Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The marijuana industry is booming, but it's hard for pot growers and sellers to advertise and promote their products.

Why it matters: Most media industries don’t accept weed ads, or have rules that make it nearly impossible to place them. These challenges, combined with the changing politics around pot, are hindering marijuana marketers.

Social media companies typically don’t allow marijuana groups to purchase ads. Both Facebook and Twitter prohibit the promotion of drugs and drug paraphernalia globally. 

  • "There's a huge problem with legal cannabis business that are basically blocked from advertising on social media," says Michael Weiss, President and Founder of Nature’s Dream, Inc., which has a mobile app to help people research different marijuana strains.

There are some digital advertising networks, like Mantis, which is aimed at people with interests like cannabis, yoga and wellness. But even those networks are limited by the publishers that accept their ads.

And getting ads accepted on radio and television can be a nightmare. "Most TV companies will only let you advertise if you can prove that the TV station or radio station has less than 30% of listeners that are under 21 years of age," says Celeste Miranda, co-founder of The Cannabis Story Lab.

  • For most marijuana advertisers, marketing opportunities on radio or television are limited to late night programming, when most children are asleep, or in the middle of an adult show, like pornography.

The great exception seems to be billboards and out of home advertising.

  • "We're seeing a lot of marketers turn to out-of-home in place of digital opportunities," says Kyle Del Muro, a consultant with several cannabis clients. "In Vegas billboards, are becoming a big thing,"

Because paid media is so difficult, most marketers rely heavily on P.R. Many marijuana marketers are focusing on education campaigns — especially with doctors, educating them about the benefits of medical marijuana for the treatment of cancer and terminal illness.

In cannabis, it's an education-first mindset, not product first.
— Matt Rizzetta, CEO of the public relations agency N6A

What's next: Politicians are slowly warming up to the idea of marijuana becoming more mainstream, with the most notable exception being Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has vowed to crack down on marijuana legalization.

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told HBO's Vice News Thursday he plans to introduce a bill to “decriminalize” marijuana at the federal level.
  • His actions come just weeks after former House Speaker John Boehner announced that he had joined the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings, a cannabis firm that operates in 11 states.

Voters will also have the opportunity to weigh in this election cycle, with a handful of states considering their own versions of marijuana legalization this year.

Go deeper

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Read: Former Vice President Walter Mondale's last message

Photo courtesy of Mondale.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale wrote a farewell letter to his staff, sent upon his death on Monday, thanking them for years working together.

Dear Team,

Well my time has come. I am eager to rejoin Joan and Eleanor. Before I Go I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. Never has a public servant had a better group of people working at their side!

Together we have accomplished so much and I know you will keep up the good fight.

Joe in the White House certainly helps.

I always knew it would be okay if I arrived some place and was greeted by one of you!

My best to all of you!

Fritz

Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at 93

Walter Mondale, left, with former President Jimmy Carter in Jan. 2018 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota's campus in Minneapolis. Photo: Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Walter Mondale, who transformed the role of U.S. vice president while serving under Jimmy Carter and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1984, died Monday at 93, according to a family spokesperson.

The big picture: President Biden, who was mentored by Mondale through the years, said in 2015 that the former vice president gave him a "roadmap" to successfully take on the job.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!