Cannabis Affiliate Marketing: The Secret to Explosive Growth


Looking to grow your canna-business, reach a wider market, and boost your profits? Enter cannabis affiliate marketing.

In an ever-expanding industry, partnering with affiliates who promote your products or services can help you increase sales and stand out from the competition. 

In this complete guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know, including:

  • How cannabis affiliate marketing works
  • The benefits it can offer your cannabis brand
  • What to look for when choosing a cannabis affiliate marketing agency
  • The best cannabis affiliate networks
  • Top cannabis and CBD affiliate programs of 2023
  • ….And more!

Whether you’re a new business owner or an experienced marketer, our guide offers expert advice and practical tips for success. 

So let’s dive in and discover the power of cannabis affiliate marketing!

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Key Takeaways

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Cannabis Affiliate Marketing: The Basics

Before we get into details, it helps to understand the basics. 

So, what is cannabis affiliate marketing, anyway?

In simple terms, cannabis affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy. It involves partnering with affiliates who promote your products or services in exchange for a commission on sales. 

But what exactly is a cannabis affiliate? And how does this type of marketing work? 

Let’s explore these questions in more detail and take a closer look at how cannabis affiliate marketing differs from other marketing strategies.

What is a Cannabis Affiliate?

A cannabis affiliate is an individual or company that partners with a cannabis brand to promote their products or services to their audience. Affiliates can include bloggers, social media influencers, content creators, and other individuals with a strong online presence. 

By promoting your products or services to their audience, they can drive traffic to your website and increase sales. In exchange, they receive a commission on the sales they generate, making it a win-win situation for both parties.

How Does Cannabis Affiliate Marketing Work?

Cannabis affiliate marketing works by creating a partnership between your cannabis brand and affiliates who promote your products or services. 

The process typically involves four key steps:

  1. Your cannabis brand creates an affiliate program and recruits affiliates to join.
  2. Affiliates promote your brand’s products or services to their audience using a unique affiliate link or code.
  3. When a customer clicks on the affiliate link or uses the affiliate code to make a purchase, the affiliate receives a commission on the sale.
  4. Your cannabis brand tracks sales generated by affiliates and pays out commissions on a regular basis.

By leveraging the power of affiliates to promote your products or services, you can reach a wider audience and increase sales. 

The best part? 

It’s all doable without investing in traditional advertising or marketing strategies.

How is it Different from Other Marketing Strategies?

Cannabis affiliate marketing differs from other marketing strategies in several ways. 

Unlike traditional advertising or influencer marketing, affiliates are only paid a commission on sales they generate. This means that your cannabis or CBD brand only pays for results rather than upfront costs. 

Cannabis affiliate marketing is also more targeted than other strategies. Affiliates typically have a niche audience interested in the products or services they promote. This can result in higher conversion rates and a better return on investment (ROI).

Affiliate Networks for Cannabis Brands

Affiliate networks play a crucial role in connecting cannabis brands with affiliates.

They serve as intermediaries, helping CBD brands, dispensaries, and cannabis businesses set up affiliate programs and find good fits for their products or services. 

While 81% of brands use affiliate marketing, 94% of publishers are part of more than one affiliate marketing network.

By partnering with an affiliate network, your cannabis brand can tap into a larger pool of potential affiliates. You can also access valuable tools and resources, allowing for streamlined affiliate program management. 

Before we get into the best cannabis affiliate marketing networks, let’s go over some fundamentals.

What is an Affiliate Network?

An affiliate network is a platform that connects advertisers (in this case, cannabis brands) with publishers (affiliates) who promote their products or services. 

These networks typically provide a range of services to help cannabis brands set up and manage their affiliate programs, including tracking and reporting tools, payment processing, and support services.

How Do Affiliate Networks Operate?

Affiliate networks operate by providing a platform where cannabis brands can set up their affiliate programs and find affiliates to promote their products or services. 

Once your cannabis brand has an affiliate program, you can post it on the network’s platform, where it will be visible to potential affiliates. 

Affiliates can then apply to join the program, and if accepted, will receive a unique affiliate link or code to promote your brand’s products or services. The network typically tracks sales generated by affiliates and pays out commissions on behalf of your marijuana or CBD brand.

Benefits of Partnering with an Affiliate Network

Partnering with an affiliate network offers several benefits for cannabis brands. These may include:

  • A ready-made pool of potential affiliates, making it easier to find and recruit partners.
  • Management tools and resources, including tracking and reporting tools, payment processing, and support services. 
  • Compliance with industry regulations to ensure your program operates legally and ethically.

Top 3 Affiliate Networks For Cannabis Brands

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The success of your cannabis affiliate marketing largely depends on the networks you use.

Let’s take a look at three of the best cannabis affiliate networks that offer valuable benefits for marijuana and CBD brands.

CannAffiliate: A Cannabis-Only Network

CannAffiliate is a prominent cannabis affiliate marketing network with a diverse network of affiliates. These include marijuana-related websites, blogs, social media influencers, and more. Here are some of its noteworthy benefits:

  • Competitive commission rates and real-time tracking and reporting tools for performance optimization.
  • Robust compliance system to ensure regulatory adherence and maintain a reputable brand image.
  • Personalized support and guidance for partners to optimize affiliate marketing efforts.
  • Wide range of marketing channels to reach target audience effectively.
  • Integrations with all major ecommerce platforms, including WordPress, Shopify,, Weebly, and many more.

CannAffiliate offers a reliable and comprehensive platform for cannabis brands to leverage the power of affiliate marketing and drive their online sales.

ShareASale: A Fast-Growing Global Platform

ShareASale is an established affiliate network with a wide range of affiliates and industries, including cannabis. It offers legitimate marijuana and CBD brands the following advantages:

  • A user-friendly platform with easy setup and management of affiliate campaigns.
  • Access to a large pool of affiliates, including cannabis-related websites, blogs, and influencers.
  • Competitive commission rates and performance-based tracking to optimize campaigns for better results.
  • Reliable payment processing and timely payouts for affiliates.
  • Comprehensive reporting and analytics tools for monitoring campaign performance.
  • Customer support and guidance to leverage cannabis affiliate marketing and promote products effectively.

ShareASale’s network connects online retailers to over 270,000 active affiliate partners from around the globe. If you want to expand your reach and boost your profits, it’s worth checking out.

Green Affiliates: A Niche Platform for Everything Cannabis

Green Affiliates is a specialized cannabis affiliate marketing network, focusing exclusively on the marijuana industry. Some of its top benefits include:

With its highly engaged user base, your cannabis business can:

  • A highly targeted audience of cannabis enthusiasts, providing relevant and engaged traffic for cannabis brands.
  • Wide range of promotional tools, including banners, links, and content, to support affiliates in promoting cannabis brands effectively.
  • Offers competitive commission rates and performance-based tracking to optimize campaigns for maximum results.
  • Personalized support and guidance for cannabis brands, including tailored marketing strategies and campaign optimization tips.
  • Dedicated affiliate dashboard for easy campaign management, reporting, and analytics.

Green Affiliates provides a niche platform for cannabis brands to connect with affiliates who have expertise and experience in the cannabis industry.

Reddit How Does Cannabis Affiliate Marketing Work? A Step-by-Step Guide

The phrase "Affiliate Marketing" displayed in bold letters over a visually appealing graphic design of a computer screen. The colorful display on the screen adds a vibrant touch, representing the dynamic and diverse nature of affiliate marketing.

Cannabis affiliate marketing is a powerful way for brands to reach a wider audience and drive sales. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Set up Your Affiliate Program

The first step is to set up your affiliate program, either through an affiliate network or by using an affiliate marketing platform. This involves creating an agreement that outlines the terms of the partnership, such as commission rates and payment methods.

Step 2: Attract and Recruit Affiliates

Once your program is set up, it’s time to recruit affiliates. You can do this through your website, social media channels, or by reaching out to influencers in the cannabis industry. 

Look for potential affiliates who have an audience that aligns with your target market.

Step 3: Provide Affiliates With Marketing Materials

Make it easy for affiliates to promote your products or services with marketing materials such as banners, product images, and text links. They should be branded and designed to attract your target audience.

Give your affiliates all the information they need. They should be able to answer questions about your products or services with confidence.

Step 4: Track Sales and Pay Commissions

As your affiliates promote your products or services, you’ll need to track their sales and pay out commissions on a regular basis. This can be done through an affiliate network or by using affiliate marketing software.

Step 5: Create a Successful Affiliate Marketing Campaign

With your program and affiliates in place, the final step is to create a successful affiliate marketing campaign. This involves developing a marketing strategy, tracking and analyzing your results, and continuously optimizing your campaign to maximize your ROI.

By following these steps, you can create a successful cannabis affiliate marketing program that helps you reach new customers and grow your business.

Hiring a Cannabis Affiliate Marketing Agency: Why It's Worth It

Revenue in the cannabis industry is expected to reach a whopping total of $47.2 billion in 2023 alone. As the market becomes more competitive, cannabis brands are seeking new and innovative ways to promote their products and services. 

One effective strategy is to hire a cannabis affiliate marketing agency.

Why Hire an Agency?

If you’re looking to take your cannabis affiliate marketing to the next level, working with a specialized agency can be an excellent investment. 

Here are some reasons why:

  • Expertise: Cannabis affiliate marketing agencies specialize in this field and have the knowledge and experience to help you maximize your results.
  • Time-saving: By hiring an agency, you can free up your time and resources to focus on other aspects of your business while the agency handles your affiliate program.
  • Access to a network: Many agencies have established relationships with affiliates and affiliate networks, providing you with access to a broader pool of potential partners.
  • Measurable results: Agencies typically have established reporting and analytics systems to measure the effectiveness of your affiliate program.

What Can an Agency Offer?

When you work with a cannabis affiliate marketing agency, you can expect a range of services and support, including:

  • Setting up and managing your affiliate program.
  • Recruiting and vetting affiliates.
  • Providing creative assets and marketing materials.
  • Tracking and analyzing performance metrics.
  • Complying with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Ongoing optimization and improvement of your program.

How to Choose the Right Cannabis Affiliate Marketing Agency

Choosing the right cannabis affiliate marketing agency is essential for the success of your program. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Experience: Look for an agency with a proven track record of success in the cannabis industry.
  • Services: Make sure the agency offers the services you need to achieve your goals.
  • Communication: Communication is key, so choose an agency that is responsive and available to address your questions and concerns.
  • Cost: Consider the cost of the agency’s services and whether they fit within your budget.
  • Reputation: Do your research and check reviews and references from other clients to ensure the agency has a positive reputation.
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Cannabis affiliate marketing is a powerful tool for CBD brands, dispensaries, and marijuana businesses looking to grow. 

Why? Well, just take a look at some of the benefits below.

Cost-Effective Marketing

One of the biggest advantages of cannabis affiliate marketing is its cost-effectiveness.

Unlike other forms of marketing, such as paid advertising, affiliate marketing only requires you to pay commissions to affiliates when they make a sale or generate a lead. 

You only pay for results! This allows you to use your marketing budget more efficiently.

Increased Reach and Exposure

Cannabis affiliate marketing can also help you reach a wider audience and get your brand in front of more potential customers. By partnering with a network of affiliates, you can tap into their existing audience and leverage their influence to promote your products or services. 

This can lead to increased visibility, more website traffic, and ultimately, more sales.

High Conversion Rates

Cannabis affiliate marketing is known for its high conversion rates. Think about it: affiliates earn a commission for each sale or lead they generate. That’s motivation enough to promote your products or services!

Generally, affiliates also have a strong relationship with their audience, which can increase the likelihood of conversions. 

All of these factors make affiliate marketing a powerful tool for driving sales and growing your CBD or cannabis business.

Who Can Benefit from Hiring a Cannabis Affiliate Marketing Agency?

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If you’re a cannabis business owner looking to expand operations, increase your reach, and make more green, then a cannabis affiliate marketing agency could be just what you need.

Below are three types of companies that can benefit from hiring a cannabis affiliate marketing agency:

Startups and Small Businesses

Startups and small businesses often have limited marketing budgets, making it difficult to compete with larger, more established brands. 

By partnering with a cannabis affiliate marketing agency, these businesses can leverage the agency’s expertise to create and execute effective marketing campaigns on a budget. 

Working with an agency can also help startups and small businesses build their brand without worrying about affiliate marketing compliance.

Established Brands Seeking Growth

Even established cannabis brands with a strong online presence can benefit from working with a cannabis affiliate marketing agency. 

These agencies can help established brands develop and execute new marketing strategies, targeting untapped markets and expanding their reach. 

By partnering with an agency, established brands can also benefit from the agency’s industry insights and expertise, helping them stay ahead of the competition.

Companies Looking to Expand into New Markets

If you’re looking to expand your cannabis business into new markets or regions, working with a cannabis affiliate marketing agency can help you reach your target audience quickly and effectively. 

These agencies have experience working with affiliates in different regions and can help you tailor your marketing campaigns to meet the needs of local consumers. 

This can help your business break into new markets and establish a strong presence in those regions.

Popular Cannabis Affiliate Programs

Now that we’ve covered all the fundamentals, let’s explore a few of the top cannabis affiliate programs. Use them for inspiration or let your cannabis brand earn some extra income!

Seedsman Affiliate Program

Seedsman is a B2B cannabis seed bank that sells a wide variety of seeds for both medical and recreational use. Its affiliate program offers a commission rate of up to 15% on all sales, a 60-day cookie tracking period, and a handy mobile app.

CBDPure Affiliate Program

CBDPure is a popular CBD brand that offers high-quality CBD products for a variety of uses. The affiliate program offers a 40% commission rate on all sales. It also offers a 365-day cookie tracking period and provides affiliates with a range of marketing materials.

Grassdoor Affiliate Program

Grassdoor is an online marijuana delivery service in over 800 zip codes and 55 cities in California. As a reputable brand, it’s a trusted choice for affiliates promoting cannabis products. It pays $35 CPA (cost per acquisition) for new customers.

The Future of Cannabis Affiliate Marketing: Opportunities and Trends

A picturesque scene of marijuana cultivation amidst the beauty of nature. Lush green plants thrive under the sunlight, surrounded by tall trees, vibrant flowers, and a serene landscape, highlighting the harmonious coexistence of cannabis cultivation and the natural environment.

The cannabis industry is evolving rapidly, and affiliate marketing is poised to play an increasingly important role in its growth. 

Here are some emerging trends to watch for and opportunities to consider as you develop your cannabis affiliate marketing strategy.

Emerging Trends in the Cannabis Industry

As cannabis becomes more widely accepted and legalized, new markets and products are emerging. For example, the market for CBD products is growing rapidly, and cannabis-infused beverages and edibles are becoming more mainstream. 

As more states and countries legalize cannabis, cross-border trade and international markets are opening up. Keeping up with these trends and understanding how they impact your business can help you stay ahead of the curve in your affiliate marketing efforts.

Opportunities for Cannabis Affiliate Marketing

With so many new products and services hitting the market, a growing need exists for affiliate networks and partners.

Leveraged successfully, cannabis affiliate marketing can help your brand connect with like-minded partners and audiences. This, in turn, can help you differentiate your business and build a strong, loyal customer base.

As the industry becomes more competitive, a robust partnership with your affiliates can mean the difference between deeply rooted brand recognition and total ‘namelessness.’

Challenges and Potential Roadblocks

Of course, there are also challenges and potential roadblocks to consider as you develop your cannabis affiliate marketing strategy. 

For example, the ever-changing regulations and laws can be difficult to navigate to ensure compliance. 

Meanwhile, the fast-approaching death of third-party cookies is also set to change affiliate marketing as we know it.

Despite these challenges, countless opportunities exist in cannabis affiliate marketing. 

With the right strategy and an efficient marketing agency on your side, you can capitalize on them and help your business grow.

It’s Crunch Time for Cannabis Affiliate Marketing

Cannabis affiliate marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for marijuana and CBD brands looking to expand their reach, increase their customer base, and drive sales. 

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and evolve, affiliate marketing is likely to play an even greater role in helping brands achieve their marketing goals. 

By keeping up with emerging trends, partnering with reputable networks and agencies, and implementing a data-driven approach to affiliate marketing, you can stay ahead of the curve and drive sustainable growth.

By partnering with the right affiliates and leveraging the expertise of a cannabis affiliate marketing agency like Hippo Thinks, you can take your business to the next level.

If you’re a cannabis brand looking to expand your reach and drive sales, affiliate marketing can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. 

Contact Hippo Thinks and start exploring your options today!


Will affiliate marketing work for my cannabis brand?

Yes, affiliate marketing can work for your cannabis brand if done correctly. The right affiliate network and strategy can help you reach a wider audience and increase your sales.

Can cannabis affiliate marketing be done alongside other marketing efforts?

Yes, affiliate marketing can complement other marketing strategies and help you reach a wider audience. For example, you can use cannabis affiliate marketing to drive traffic to your website while also running social media ads to increase brand awareness.

Will cannabis affiliate marketing help my brand in the long run?

Yes, cannabis affiliate marketing can help you build brand loyalty, increase your customer base, and drive sales. Additionally, as the cannabis industry continues to grow, affiliate marketing can help you stay competitive and adapt to changing market conditions.

Are cannabis affiliate marketing and performance marketing the same thing?

Cannabis affiliate marketing and performance marketing are not exactly the same thing, but they’re related. Performance marketing is a broader term that includes affiliate marketing as well as other forms of digital marketing that focus on driving measurable results.

What are some common commission structures for cannabis affiliate marketing?

Common commission structures for cannabis affiliate marketing include cost per acquisition (CPA), where affiliates earn a commission on each sale made. Revenue sharing (a percentage of total revenue) and flat fees (a fixed amount for each sale) are also popular.

Top 3 Benefits of Cannabis Affiliate Marketing


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