Advertising within the cannabis industry is extremely challenging. Not just are cannabis organizations restricted in the way they can also advertise, but where they can advertise. Unlike most other commodities, marijuana businesses generally cannot pay for things like radio and tv advertisements because state rules generally limit adverts to people older than 21. How do a ongoing company ensure that a radio or TV advertisement is not going to be heard or seen by children? They cannot. In addition, networks have no interest in potentially advertising an substance that is illicit towards the possibility unlawful obligation (age.g., aiding and abetting, conspiracy).
BY DANIEL SHORTT, GREEN LIGHT LAW GROUP —
Online advertising gift suggestions some possibilities but media that are social like Facebook, which also owns Instagram, do not allow marijuana businesses to promote their products. If they do, Facebook or Instagram will shut their account down.
One associated with the few paths for cannabis companies to market is through text advertising promotions. Why? Since it permits cannabis companies to advertise directly to people who are of age. They are able to repeat this by gathering figures from people who buy things at their shops that are retail. Overtime, this list becomes larger and more valuable to the marijuana company who can promote products and sales by text message.
This text messaging may seem like a opportunity that is perfect cannabis organizations but there is however a large catch: the phone customer Protection Act (TCPA).
The TCPA is a liability that is strict that was passed in the early nineties to stop “robocalls” by implementing aggressive penalties. A “robocall” basically means any call made by “automatic telephone dialing system” which, in turn, means “equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or number that is sequential; also to dial such figures.” The TCPA helps it be illegal to produce phone that is unsolicited, but courts and the Federal Communications Commission have interpreted the TCPA to also apply to text messages. Further, any phone that is automated can result in charges beneath the TCPA.
The TCPA is a cottage industry for plaintiff solicitors whom sue organizations for giving text that is unsolicited. That’s because the TCPA creates a cause that is private of and therefore customers can sue organizations for violations associated with the TCPA. A violation that is single come with a penalty of between $500 and $1500. That means sending one text message to people that are one-hundred result in a $50,000 lawsuit.
The cannabis industry was ravaged by TCPA claims recently, as outlined in this Green Entrepreneur that is recent article. This is because text-marketing is one of the areas that are few a marijuana company can promote. You need to make sure that your entire team is trained on TCPA compliance and that any customer who is opting-in to a text messaging campaign is providing express written consent if you are operating a text marketing campaign. In addition, customers need to be able to opt-out of these messages which requires a operational system where clients are taken off a text list after supplying notice.
The TCPA is complicated, so be prepared to see posts that are additional this blog about how the TCPA is impacting the marijuana industry. If you have received a demand letter or been sued for a TCPA violation do not hesitate to reach out to Green Light Law Group.