Marketing Your Cannabis Business in New Jersey

In April 2022, New Jersey legalized recreational cannabis, allowing the licensing process to get started and setting off a new legal market in the state.

As dispensaries prepare to open doors in the coming year, product brands are also dusting off their ideas to enter the market and promote their products to new consumers. Of course, the state has also set forth marketing guidelines for cannabis businesses to adhere to.

New Jersey cannabis marketing laws currently note that the primary purpose of advertising as a cannabis business must be to displace the illicit market and inform the consumer of the location of licensed retail dispensaries. As such, the existing rules and regulations cover three main concerns:

  • Age Restrictions
  • Promote Public Health & Reduce Harm
  • Discretion of Advertising

*Extensive product labeling requirements are also outlined in NJAC 17:30-16.3.

Cannabis businesses in New Jersey should familiarize themselves with the marketing restrictions to align with the state’s mission to protect public health, reduce harm, and promote sustainable industry practices.

Here is a breakdown of the New Jersey cannabis advertising rules and regulations, outlined in Title 17, Chapter 30, Subchapter 17 of the state administrative code.

Age Restrictions

  • Brands cannot advertise a business, product, or paraphernalia unless 71.6% of the audience for the ad is reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older.
  • Any advertisement of any cannabis product, or cannabis paraphernalia shall contain the following warning: “This product contains cannabis. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children. There may be health risks associated with the consumption of this product, including for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning on becoming pregnant. Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery while using this product.”
  • Ads that target, or are designed to appeal to, individuals under the legal age to purchase cannabis products are prohibited, including, but not limited to:
    • A depiction of a person under 21 years of age consuming cannabis items; or
    • Inclusion of objects, such as toys, characters, or cartoon characters suggesting the presence of a person under 21 years of age, or any other depiction designed in any manner to be especially appealing to a person under 21 years of age.

Promote Public Health & Reduce Harm

  • Any advertisement by any licensed cannabis business shall disclose that the facility is licensed by the State of New Jersey.
  • No advertisement can be made in a manner that is appealing to minors or promotes excessive use or illegal activity, or otherwise presents a significant risk to public health and safety.
  • No business may advertise in a manner that falsely disparages the products of another cannabis business.
  • Businesses cannot advertise in a way that implies cannabis products are safe just because they are regulated by the Commission or have been tested by a licensed laboratory.
  • Businesses are prohibited from advertising in a way that encourages fast or excessive cannabis consumption. This includes using misleading statements, deceptive illustrations, unsubstantiated claims, partial quotes without full context from the same source, and citing poorly designed, limited, or inadequately conducted studies.
  • A cannabis business engaged in advertising must maintain records demonstrating that their advertisements comply with the regulations outlined in the state law. These records must be accessible and provided to the Commission upon request.

Discretion of Advertising

  • Advertising is prohibited within a 200-foot radius of elementary or secondary school grounds. However, this restriction does not apply to advertising conducted within the premises of a cannabis retailer.
  • Brands may not advertise during charitable, sports, music, art, cultural, social, or similar events, or when sponsoring such events, advertising is allowed if there’s credible evidence that less than 20 percent of the expected audience is underage for purchasing cannabis products.
  • No business may advertise on a billboard that is not on the real property where a cannabis business is located.
  • Businesses cannot advertise on signs or placards in places like arenas, stadiums, shopping malls, state-funded fairs, or video game arcades, unless the location is exclusively for adults, with no entry allowed for individuals under 21 years of age.
  • Cannabis businesses in New Jersey are not allowed to showcase any cannabis or specific brand advertisements on the outside of their establishment. The only external signage permitted is for identifying the building by its licensed name.
    • Any external signage shall be compliant with local ordinances related to the real property where the cannabis business is located.
  • Use of a commercial mascot outside of, or in proximity to, its premises is prohibited.
  • No business may display cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia in a manner that is clearly visible to a person from the exterior of a cannabis business.
  • Advertising the prices of cannabis products directly is prohibited. However, a cannabis business can share a catalog or printed list of prices and strains with other businesses or consumers at the physical store. Additionally, the business can display its prices on its website or on a third-party website.
  • Cannabis businesses in New Jersey cannot create items for sale or promotional gifts, like T-shirts or novelty items, featuring symbols or references to cannabis. However, this rule does not apply to cannabis paraphernalia sold to consumers.

Cannabis marketing agency for New Jersey businesses

Our team has extensive experience in the world of cannabis-specific digital marketing. With us as your partner, you can grow your company while adhering to the ever-changing cannabis marketing regulations in New Jersey.

Whether it’s social media marketing, email and SMS, Google ads, SEO, or something else, we can do it all. Explore our cannabis marketing services or get in touch with us to start a project today.

*All information was sourced from New Jersey Administrative Code documents: Title 17 Treasury General, Chapter 30 (Personal Use Cannabis Rules).