March 15, 2024

T-Mobile’s Latest Fines for Mass-Marketing Texters: A Stark Warning for Dispensaries


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Starting Jan. 1, 2024, T-Mobile began implementing fines to commercial vendors for mass text-marketing violations that violated the “Prohibited Campaign Content” section of the company’s Code of Conduct

The move made headlines after viral social media posts claimed the company would begin policing customers’ personal texts. (This has been debunked by many news sites.) 

However, the risk to cannabis companies that rely on T-Mobile users for mass texting campaigns is very much real. 

Violations of T-Mobile’s Code of Conduct are defined as messages that include “Unlawful, Unapproved, or Illicit Content,” such as the “endorsement of illegal drugs.” 

According to the code, “the content must be legal across all 50 states,” (emphasis added) and “Cannabis” is specifically mentioned as an example of “Illegal Substances.” 

This warning couldn’t be more clear to dispensaries who send mass text messages to T-Mobile users to advertise products, specials, events, or anything else related to their business: You could be fined in a big way for promoting cannabis across our platform. 

Some of those fines, according to Vonage–a vendor that contracts with T-Mobile to send mass message campaigns over the network–could total $1,000 for each violation

SMS carriers like T-Mobile, Twilio, and others, have been cracking down on cannabis text message marketing for years. According to a 2021 National Cannabis Industry Association blog by NCIA’s former Director of Public Policy Rachel Kurtz-McAlaine, “Some businesses have found alternative platforms, but those companies may charge more because they are willing to screen every message that gets sent prior to it getting sent out via SMS. … It is unclear if the big telecommunications companies will eventually shut those down as well.” 

Until cannabis is federally legal, state-licensed businesses are going to continue to experience these marketing-related struggles. In the meantime, it’s critical that dispensaries make wise, and budget-friendly choices for promotions to remain compliant and avoid hefty penalties.

An Easy-to-Use (and Compliant) Mobile App for Your Customers 

Mosaic offers cannabis dispensaries a branded, and user-friendly mobile-app experience for customers that can also help retailers communicate with users on their mobile devices–compliantly. 

Dispensaries have the ability to send push notifications to their customers via the Mosaic app.

A push notification is a mobile-app alert that shows up on a user’s lock screen or home screen to alert them of information.

Push notifications are a compliant way to communicate with your customers in real time who have your mobile app downloaded. That’s because mobile app users have the option to enable or disable push notifications depending on how they want to interact with the app. By downloading your app and enabling notifications, they are granting their express permission to receive your push notifications on their device. 

You could use push notifications to announce: 

  • A product launch 
  • A stellar discount 
  • An upcoming event 

…or anything else worth promoting at your cannabis retail store, all you need to do is send a push via the Mosaic platform and anyone with notifications enabled will receive your message immediately–and with one click be taken right into your app for all the extra details. 

What’s even better, dispensaries don’t need to pay a fee to our service each time they send a message (or worse yet, a fee per user who receives the message). Instead, retailers get access to the app’s entire functionality with one affordable monthly payment

It’s a no-brainer for those who send frequent and targeted communications to their most loyal customers. 

If you’re looking for an eCommerce and loyalty option that finally reflects the professionalism and easy shopping experience that your brick-and-mortar store is known for, book a free demo with the Mosaic team to learn more about our mobile apps for dispensaries and our push notification capabilities. 

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