While there was no 2019 Farm Bill in itself, the fact that the 2018 bill only came into place at the end of December meant that 2019 was also a significant year for CBD. Most notably, clarifications were set in place regarding the 2018 bill after some initial confusion by hemp manufacturers. The FDA, in particular, took this chance to clarify their stance. At the same time, state regulatory plans scrambled to make it clear that CBD was not automatically legalized across the country off the back of these changes.
As mentioned above, CBD legalization varies depending on whether you’re working with hemp or marijuana-derived substances. But, even federal legalization doesn’t mean that hemp-derived CBD is legal within all states. Hence why marketers must always do their research into both federal and state laws before they begin to develop campaigns.
State by State Laws/Position Regarding CBD
Similarly, brands looking for CBD advertising on Snapchat face some ad policy restrictions. Notably, Snapchat doesn’t ‘encourage or glamorize drug use. That said, CBD ads might meet with requirements as long as companies make sure to adhere to the following:
Hemp grows up to 2-4 meters tall and is typically cultivated with a focus around seeds, stalks, and flowers. Hemp includes high concentrations of CBD, with less than 0.3% THC. As such, hemp-derived CBD products should work to restore balance in the body by stimulating the human endocannabinoid system. All without making users feel ‘high’.
In other words, it remains illegal to add CBD to food products or label it as a supplement. They also emphasize that, except for one prescription drug for epilepsy, the FDA does not outwardly approve any CBD substance. Principal deputy commissioner, Amy Abernethy, claimed this was because “. there are real risks that need to be considered.” Hence why FDA focuses currently center around working with advertisers to find legal ways to market these products without misleading audiences.
Relief Scout is a Boston-based company invested in finding the best products that already exist in the CBD market. What makes Relief Scout different from other CBD retailers is an unbiased and unwavering commitment to finding the purest and highest quality CBD products, while also providing guidance on the best methods and amount to consume so consumers may find relief from various conditions.
The main challenge lay in helping to launch the new brand and business in a fast high-growth market serious regulatory limitations. This meant that Google Search and social ads for CBD products were out of the question. As a result, we had to think outside the box (one of the things we do best!) and devise a content and advertising strategy that would lead to more consumer exposure for Relief Scout without putting them in any hot water.
How did we work against impossible odds without being able to advertise on socials or direct product ads on Google, and other traditional networks? We turned to select network advertising in the cannabis space. We knew using SEO would allow us to bypass regulation, and that using custom tailored sponsored content would set Relief Scout up for long term success. By the end of our relationship with Relief Scout, organic traffic converted to sales on the store from the first month onwards, network ads were performing 10X better than the benchmark and we were able to successfully launch a new brand in a fast and high growth market without the luxury of social advertising.