How to stay compliant and competitive with the Heartland’s high demand

How to stay compliant and competitive with the Heartland’s high demand


Missouri’s cannabis industry is booming, with more than 200 dispensaries and over $1 billion in annual sales so far in 2023. Bordered by eight states, the Midwestern state is a prime destination for national cannabis brands. The thriving local industry has supported the medical and adult-use population, but demand exceeds supply. With a massive financial incentive, the classic battle begins.

Multi-state operators jump on the bandwagon while the local brands embed themselves in the communities. Marketing and advertising your great products will determine who is successful In an emerging marketplace. But restrictions and limitations make it tricky. 

Marketing Restrictions and Limitations 

Earlier in the year, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services implemented an extensive restructuring of the advertisement restrictions. Now a Missouri cannabis brand’s greatest marketing challenge is overcoming the regulations on packaging, advertising, and products. The Show Me State’s massive retail sector, multi-million dollar cultivation facilities, delivery services, media outlets, and ancillary services will have to map out their marketing efforts strategically.

An example of packaging and marketing working together. – Proper Cannabis


All the legal restrictions, hefty fines, and penalties make it difficult to gain and keep new customers. Brands who unravel the regulation red tape and create savvy strategies first will set themselves apart from those struggling. 


The Missouri cannabis landscape is subject to many of the same marketing limitations as tobacco and alcohol. Still, the Division of Cannabis Regulation treats the packaging of cannabis products as separate from their advertising or promotion. 

An example of a product highlight Instagram post by Sinse 


Missouri law states cannabis businesses have to consider logos, coloring, and words on their products to comply with the new rules. All packaging must visibly say the product contains marijuana, be less colorful, and more uniform. The advertising must align with the packaging, making it difficult not to blend in with the crowd. 


Your Missouri cannabis brands must fuse creativity with compliance to create authentic connections with your target audience. By law, cannabis ads:

  • must be specifically targeted to people over 21 years of age
  • cannot include any medical or health-related “curative or therapeutic effects” claims
An example of an educational Instagram post by Flora Farms 


Missouri cannabis marketers must overcome strict federal, state, and local advertising restrictions through education and storytelling that complies with laws and regulations. 

Navigating the Compliance and Regulation 

Differentiating your brand and product with marketing and advertising is a must in a crowded market. It is possible to overcome a lingering social stigma, heavy laws, and regulations with proven ways to shift perception and showcase your cannabis brand or products. 

With a complicated national legal landscape, Missouri marketers can adapt award-winning strategies from mature markets like California, Colorado, and Massachusetts to local regulations. Your brands can create tailored content that resonates with your consumers and distribute it through the appropriate marketing channels. You can measure your marketing/advertising success with goals and metrics.

An ad from MSO Wana


Focus on Education

Due to decades of propaganda and misinformation, the best cannabis marketing supports educating potential consumers. It positions your cannabis brand as recognizable and trustworthy. Try creating educational product spotlights, important information, lifestyle content, and physical materials. And keep your messaging consistent from events to social media posts to billboards to collaborations. 

An example of an educational post by The Farmer’s Wife


For example, make content for pain management, stress relief, or cannabis misconceptions. Think about what prospective customers would want to know about the plant. Although education is a great way to market/advertise, telling a story is the best way to drive traffic to Missouri dispensaries.

 Focus on Brand Story 

Use unique backstories and brand narratives as a cautious way to show customers the potential of your products. Alleviate the unknowns for your audience and earn their trust with a compelling narrative. 

An example of a brand’s story by Good Day Farm


Use the values, interests, and priorities to highlight what makes your brand special. For example, market the authenticity of your products, cultivation practices, and commitment to quality. Incorporate these elements of your brand story to convey a theme that differentiates you from your competitors. Build awareness, trust, and help increase the chances of your target audience visiting a dispensary.

Focus on Consistency on Multi Channels 

Align your packaging, branding, marketing, and advertising to be consistent on various platforms since cannabis marketers can’t use traditional advertising. Your brand’s presence can lead to a strong connection that helps reach your target audience. Leverage your unique value and build a community of local consumers with a well-thought-out marketing strategy. You can overcome the challenges that traditional industries don’t have to worry about. 

An example of a brand’s story on the website and Instagram of Illicit Gardens


Since Feb. 3, 2023, the Missouri cannabis industry has never been the same. With cannabis laws and regulations still evolving, stay laser-focused on creating highly targeted marketing/advertising. It will help build a community as nationwide brands turn their eyes to the midwestern state’s green rush. Overcome restrictions with educational content, storytelling, and consistency to build brand loyalty that puts your business ahead of the competition. 

If you have any questions, contact the Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation (DCR). 

Rudy Brown

About Rudy Brown 

Rudy Brown is a content writer and copywriter at Stupendous Web Copywriting. He has showcased his skills in collaboration with notable brands such as Adleverage, BIPOCann, Highgrade THC Syrup, Mary’s Medicinals (Hi-Curious), and many more. He focuses on solving the marketing challenges faced by cannabis businesses with innovative strategies, tactics, and techniques to help them thrive in the ever-evolving landscape.