By: Andrew Ward

Due to a lack of federal laws, the United States cannabis market is much more fragmented than Canada’s. Rather than a uniform code, each legal state market dictates its own set of rules. In many cases, American cannabis marketing laws largely resemble the alcohol space.

The laws can be daunting in any U.S. market. Dustin Robinson, a founding partner at Mr. Cannabis Law, said that medical markets tend to be more restrictive with packaging and advertising than recreational. Regardless, companies remain limited from becoming well-known brands on either side of the market.

Geography plans a significant hurdle. Due to federal prohibition, companies cannot operate across state lines as they wish. U.S. brands must obtain licenses in each state it intends to set up shop.

“This makes it very hard for multi-state operators to build a national brand with consistent and coherent messages to its patients and consumers,” said Robinson. He highlighted Cookies, a prominent brand with well-known imagery, and its recent entry into Florida, which has strict packaging laws. “It will be interesting to see how Cookies builds its brand image in Florida,” he said.