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Why Marijuana Marketing Will Be Bigger Than Ever This Year The 2016 election helped pave the way By Janet Stilson

The cannabis business had some big wins during this year’s election. Now, that’s stimulating predictions of major greenback growth along with ever-more sophisticated marketing strategies on the part of cannabis companies.

In November, citizens of four states—California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada—voted to approve recreational cannabis usage for adults 21 or over. They join four other states where the drug can be used recreationally: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, along with the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, voters in Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana also approved the legalized use of medical marijuana. All told, 28 states have opened up to medical usage.

Given all that activity, Matthew Karnes, founder of the marijuana financial consultancy GreenWave Advisors, predicts that the legalized U.S. industry will grow from $6.5 billion in sales during 2016 to $30 billion in 2021. He estimates that by 2021, marijuana marketing will total $75 million.

Agencies are clearly picking up on the opportunity. Marijuana Business Daily has a directory that lists about 170 advertising, public relations and marketing agencies that are drumming up business nationally. A host of others are focusing on business in specific states.

The budding industry has come a long way over the past several years. “In 2011 and 2012 branding was very unsophisticated. There weren’t a lot of companies that paid attention to that part of their business,” said Chris Walsh, editorial director of Marijuana Business Daily. “We’re starting to see it catch up to the rest of the business world.”

To read more: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/why-marijuana-marketing-will-be-bigger-ever-year-175246?utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=AWK_AdBrand&utm_campaign=Adweek_Newsletter_2017000415

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