Packaging, Design and Branding

New Mass Texting Rules for Dispensaries

Who doesn’t love receiving subscribed texts from their favorite dispensaries? They are the fastest and most direct way to communicate daily deals, ongoing promotions and other relevant information from dispensaries to patients. Mass texts save patients time and frustration by not having to search through different apps and websites to find the deals tailored to their needs, while dispensaries love being able to easily connect with interested patients in a targeted and measured way.

Everyone wins, right? Cell phone carriers think not! They have recently been intervening more often with what can and cannot be said in mass texts, which will affect patients and dispensaries alike. Any sort of wording that mentions the actual product – such as marijuana, weed, pre-roll, joint, cannabis, etc. will be flagged and blocked, which will result in the mass texts not being sent out.

Dispensaries already have to work around character limits, which can be tricky enough when using acronyms or SMS language, especially since medical marijuana patients come from all walks of life and may not know certain abbreviations. For those of us who just want to be able to communicate great dispensary deals or receive them, this new rule only adds another layer of complication to what should be a simple and healing experience.

Here are some ways for dispensaries to work around these new and ever-changing ~unspoken~ rules:

  1. Use Specific Product Strain Names

There are thousands of strains out there, and we all know that it’s only going to expand from here. Spark patients’ initial attention by using familiar strains that they love, then you can start throwing in some lesser known or new strains to feature your diverse selection.

  1. Use Terms like Flower, Bud, Tree, Herb, Grass, Etc.

We have all had to use slang to refer to marijuana in the past and even though it may seem juvenile, this is the world we live (and smoke) in. Your patients will still know you’re referencing marijuana, especially since the text is from a dispensary.

  1. Use the Brand Name if It’s a Popular Brand

Patients have their preferences and will recognize certain brands without needing any other keywords to know what you’re promoting. This can also help create/sustain cross-promotional partnerships with respected or new brands.

  1. Adjust or Shorten Terms

Instead of pre-roll, say roll, condense cartridges to CART, etc. – your patients will still understand, plus this trick will cut down on your overall character count.


  1. Promote More Waxes, Concentrates, and Edibles

So far, these terms still slip under the radar because they are very generic. You can always add brand or strain names too to make them more tailored to your patients.

  1. Use Medical Terms

Medicated, medicinal, pain management, etc. are all acceptable and usually well understood in the industry. Be creative!

  1. Look into MMS Messaging Instead of SMS Messaging

If you’re willing to pay more, Multimedia Messaging Services provide more texting freedom by allowing higher character limits and embedded media. This could give you more ways to tell and show your patients the best deals.

Text communication is a big deal for dispensaries and medical marijuana patients. Patients deserve to hear about the best deals from their favorite dispensaries in a quick and convenient way. Dispensaries that pay for mass texting services should be able to directly reach their subscribed patients with product information, without having to worry about new/constantly changing cell phone carrier rules.

Cannabis users have proven their resilience and ability to evoke societal and policy changes, so, as the marijuana industry continues to grow, it’ll be interesting to see if phone companies decide to jump in line or get out of the way.

Article Composed by Grace Clough

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