An Interview with our CEO, Steve Knapp.

Our CEO recently got interviewed and we wanted to share the answers with you here!

Q: Who are you?
A: I’m Steve Knapp, CEO and founder of SM Services.

Q: What does your company do?
A: We’re a digital marketing agency that works primarily with cannabis brands to help differentiate themselves and stand above the competition. We work to get the client exactly what they need to help grow their business. We take an omnichannel approach and provide geo-targeted display advertising, email and SMS marketing, and SEO-driven web development solutions. We’re a forward-thinking agency that emphasizes clear communication, meaningful results, and client retention.

Q: How long has SM Services been around?
A: I founded SM Services in 2018

Q: What is your primary role in the cannabis industry?
A: Externally, we operate as marketers and industry leaders, but internally, we see ourselves as advocates for cannabis and our clients. We care about cannabis and generating meaningful ROI for our clients. We work with clients of all sizes throughout the USA. We work with brands like seedleSs clothing and Gelato. We provide creative solutions to client problems. We work with our clients to identify their brand voice, and we amplify that voice until all their prospective customers hear it.

Q: How long have you been in the cannabis industry?
A: I’ve been in the cannabis industry for a little over 20 years now.

Q: What past projects and accomplishments are you most proud of?
A: Building this business is my highest achievement. I started SM services because I felt that the advertising solutions for cannabis brands were lacking. Our combined experience and knowledge of the cannabis industry helps us maintain a very high client retention rate.

Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A: We’re working on improving the effectiveness of Pay Per Click (PPC) as a whole, establishing Twitter paid cannabis advertising as a lucrative platform for businesses, harnessing the power of AI and utilizing these emerging trends to give our clients a competitive edge over their competition. And lastly, we’re building two new divisions in the company by the end of this year.

Q: What parts of the industry are you most excited about?
A: I’m most excited about the normalization of cannabis. With mainstream acceptance and the rapid action of some states, we’re seeing innovation and creation of new products at an astonishing rate. Highly specialized companies are forming around cannabis as a legitimate industry and making strides toward utilizing cannabis as a recreational and medicinal product.
Q: What parts of the industry are you most concerned about?
A: I’m most concerned about policymakers at the state & national level not seeing eye to eye. Cannabis has gained cultural support in the past decade, but policymakers aren’t meeting their constituents where they are. I’m worried that bureaucracy will take priority over local businesses and communities.
Q: How old were you the first time you smoked and who did you get it from?
A: The first time I smoked I was twelve years old, I got it from one of my cousins!

Q: What is your favorite way to medicate?
A: Unfortunately for my lungs, I love smoking. They really need a break.

Q: What is the craziest place you’ve smoked?
A: One time I smoked in my tack coach’s office while he was out on the field.

Q: What are your go-to munchies after you get high?
A: Fruit – it’s the best cottonmouth killer.

Q: If you could smoke with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
A: It’s gotta be Snoop Dogg, man.

The Importance of Google My Business for Cannabis and CBD Dispensaries

In the fast-paced world of cannabis and CBD dispensaries, visibility is king. If you own a physical dispensary, you know how important your store’s location is in terms of driving foot traffic. The digital equivalent to your physical location is your keyword rankings and searchability online. Does your dispensary show up when people google “dispensary near me?” If not, how far do they need to scroll to find you? Something that could help increase your cannabis or CBD store’s SEO and visibility is having a Google My Business (GMB) account properly set up. 


What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to promote your business profile and website on Google Search and Maps. GMB helps you connect with customers, post updates to your business profile, and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google.

Why is GMB Important for Cannabis and CBD Businesses?

GMB is crucial for any business, but it’s doubly important for cannabis and CBD dispensaries due to their unique circumstances. These are the reasons why:

Improved Local Visibility

GMB listings significantly enhance your local search visibility. It ensures your dispensary appears in local search results and on Google Maps when potential customers search for businesses like yours. This gives you an instant leg up over dispensaries in your area that don’t have a GMB listing and also helps improve your website’s SEO. Here are some additional ways a GMB listing helps you:

Higher Search Rankings

A well-optimized GMB profile increases the likelihood of your dispensary appearing in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic search rankings. A business listed on GMB has a higher chance of being considered reputable by Google, which boosts your SEO efforts significantly.

Increased Engagement

GMB gives you ways to interact with locals, including posts, offers, reviews, and a questions and answers section. These features provide multiple touchpoints for customers to interact with your dispensary, which in turn fosters loyalty and return visits.

Insightful Analytics

GMB provides detailed insights about how customers search for your business, what actions they take, and where they’re coming from. This data can help you refine your marketing strategy.


Overcoming the GMB Challenge for Cannabis and CBD Dispensaries

Despite the immense benefits, keeping a GMB listing live can be challenging for cannabis and CBD businesses due to policy complexities. But, it’s worth noting that many successful dispensaries have managed to maintain their GMB listings by following community guidelines and keeping their content compliant with regulations.

Can eCommerce Businesses Have GMB Listings?

Yes! Your Cannabis or CBD eCommerce business can have a GMB listing. When you set your GMB up, you can use your home or office address for your business location and hide this information. You can also set a service area so your business will only appear in areas you can deliver your products to. 

How to Make Sure Your GMB Listing Stays Up

Compliance is Key

Make sure your listing strictly adheres to GMB’s policies. Avoid promoting any restricted products. Instead, focus on the overall experience your dispensary provides, such as its ambiance, customer service, and educational initiatives.

Monitor Your Listing Regularly

Google regularly updates its policies and algorithms. This can affect your listing without you noticing, so it’s important to check back on your GMB listing regularly to make sure it’s still live and to resolve any pending issues! Checking your account regularly also gives you the opportunity to respond to any reviews or questions your customers leave.

Seek Professional Help

Considering the stakes and complexities involved, it might be helpful to engage a digital marketing agency specializing in the cannabis industry. They can help navigate these challenges and keep your GMB listing optimized and compliant.

Google My Business is a potent tool that can significantly improve your dispensary’s visibility and customer engagement while boosting your SEO strategy. With diligence and the right approach, your cannabis or CBD business can harness the full potential of GMB, leading to increased growth and profitability. 

Cannabis Marketing Services

Highly Effective Cannabis Marketing: Unlocking the Power of Programmatic Display Advertising

Running programmatic display ads for a dispensary or e-commerce cannabis company can be an effective way to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness. Here are some reasons why:

1. Targeted Advertising: With programmatic display ads, you can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, allowing you to reach the right audience for your dispensary. This means that your ads are more likely to be seen by people who are interested in cannabis products and are more likely to become customers. Check out this publication by Stanford Business on the growth of programmatic advertising.

2. Increased Visibility: Display ads can increase the visibility of your dispensary’s brand by appearing on websites and apps that your target audience is likely to visit. This can help increase your dispensary’s visibility and brand recognition.

3. Cost-effective: Programmatic display advertising is often more cost effective than traditional advertising methods, such as TV or print ads. You can set a budget and bid on ad placements, ensuring that you’re only paying for the impressions and clicks that your ads receive.

4. Measurable Results: Programmatic advertising allows you to track your ad’s performance in real time, providing valuable data on the number of impressions, clicks, and conversions. This allows you to adjust your advertising strategy accordingly, optimizing your campaigns for better results.

5. Reach the Right Audience at the Right Time: Programmatic display ads can be timed to display during specific times of the day, on specific days of the week, or even during specific events. This means that you can reach potential customers when they are most likely to be interested in your products, increasing the chances of converting them into paying customers.

6. Build Trust and Credibility: By consistently displaying your dispensary’s brand message and products to your target audience, you can build trust and credibility with them. This can lead to increased loyalty and repeat business over time.

7. Adaptable and Flexible: Programmatic display ads allow quick and easy changes to ad copy, visuals, and targeting. This means that you can easily adapt to changes in your dispensary’s marketing strategy or respond to current events, ensuring that your ads remain relevant and effective.

8. Increased Website Traffic: Display ads should include calls to action, encouraging viewers to click through your dispensary’s website. This can lead to increased traffic to your website and, ultimately, more sales.

9. Better Control of Ad Spend: With programmatic display ads, you can set a budget and control how much you spend on each ad placement. This ensures that your advertising efforts are cost-effective and that you don’t overspend on ads that aren’t generating results.

Programmatic display ads can help dispensaries effectively target the right audience, increase brand recognition, build trust and credibility, and drive more sales. With the ability to measure and adjust ad performance in real-time, programmatic advertising is a powerful tool for dispensaries looking to increase their online presence and grow their customer base. If you want to grow your Dispensary or e-commerce cannabis business with programmatic display advertising, click and grow today!



Marijuana: A Journey Through Time and Changing Perceptions

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has a long and fascinating history that spans thousands of years. Its use can be traced back to ancient civilizations in Asia, where it was used for medicinal purposes and spiritual rituals. Over the years, cannabis has been both praised and demonized, but its popularity has never waned.


In the 20th century, cannabis began to attract more attention, especially in Western countries, where it became associated with the counter-culture movement. In the United States, it was classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it was considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

Recent Years 

However, in recent years, attitudes toward cannabis have begun to shift. Medical marijuana has been legalized in many states, and some states have even legalized recreational use. This change in perception has been fueled by a growing body of research that suggests that cannabis may have many potential health benefits.

Read More at Green Therapy NYC here!

Marijuana Marketing Services

Five Marketing Mistakes Cannabis Companies Should Avoid

A complex, technical, and attention-grabbing sector? That description applies to both cannabis and marketing. But many cannabis insiders aren’t equally versed on the ins and outs of effective marketing campaigns. Whether you run a B2B or B2C business, connecting effectively with customers requires a fair bit of know-how and understanding of the digital advertising landscape.

It’s easy to think a DIY approach to marketing your business will get customers in the door, but organic growth is easier said than done. Here are five common marketing mistakes and how you can avoid these pitfalls to get your brand in front of the right people…Read More

Cannabis Email Marketing

Email Marketing Platforms That Are Cannabis Friendly

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to stay in touch with current customers and to build a relationship with prospective customers. Having an email list that is small is not a concern, as with effective marketing it will continue to grow. The cannabis email marketing experts at SM Services are also happy to help you setup a starter email campaign to start collecting emails – everyone has to start somewhere!

Finding the Right Platform

Finding an email marketing platform that is cannabis friendly is critical. Not all email marketing services, including the big names in the market, are friendly to cannabis and even CBD businesses. In fact, many of the big email marketing platforms specifically prohibit the marketing of cannabis products or any type of marketing of cannabis businesses.

As the policies on cannabis marketing are continually changing, it is a wise step to reach out to the email platform and specifically ask what their policies are on marketing for a cannabis industry company. This ensures you get the policy statement in writing before signing up or attempting to send out your first email and being flagged right from the start.

Possible Options

Here are a few email marketing platforms that offer small to mid-sized email marketing campaigns and are also cannabis friendly.

  • Klaviyo – supports cannabis businesses with email and offers easy-to-use email services for small businesses
  • Emurcury – both CBD and cannabis, but requires all subscribers to opt-in to the email marketing campaign
  • Email Octopus – also requires everyone on the list subscribes to the newsletter
  • Hubspot – both CRM (customer relationship management) and email services for cannabis businesses
  • Moosend – cannabis-friendly for both emails and reporting
  • Alpine IQ – offers integration with most cannabis menus and loyalty programs

We prefer to use Klaviyo at SM Services as it allows for accurate metric and KPI tracking, as well as simple campaign and automated flow setup. If you have any questions about email marketing for the cannabis industry, be sure to contact us today!


Tips for Using Email Marketing to Help Your Cannabis Business

Email is a very effective way to reach both new and prospective customers for any company or business in the cannabis realm. One of the benefits of email is that it offers the ability to provide more information than a social media post while also offering customized content and very specific and timely information about everything from cannabis products to cannabis laws.

Building a List

Building an email list is the first step in the process. This means collecting email addresses from all customers or prospective customers. Require all online purchasers to include an email and get emails addresses from sales within the dispensary. Most in-person customers, when asked for an email, readily provide this information, especially if discounts or opt-in incentives are offered.

Another way to build a list is to offer a free giveaway on your website and through all your social media marketing. Make it something of value, such as a guide, helpful tips, information about a specific product, strain, or other frequently asked questions from your existing customers.

Start Emailing on a Schedule

Determine the frequency of your emails and the style of emails to make things consistent for your customer base. A more casual and personal tone makes it readable, and adding relevant and timely content without looking salesy is critical.

Include your branding in all emails and develop a format that customers recognize as your brand and email. This encourages higher open rates, which means your target audience is interacting with the content you provide.

Email marketing campaigns that offer a coupon code or a special only available to the email subscribers are another way to add value for your customer base. Change this up and offer seasonal specials to encourage everyone to open and respond to each email.

Cannabis Google My Business

Marketing For Cannabis Dispensaries: How To Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Google, like many other platforms, has specific requirements in place for anyone listing a cannabis dispensary. However, there are a number of features that cannabis dispensaries can use to provide the information new and existing customers need to see about your business.

Complete All Information

There are several ways to provide information to your customers through a Google My Business Page, which is now known more simply as Google Business. This includes your cannabis dispensary address, phone number, and website URL. It also includes photos, hours of operation, and a description of up to 750 characters.

While 750 characters may not seem like a lot of information, strategic planning of the words and phrases can provide a clear picture to customers looking for a cannabis dispensary in your geographic area.

Be Sure to Request Reviews

Google rewards businesses that get positive customer reviews. Many cannabis dispensaries offer something as a thank you for a review, but this cannot be premised on only leaving a positive review.

Next, be sure to respond to the review. This is a relationship-building technique and allows you to provide more information or to recognize the comment left by the customer.


Posting relevant information about your business and completing a Q&A section on your Google Business listing is another important way to share how your dispensary is different from the competition. Think about what your customer wants to know about all aspects of your business and create a comprehensive Q&A that is informative and adds value to the customer’s online experience.

Finally, monitor your Google Business listing and be sure to remove inappropriate images and duplicate listings to continue to rank with Google Business pages.

Cannabis Marketing Services

CBD Display Ads: 6 Tips For Effective CBD Advertising And Retargeting

CBD advertising is increasingly important for both established and new manufacturers and retailers. The number of cannabinoids on the market combined with the different brands and options in formulations and products makes it critical to have effective CBD advertising and marketing in place.

Challenges to Overcome

However, due to the lack of approval by the FDA, retailers still have to be extremely careful with the language used in their marketing campaigns. These ads cannot make medical claims, even when there are published, peer-reviewed research papers with scores of positive feedback and anecdotal reviews from raving customers.

Options in Advertising

CBD display ads / geo-targeting provides an effective marketing technique to keep your products top-of-mind while reaching new customers. To help ensure the ads offer maximum impact on the target audience, consider these six tips:

  • Get organic – posting organic content on social media platforms that uses the right SEO strategy and does not violate any policies for these platforms is effective, but only if you consistently use branding.
  • Podcasts – guesting on podcasts and talking about CBD, your company, or your brand is a great way to advertise. Providing short ads in podcasts is another option to consider.
  • Work with influencers – working with a social media influencer to highlight your brand offers positive results. It is important to choose the influencer that will reach your desired demographic.
  • Use CBD-friendly platforms – there are online magazines, digital publications and CBD-friendly native advertising options that bypass the rules of the big social media platforms.
  • Old school options – billboards that meet any local or state laws for advertising CBD products placed in high traffic areas can offer a top ROI.
  • Affiliate marketing – rewarding others for sending new customers to your website provides a digital “word of mouth” marketing opportunity.

Marketing CBD is a challenge, but there are ways to get your products and brand front and center for your target audience. If you’re interested in learning more about CBD advertising and digital marketing strategies, we invite you to reach more about our geo-targeting service, or simply get in touch with us today!

Dispensary Marketing Company

The Importance Of A Responsive Website For Cannabis Dispensaries

Responsive website design is increasingly important for all types of businesses and ecommerce sites. In simple terms, a responsive website is developed to display optimally on any size of screen.

This includes desktop monitors, laptops, tablets, and other types of devices, including the various options in smartphones. This is essential in the cannabis marketing industry as so many consumers looking for these products use mobile devices. Across all shopping online, buying from a mobile device accounts for three out of every four dollars consumers spend.

Understanding the Technology

One important consideration for responsive design is what will be displayed on the different screen types. It is essential to understand that it is not about expanding or shrinking the content universally but making the content relevant and legible on various devices.

This means an individual looking at your responsive design website on a desktop or laptop will have access to more information, including text, buttons, and graphics, than someone looking at the website on a smartphone. The responsive website design team will work closely with you to ensure the relevant information about your cannabis dispensary is available to current and potential customers on any device.

Making it Functional

In addition to visual appeal and branding, a responsive website offers end-users, or your customers, a functional website. This includes the ability to quickly place online orders, look at their cart, review your products, and even have delivery integration and payment methods available to meet your business’s and your customers’ needs.

If your cannabis dispensary website could use a minor touch up or even a full-scale facelift, get in touch with the professionals at SM Services. We’re ready to help you take advantage of a fully responsive dispensary website and help you maintain it!