Ultimate Dispensary Marketing Guide

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The dispensary business is getting more competitive day by day. The days of "build it and they will come" are long gone for most markets and you will need to actively pursue multiple marketing channels to survive and THRIVE!

The Apex team and I have personally helped dispensaries go from having a foot traffic problem to having so many people in the doors that they now have a staffing and scaling problems. We even help deal with those as well with automation, POS systems and custom online ordering systems.  

Check out our industry secret marketing strategies below!

Increase Your Online Presence 

The internet is the number one place people find out about your business. Word of mouth still works wonders but you are leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table if you are not utilizing SEO, directories and social media to drive traffic to your dispensary. 

Dispensary SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

There are over 200,000 people searching for dispensaries every month and that number keeps growing as more states legalize every year. We have seen a huge trend in the number of dispensaries and the number of people purchasing from dispensaries within search engines. There are two types of SEO that you will want to focus on.

1.Google Local Listing

  • Business Name
  • Business Information
  • Store Hours
  • Photos/Videos
  • Service Areas
  • Products
  • Answering Questions

You will want to get your google my business profile setup to manage your local listing. This is where users searching locally will see your business in local listings displayed by google as well as when searching within google maps. Our local search specialists are constantly optimizing and maintaining our clients local listings to move you up within the search results every single month. 

2. Website SEO
  • SEO Written Content
  • Images/Infographics
  • Correct Information
  • Schema
  • Serp's
  • Meta/Alt Tags
  • Link Structure
  • SiteMap

When people search for the best dispensary in "City" you will want to show up those search results right? There thousands of users searching every single day for this term along with thousands of other search terms. When SEO is setup properly and had time to mature you business will show up first on these listings. Google is looking to provide the best information to users and if your business is providing this information you will have thousands of new customers coming in your doors every month. Check out our case studies if you want to see some of the results of a solid SEO campaign!

Directory Listings

Get listed on directories asap! Not all directories are worth the ROI but make sure to get signed up, do testing, talk to other local dispensary owners to find the best ones to be on.

Some Directories to check out

  • Where's Weed
  • Weed Maps
  • Yelp
  • All Buds

These are some of the big name marijuana directories. Make sure to these these out along with local directories that are a niche to your city within the cannabis industry and outside of it. 

Social Media

Millions of people spend hours on social media every day. Having people interact with your brand daily and become apart of your online and in store community. Getting your brand out on social media will drive new customers to your business and loyalty from existing ones.  Provide your community with laughs, knowledge, new product drops and more!


Proven Local Strategies

Branding and Signage

Take a look at some of the biggest dispensaries and even brands in the world for guidance. Ever notice a difference?

Dispensary Branding

The top dispensaries are spending a lot of time making their business different and pop. Cookies is anything but cookie cutter and the top shops are staying on top of trends, branding and more. Really take a look at your Logo, Store Front and Branding and think of creative ways you can be different and stand out.

Guerrilla Marketing

We have seen great success with gorilla marketing with dispensaries especially within or near cities. 

Top Guerrilla Marketing Strategies Are:

  • Handing Out Flyers
  • Sidewalk Signs
  • Get Involved In Local Events
  • Creative Chalk Signs
  • Sticker/Poser Campaign (Check out the OBEY Documentary)

Starting out these can be some of the most cost effective strategies to get your brand out there and customers in your door. We have helped brands design flyers, offers and plans to get their name out on the streets and seen amazing results. 


Radio is still a great way to get your name out there. You can pay, host an event or offer product/services to get your name out on the radio. 
Billboards. Radio companies love to help local brands! Make sure to reach out with an amazing story and soon you will hear. your brand on the airwaves around town! 

Word Of Mouth

Advanced or Simple Referral Programs

Weather its a card integrated with your POS or a paper coupon people love to get discounts and free stuff for spreading the word about something they already love. 

Customer Loyalty System

Setup a customer loyalty system through your POS or a punch card that gives them a free gift after a number of purchases. If you can find a way to market this customer loyalty system as part of a community rather than just free stuff you will have lifetime customers.

Weekly Deals Through Local E-Mail & SMS

Keep your customers excited about your brand and the deals coming every week with a promotional e-mail or SMS newsletter.

Where Do I start?

We recommend not to overwhelm yourself with taking on all of these at once and finding cannabis marketing experts to take on some of these tasks as well. As you are building these marketing campaigns out and have foot traffic in the door you will really want to focus on the product development and customer experience to turn them into lifetime customers and apart of your community. 

The Apex Marketing Team and I have personally helped dispensaries go from having a foot traffic problem to having so many people in the doors that they now have a staffing and scaling problems. We have even helped deal with those as well with automation, POS systems and custom online ordering systems. 

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About the author

Billy Kindig

I have 10+ years in the cannabis and digital marketing space. I have an obsession with being the world's best cannabis marketer and researching everything cannabis. I spend a lot of time working with marijuana activists groups, developing marketing strategies and learning the best ways to market cannabis and related products.