In 2016, it was estimated that the cannabis industry was worth $7.2 billion. Medical marijuana sales alone are estimated to grow from $4.7 billion in 2016 to $13.3 billion in 2020. It's no secret that the legal marijuana industry is growing at an astounding rate, but few people realize how many millions of dollars worth of advertising budgets are up for grabs.
In early August, AdvertisingAge reported that Virgin America, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE:ALK), began running in-flight advertisements on domestic flights for a cannabis-related company, marking a new wave in cannabis advertising trends.
Starting in June, Wikileaf, a marijuana price-comparison app began running an in-flight ad on Virgin America's seatback screens their commercial playing. With the ad campaign running through mid-September, Wikileaf's CEO Dan Nelson expects it to reach nearly 8 million people.
This morning, one of Nevada's top dispensaries, Acres Cannabis, announced that they also signed "a revolutionary deal with a major U.S. airline to advertise in-flight." Founder and CEO of Acres Cannabis, John Mueller, said the new airline deal "helps propel all of us towards mainstream acceptance. Acres plans to continue to lead the industry by cultivating one of a kind cannabis experiences."
We recently reported that the marijuana-specific digital ad network, Mantis, became one of the top 100 digital ad networks, joining the ranks of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and more. In the non-digital space, billboard companies like Lamar Advertising Co. (NASDAQ:LAMR) have been able to capture some marijuana-related advertising dollars in and around states where marijuana is legal.