Can you run cannabis ads on Google?

Can you run cannabis
ads on Google?

Many people seem to believe that it's not possible. Our founder, Bobby Fikree, takes you through some of the common arguments against Google Ads.

Yes, you can run Google Ads as a cannabis brand.

In speaking with many dispensary owners we find that they’re often misled by ‘marketing experts’. People who are obviously new to the cannabis industry with zero experience in the pre-prohibition market.

“If a company claims to care about the #cannabisindustry but runs Google ads, they don’t actually give a F**k and only care about lining their own wallets.”

People who make claims like this have no business being in the cannabis industry.

The cannabis industry was built on innovation!

Due to prohibition, producers and vendors have always been forced to get creative in reaching their customers.

Let’s break down some of the common arguments

“Can you run Google ads if you’re a Cannabis brand? Absolutely not. Google abides by federal law and running #cannabis related #ads is 100% against guidelines. It doesn’t matter if its informational or educational. Anything #cannabis related is off limits.”

Can you run Google ads if you’re a cannabis brand? The answer is yes,┬áif you know what you’re doing. Several years ago I wrote the book “Cannabis Ad Hacks” which was purchased by hundreds of agencies and even more people. I also run the Facebook group which has thousands of members. All of them run cannabis ads successfully.

“You’re also hurting the #cannabisindustry in the long run. Tricking Google over and over is going to make it 1000X harder and more expensive to run ads if #cannabis is ever federally legalized.”

This perception is unfounded. If/when Google makes cannabis ads legal the price will go up because there’s more competitors not because people ran ads for it in the past. The current market for Google Ads is dominated by people who know how to run ads successfully for their clients.

“If you’re doing this you’re wasting money and your #ad account will get shut down.”

This isn’t true either. Our clients have seen significant and easily tracked returns on their ad spend. These accounts have lasted over a year with no issues.

Google Ads accounted for almost 10% of sessions and provided significant ROI


“#google used to allow #cbd ads until people started selling bunk and immediately shut the program down.”

Google allowed CBD ads as a pilot program – it was never a full time project. Google shut it down because the farm bill left the interpretation up to the states individually. Google cares very little about what you’re selling as long as you’re paying Google.

“This made it a lot harder to run #cbd ads on other platforms that allow it. Ask any real media buyer with millions of dollars in profitable #ad spend under their belts.”

These other platforms charge a premium because they know they’re receiving people who believe that they can’t advertise on Google.

“Cbd ads are really hard to get approved and ad accounts get shut down left and right for no reason.”

Yes, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Google shuts down legitimate ad accounts for no reason as well.

“The same exact thing is going to happen to #cannabis.”

The same exact thing as what?

“If a company claims to care about the #cannabisindustry but runs Google ads, they don’t actually give a F**k and only care about lining their own wallets.”

This is what gives me the impression that this person might be fairly new to cannabis and the industry as a whole. The cannabis industry has existed on Google Ads for a long time before legalization. To state that people who run Google Ads for their clients ‘only care about lining their own wallets’ is not just untrue it’s a disservice to the client.

“There are a few #programmatic options out there though if you want to do paid traffic with Organic traffic being the most effective.”

Organic results are critical – that’s why we built Dabber. But what sits on top of organic search results? Google Ads.

Bobby Fikree

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