How to Get Into The Cannabis Industry (No Experience Needed)

If you are reading this, then you are open to the idea of working in the cannabis industry. This roller coaster of an industry is constantly offering opportunities, from budtender to dispensary owner or grower but also there is a growing new opportunity in this industry that you can take advantage of from home…or even better, traveling the world.

This opportunity is cannabis affiliate marketing.

You may not know what affiliate marketing is or how you can do so for the cannabis industry and that is what we want to teach you here, since if you have an interest and a computer you can jump into this opportunity right now and don’t even need to quit your day job.

What is affiliate marketing?

We don’t want to go too deep here since there is a lot of info on the web that will guide you on the deeper details, but the overview is that affiliate marketing is a way to earn commissions for referring people to buy products from eCommerce websites. This is called “performance marketing” since you get rewarded based on how you perform in promoting the brand.

Affiliate marketing offers a win-win relationship between brands and people willing to market the products to interested people. Marketers get paid for sales driven, so brands don’t pay until you make sales.

On first glance you may see the idea of not making money until you drive sales as scary and unfair, but in reality it is your key to entering this industry. As long as you can guarantee to the brand that you will represent the brand respectably and have an outlet to promote, then you can start a relationship with a brand almost immediately. The brand is looking to get as many marketers as possible to spread the word and if you don’t over promise then they will give you a shot to prove yourself and all you need to do is be able to build content and find an audience.

Read more about affiliate marketing here if you want to dig deeper for us we have learned a lot from the SPI (Smart Passive Income) podcasts so also recommend subscribing Today and listen on your car drives or walks.

But I don’t have a site or outlet to promote. What do I do?

“If you build it they will come,” ok that may not be true but if you don’t build it then they definitely won’t come.

Think about what in the cannabis industry really interests you and what you would enjoy talking about. Look at your current social accounts and friends to decide if there is value there to naturally and in a non-spammy way get the word out.

Being in affiliate marketing does not mean you have to use a website to drive sales, it just means you need a system for spreading messages to an interested audience.

Take time to really consider what you would enjoy doing and talking about, then look for the brands that fit that platform. Start this on the side of your regular job or full-time but do it in a way that you have fun each day you build out the funnels for promotion.

Also, consider that while your main subject of your blog may be cannabis content it also may be able to incorporate non-cannabis affiliate programs alongside your cannabis brands. If your content is more lifestyle focused you may naturally be able to expand to other mainstream non-cannabis affiliate programs which fit your content.

If you do go the route of building a website for your content platform, then make sure to research and incorporate SEO from the beginning. There are a lot of websites out there, so you need to actively research keywords of value and build your site with the goal of expanding your organic search presence.

Is it legal to promote cannabis eCommerce brands?

As long as the brand is following the legal laws of their region then it is legal to promote the brand.

Pay attention to the brands and if promoting THC relevant brands make sure they are licensed to operate.

CBD is not legal everywhere so make sure the brand is following the rules and in your content be careful not to make any medical claims, pay attention to the FDA guidance when possible and also any materials the brands share that guide you in what can be said and not said for the brand.

How did you get started in cannabis affiliate marketing?

After working in the cannabis industry directly for years, I personally ran a test on Twitter. Like I said above, you don’t always need a website for affiliate marketing so I ran automations on Twitter with various hash tags and messaging, which were linked directly to my affiliate URLs.

Once the Twitter system showed that I could make money digitally through promoting eCommerce cannabis related brands I then decided to start a website with the funds and knowledge I gained from the Twitter account.

I’m now lucky enough to have what was my passive extra income on Twitter work into a larger business that I now do full-time. My site is not passive income, but it is a full-time job that I enjoy building and believe can be a foundational tool and brand in the industry. I personally believe your goal with affiliate marketing should not be passive income, but instead many trials at passive income that then evolve into full fledged businesses.

What are my first steps for getting into cannabis affiliate marketing?

Figure out what content opportunities drive you and see if you can find a niche that fits.

Researching cannabis keywords in Google Keyword Planner is a bit complicated, but still worth a try.

Also, you can usually run deeper with a tool like MOZ and they have a free trial, so only start the trial when you are really ready to dig in but it is a good place to research your competitors and the keywords they are using and overall opportunities.

If you are not building a website but instead looking at influencer options these tools can still help you figure out overall competition, but obviously if your main goal is social media marketing then use the tools on the ads side of the platform and good old fashioned search across the platform.

Then once you understand where your content will be showcased and what subjects you are looking to incorporate head on back to our site here and find cannabis affiliate programs that match the content you are building. Signing up for the affiliate programs in our directory are all free but you will need to be able to show the brand where you are going to promote their brand.

You always have enough time to work on side projects.

The main excuse I always had about building side projects was that there was not enough time.

When I built out my website I did so with a baby taking up nearly every minute of the day. To build my site I did whatever I could on my phone and late at night, any open minute I spent building the relationships needed.

Then when money started to come in I spent what I could on outsourced labor through UpWork to keep working on elements of the site when I couldn’t. Yes, this did mean I didn’t pay myself but it did mean the site was growing bigger than the hours I was able to add personally. The main goal is not to use the money as it comes in for your own outings and fun, instead plan to re-use it to expand your platform by outsourcing tasks that are time consuming and can be passed on.

This approach allowed me to still work every minute between diaper changes and late nights, but now on other avenues of expanding our platform to bring in more income. With each dollar coming in the goal was to outsource more aspects of the site that didn’t really require my hands on the steering wheel so the speed of growth was increased.

Don’t feel like you need to give 40 hours a week to get this going, instead do whatever you can in the minutes you are usually spending on social media or watching Too Hot Too Handle and start building.

If you ever have questions we always look to help, so feel free to email us at [email protected]. Thanks for reading!


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