The New Cannabis Control Commission Advertising Regulations – Will they affect Your Marketing Strategy?

Roll the clocks all the way back to 1911 and you’ll find Massachusetts as the first state to ever restrict the use of cannabis. Fast forward to 2016, and Massachusetts, once again, becomes part of history as state voters legalize the use of recreational cannabis.

New states are on the cusp of making this leap in 2021, but there’s no question that Massachusetts is at the forefront of cannabis reform, and with each day that passes, the state’s businesses and consumers continue to reduce the stigma associated with its use.

It’s true, business is booming for cannabis ventures. As choices increase for consumers, so do the marketing challenges for marijuana businesses needing to differentiate. A lack of federal legality is made more complex for marketing agencies and cannabis businesses as the state’s Cannabis Control Commission advertising regulations evolve.

Cannabis operators have been waiting for revised Massachusetts regulations for several years, hoping that the regulations will offer additional opportunities for cannabis brands to expand.

So, did the CCC deliver? Let’s find out.

Stick with us as we dive deeper into the key takeaways.

 5 Key Takeaways From the New Cannabis Control Commission Advertising Regulations

1- The Use of 2 Disclaimers When Marketing Cannabis Brands- New Ad regulations now require cannabis dispensaries to use 2 disclaimers in a ‘’word for word’’ format when marketing their products.

2- You STILL Can’t Use Your Cannabis Brand When Merchandising- No swag allowed. Dispensaries may not produce any items for sale or promotional gifts, such as T-shirts, novelty items, or cannabis stickers, bearing a symbol of or references to marijuana including the logo of the Registered Marijuana Dispensary.

3- Gone is the confusing, vague reference to “pop-up advertising on the internet”- To its credit, the CCC asked for input here, and not only eliminated this meaningless, older restriction but now allow geo-fencing mobile targeting.

4- Discretion When Advertising – As part of the Cannabis Control Commission’s advertising regulations, the promotion of your cannabis product should be kept discreet. This means that advertising through competitions, gifts, or advertisements on exteriors of any licensed premises or vehicles is prohibited.

5- Allowing of branding sponsorships at certain events, with continued prohibitions on activities that target underage participants or entrants.

Vital Warning Labels 

Circling back to using two disclaimers, the CCC (Cannabis Control Commission) states that it’s vital that any marketing or advertising created for the viewing public includes the statement “Please Consume Responsibly,” on the face of the advertisement. In addition, advertisements should also include at least two of the following warnings in their entirety:

      • “This product may cause impairment and may be habit-forming.”
      • “Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.”
      • “There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.”
      • “For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children. 
      • “Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.” 

All marketing, advertising, and branding must include the following warning and capitalization:

“This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of edible marijuana may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.”

Age Restrictions 

Whether you use a marketing agency or you handle the advertising aspect yourself, you must ensure that at least 85% of your target audience on ads made on TV, mobile, radio, applications, social media, or the internet, in general, must be aimed at 21 years old or older. In the cannabis world, it’s known as the 85% rule. 

In addition to this, you need to also make sure that you design your website with an age-gate that verifies site visitors are over the age of 21.


When it comes to your cannabis packaging, it needs to be opaque, or very plainly designed, and in child-resistant containers. If you’re selling multiple servings, it should be resealable. In addition, your packaging should not be attractive to minors.

This means you can’t feature: 

  • Bright or neon colors
  • Resemble existing branded consumer products (like foods and beverages)
  • Images of minors
  • Words that refer to products that are commonly used to market to minors

Fresh Opportunities In Complex Waters

New regulations can either be looked at as daunting, or they can be taken advantage of as a fresh opportunity to pursue a more comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Here at Mass Live Media marketing agency, we like to think of it as the latter.

MassLive Media Group has worked with nearly 20 different cannabis brands in the development and execution of marketing strategies. We partnered with Drive Research in 2020 to conduct one of the first formal research projects on the New England cannabis consumer, debuting the findings during a keynote presentation at a national online conference. MassLive Media Group clients get access to this data and so much more.

Are you a cannabis brand that needs an experienced marketing partner you can trust? Reach out, and one of our digital experts will get back to you shortly.

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Manufacturing Recruitment Strategy

Worker shortages in manufacturing industry is real. Highly skilled positions remain open as a significant portion of the manufacturing workforce is nearing retirement age. For manufacturers, building and maintaining a robust and skilled talent pool is key for both short-term and long-term hiring success.

Recruitment Marketing as a Relationship Builder, Not Just Candidate Sourcing

Don’t wait to be present until a position is open – consistently position your brand in front of both passive and active job seekers. Consistent branding creates a talent pool who is familiar with your company, benefits, culture and therefore more likely to consider you when looking to make a career change. Top of the funnel marketing tactics such as video and display make your brand presence known.

Build A Connection By Understanding Your Best Potential Candidates 

Develop personas, marketing strategies and campaigns specific to your common open positions. Different positions attract different types of candidates. Understanding the nuances allows you to more directly content with job seekers, to communicate your company story and to welcome them into your culture with a personalized approach. Seek out a recruitment marketing partner with a deep data bench, capable of developing audience segments, media placements and creative to speak directly to specific candidate audiences.

Enhance Your Job Board Presence with Display & Video

Placements on job boards are effective in reaching those actively seeking a position. However, other traditional marketing methods like targeted display and video allow companies to share their full story. More visual formats let prospective candidates see your benefits and experience your culture. Both elements that can cause them to choose you as their next employer – over your competition.


Healthcare Recruitment Strategy

A growing aging population, pandemic burnout and a ramp up of traveling nurse opportunities have put a strain on healthcare recruitment. Nurses are in high demand – with an abundance of employment options to choose from. How does your healthcare facility standout in this mad dash for employment?

Invest in the Community You Serve

Healthcare is essential to the community. Consider supporting the community you serve by sponsoring local events, job fairs and awards to keep your organization top-of-mind. Not only will these positive associations bring your organization front and center, it will also generate positive word of mouth among the community – reaching friends and families connected to potential candidates.

Showcase Company Culture

Give a glimpse of what its like to work at your organization on any given day. Show the people who work there, the halls to be walked and the benefits to be had. Video succinctly communicates positive culture through virtual tours, testimonials and more. Written testimonials and other content featuring current employees lend authenticity to your showcase.

Replenish Talent Pools with New Grads

New graduates are critical in helping to fill staffing gaps and to replenish talent pools. Utilize highly targeted strategies to reach new graduates, while still on campus, where they are spending their time. Hyper local mobile targeting puts your organization front and center among soon-to-be-graduating adding you to their consideration set for post-graduation employment.


Education Recruitment Strategy

Like most categories of business, education providers are facing faculty and staff shortages. Finding experienced and passionate educators and faculty continues to be a challenge. Education institutions should look beyond salary and benefits to larger strategies to drive interest and applications for the upcoming school year ahead.

Build Your Talent Pool with Year-Round Strategy

Primary education recruitment season begins at the end of the previous school year, with many schools starting from scratch every year. Establishing a year-round recruitment marketing strategy, allows you
to reach faculty and staff considering a change throughout the school year, adding them to your talent pool as the year progresses. Having a year-round plan also puts your institution front and center, outside of the more cluttered traditional recruitment period.

Utilize Your Community As A Recruitment Tool

Your community has the potential to be a unique selling point for your institution. Consider highlighting the quality of life – showing prospective employees the community you serve. Community events, local activities, cost of living and more can have pull over prospective employees looking to make a move or to enjoy a way of life your community offers. Partner with local events, local organizations and even your convention and visitors bureau to generate content about your community.

Job Fairs Help Build Awareness of Your Institution

Passive and Active job seekers join job fairs to learn more about prospective districts and institutions. By merely being present, among your competition, you can ensure that your district or institution is in the consideration set for educators looking to make a career move. Both in-person and virtual career fairs provide additional visibility and awareness for your institution.


Warehouse Recruitment Strategy

Warehouses are experiencing unprecedented growth thanks to a shift towards online shopping. As growth continues and timely shipping remains critical, warehouses face a continual shortage of workers.

Tout the Benefits That Make You Stand Out

Warehousing jobs are not historically known for good benefits and upward mobility. With changing demand and increased competition, more warehouse companies are adding long-term benefits and job training to their offerings. As an employer, tout benefits like 401Ks, employer matching and paid training as part of new hire packages. Talk about your openings more as long-term careers vs. short- term or holiday employment for additional appeal.

Get Connected In the Community

Grassroots community efforts and word of mouth tactics still hold strong in warehousing recruitment. Sponsoring local community events and job fairs raises brand awareness in the community, spreads positive sentiment about your organization and jump starts word of mouth. This simple activation makes your organization more likely to be noticed by potential job seekers and considered as a stable, future local employer in a future job search.

Local Jobs, Local Placements

Warehousing recruitment pulls most applicants and new hires locally. Very rarely to companies hire outside of their immediate market. Tap into the local job seeker scene through local job boards, job fairs and other local job posting opportunities. Local job seekers continually use these outlets to find new employment opportunities.


Trucking Recruitment Strategy

Facing an aging workforce and increased competition for new talent, the trucking industry struggles to keep recruitment pipelines full and trucking routes staffed. Trucking industries should look to implement full-funnel marketing strategies to not only attract active job seekers but it keep talent pools fresh with new prospects.

Address Trucking Industry Myths

Increase top-of-the-funnel prospects by introducing the benefits of a trucking industry careers to passive job seekers. Address potential concerns head-on, including hours, mileage goals and living conditions while highlighting employment benefits such as 401K matching, healthcare and time off. Video and written content are both great vehicles to communicate this information.

Stay in Touch with Prospects

Deciding to change careers can be a lengthy process for passive job seekers. Keep your talent pool active with periodic communication about your business, job openings and career benefits. Set up an email calendar, reaching out to a list of emails from those who you met at job fairs, submitted an inquiry or sent a full resume. Frequently post about your culture, the trucking industry and openings to keep your followers engaged.

Job Boards Are Important

Trucking applicants remain tapped in to local and regional job boards. A presence on local job boards and job aggregator sites provide you business with bottom of the funnel presence – reaching those interested in the truck industry and actively applying now.


Professional Recruitment Strategy

Finding outstanding talent that fits your culture is a concern for any business. Make the most of your time and resources by attracting qualified candidates that can hit the ground running and succeed within your organization. Identify quality talent and cultivate your talent pool with leading recruitment marketing strategies perfect for professional businesses.

Showcase Your Company Culture

Tell the story of your business, your history, your employees and more. The more a prospective employee knows about your operations and culture the more they are able to determine whether they are a match for your organization. Office tour videos, employee testimonials and other visuals can help to show daily life within your company.

Tailor Communications to Open Positions

Instead of deploying blanket recruitment ads for all positions in your company, consider developing custom creative and campaigns for each position. Messaging should focus on key benefits and operations of that role, showcase photos and videos of that segment of your business and speak directly to those candidates. Specific communication, drives more qualified applications – increasing your odds of finding a match while building up your talent pool - than general recruitment ads.

Use Job Boards to Reach Active Job Seekers

Job Fairs, local job boards and job board aggregators remain critical bottom-of-the-funnel tactics in securing applications for open positions. While other flashier tactics will fill the top of your funnel, these more nitty-gritty media elements provide a place for active job seekers to seamlessly apply for the positions they want – now.