Last Updated Oct 6, 2010 9:38 AM EDT
Here's a look at 10 commercials in this burgeoning new ad category. Generally, dispensaries have gone with one of two themes: They're either positioning themselves as pothead supply stores, or they're borrowing the official tones of Big Healthcare.
The one thing they have in common is that they're all amateurish and in dire need of professional creative help.
1. They're not even trying at GrowingWeedSeeds.com. This isn't even a "video," it's a just a compilation of marijuana beauty shots behind the company's logo and a bunch of reggae music.
2. Klub Kush DVD Magazine is the "premier urban lifestyle guide of today's cannabis community." Uh huh. Looks like a Dead Head store to me.
3. "Bigger buds and larger yields" is the promise of BC Northern Lights, a company that apparently learned everything it needs to know about advertising from public access cable.
4. "I bench over 1200 pounds!" announces the impossibly muscled beast who introduces this ad. What that has to do with the Mendica Marijuana Collective in Los Angeles is anybody's guess.
5. CannaCare's ad appears to be the most professional of the bunch: It uses customer testimonials and doesn't show the plant or use the m-word.
6. You can't argue with an aging Marine in agony, and that's Medicann's strategy. Why, though, is he labelled "a typical stoner" in a screen caption?
7. Compassionate Consulting for Wellness has chosen to play up the fact that they're actually real doctors who write real prescriptions. If you've seen a local TV hospital ad, you'll recognize all the tropes here -- white coats, efficient receptionists, and so on. It's just that they're also dope dealers!
8. The folks at the Medical Marijuana Education & Training School must have been stoned when they did this: They used "Thus Sprach Zarathrustra" as background music.
9. Gropech is a big warehouse full of pot plants, but in this ad the company tries to convince you that it's "the future of medical cannabis production ... built to medical laboratory standards."
10. San Diego Herbal Alternatives is "here to help you get the right medicine for your needs." And one of those meds is "Pineapple Express," if you freeze the video at 1.13.
Image by Flickr user Chuck "Caveman" Coker, CC.