisers.
GreenAffiliates – Marijuana marketing affiliate platform that has new, but seems to be growing. Current advertisers include seedbanks, accessories and CBD brands.
CBDAffs – CBD-only affiliate advertising network with thousands of affiliate partners and about many merchants, but little help with reporting. This is a new network with very little information available about their history or team, and I’ve not had sales yet.
RevOffers.com – Accepts CBD and cannabis ancillary merchants and connects them with vetted website publishers. Specializes in CBD performance-based affiliate marketing.
Clickbank – Clickbank is another longtime affiliate network that has allows cannabis-related information products and CBD brand advertisers. I’ve been with Clickbank for years, and they’ve been around forever — but don’t think I’ve made any sales.
Native & Display Advertising Networks
Native advertising means the ads blend into the user experience. This is accomplished in all sorts ways varying between elegant and annoying. Most often you’ll see ads blended in as “related articles” or infographics with a style that matches the website they are featured on.
Display advertising is most often banners, videos, modal windows, etc. generally bought on a CPM or CPC basis. Sometimes display & native advertising are inter-changeable terms.
Here are the top cannabis-friendly native & display ad networks:
Mantis Ad Network – Mantis is a cannabis-specific ad network. Self-serve display, mobile, native, video, and re-targeted ad campaigns available. Publishing partners include the Food Network, Leafly, and WikiLeaf.
Minimum first deposit is $500.
Out of any native ad service, this seems like the most advanced & non-spammy. I am currently giving them a trial run, and will report my findings in this full review as my campaigns play out.
Adsterra Advertising – Offers advertisers a variety of display ad formats including banners, pop-unders, social bars and more. Has self-service option. I have only just signed up as a publisher and advertiser, but not tested their platform yet. If you have experience with Adsterra, please comment below about your experience.
Outbrain.com – Outbrain is the biggest native advertising network, and allows promotion of CBD products and cannabis-related investments or stocks in a variety of formats.
I am currently giving them a try and find the interface buggy. My screen jumps around so I’ve given up on “getting started quick”, and am researching outbrain preparing a few campaigns, and might reach out to one of their reps for advice to make sure I am within their advertiser guidelines.
Taboola – You are sure to have seen Taboola ads before. You may also like…accompanied by stock photos and click-baity headlines. CBD and cannabis is not on their list of prohibited content, though I’d recommend checking in with them before starting a campaign to be sure.
HealthyAds – Accepts all types of CBD Advertising across their network of health websites offering programmatic & highly targeted campaigns.
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Which Networks Specialize in Cannabis Advertisers?
Although all the networks listed above accept cannabis-related advertisers, the follow networks only work in the cannabis niche.
- Mantis Ad Network – Self-serve display, native, and video ad options. Re-targeted ad campaigns available. $500 minimum to start.
- CannAffiliate – Affiliate network (cost-per-sale / lead) specializing in legal cannabis merchants including dispensaries & delivery services.
- GreenAffiliates – Small affiliate network of cannabis & CBD offers including grow equipment, CBD brands and a few cannabis seed companies.
- CBDAffs – Large, CBD-only affiliate network (cost-per-sale / lead) with thousands of publishers.
What are the restrictions on cannabis and CBD advertising?
The United States and Canada actually have broadly similar rules. Generally these include:
- No showing consumption of the product.
- No showing the cannabis products without an age verification.
- No health / medical claims.
- No advertising to minors.
However, laws vary from country to country, state to state — and regulated & enforced by the FTC and FDA in the United States. In Canada, there is very little room for branding as even cartoon characters or celebrity endorsements are strictly forbidden consult the Cannabis Act for the details.
Also see our illustrated guide to Cannabis Advertising in Canada.
Have a suggestion for an advertising network I’ve left out of this list? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch through twitter @thcaffiliates Thanks!