This week’s Trailblazer is Brandon Quan, Founder of CannaBud Marketing, a Canadian digital marketing agency that specializes in cannabis companies.

Brandon Quan CannaBud Marketing

Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer

When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?

Around 2015-2016 one of my close friends built an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for a marijuana delivery company. Unfortunately, policy and politics played a significant part as to why it couldn’t work at that time.

While I’m not saying his business could have had the same success as Weedmaps. It was my first foray into the industry on a business level and I learned quite a bit at that time.

I re-entered the space again quite recently and although it’s still in its infancy. It’s definitely more mature now than it was in 2015.

As to why I entered back in?
I’m quite excited about the overall growth of the industry.

I think this is one of the few opportunities that can benefit pretty much everyone that’s a part of it. The way I see it, we could benefit from the economic boost (especially with Covid). It promotes more entrepreneurship and job opportunities (which I’m a huge advocate of). Then it also helps your everyday person make an educated decision on their consumption of cannabis (not to mention the numerous health benefits). All of which makes me excited to see the growth of the industry as a whole.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?

The biggest challenge is definitely the types of restrictions both on social media and on a Federal level. As a marketing guy, I’m used to having creative freedom when advertising products. However, with all of these restrictions, it can get difficult.

These days it seems your IG account can get banned at any time. So seeing that dreaded “Your Account Has Been Disabled,” can really make your day a mess.

If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?

I think the restrictions on sponsorships and brand ambassadors should be loosened quite a bit. The number of times I’ve seen “influencers” promote something that is clearly harmful or comes off as a blatant scam is mind-blowing.

Not being able to promote cannabis with brand ambassadors in an already highly regulated industry makes things even more difficult.

In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?

In terms of direct ROI, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is king. It’s one of the few channels where you can freely advertise cannabis. It provides some high buyer intent leads since they’re the ones searching for you. This is especially true for local dispensaries.

In terms of branding and attention, Instagram is probably the best. Even with all of the restrictions, that’s where the attention is.

However, I think the most underrated platform right now is LinkedIn. LI is allowing the freedom to discuss cannabis on its platform. The virality potential of LI is akin to an early FB. I think this platform can be leveraged to huge levels of success.

Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?

To be honest, not really. I tend to follow the actions of brands as a whole instead of individuals. Then if I like what that brand is doing I’ll go into the rabbit hole of who was responsible for what and go from there. That’s just my general style.

What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to people looking to enter the cannabis industry?

Find a pain point and solve it. This applies to every business. But it often gets overlooked. The cannabis industry has tons of opportunities.

In e-commerce, the main form of marketing is paid ads via Facebook & Google ads. However, there are tons of restrictions that prevent this with cannabis. If you can solve this issue for e-commerce brands you will have a very successful business.

Just pick one vertical, become an expert and solve a problem.

Cannabis Marketing Trailblazers

A big thank you to Brandon for participating as this week’s Trailblazer! Stay tuned for another interview with a cannabis marketing Trailblazer next Thursday in the ADCANN blog.

Interested in working with one of these talented cannabis marketers? Check out our Agency Directory for a list of all the agencies that specialize in working with cannabis companies.



ADCANN is a digital publication and content creation team that showcases the most creative concepts in the cannabis space.