Text messaging in a 10DLC era: What cannabis brands need to know | Fyllo

Text messaging in a 10DLC era: What cannabis brands need to know

It’s official: 10DLC is the new standard in B2C text message communications. Earlier this year, Mobile Network Operators officially imposed specific regulations regarding text messaging content that businesses are allowed to send to customers. These regulations protect consumers by filtering harmful content and spam via text messages. 

For highly regulated industries like cannabis, this is just another rung of the compliance ladder. Is it convenient? No. Of course, cannabis brands and dispensaries want the freedom to advertise their products innovatively like other industries. But it’s absolutely necessary since heavy fines associated with 10DLC can stifle dispensaries of any size. 

To ensure those who maintain compliance will succeed, Fyllo is committed to simplifying 10DLC’s fines, fees and penalties.

Registration Fees

  • $4 to register your brand

  • $50 to register a campaign

  • Depending on the carrier, there is a monthly fee per message.

Penalties and Violations

Here’s the part you’re going to want to pay attention to: just one penalty for a 10DLC violation can sideline your business. While surcharges are relatively low and attractive, MNOs are serious about protecting consumers from text messages littered with spam and harmful content that violates SHAFT (Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco) guidelines. 

AT&T’s grace period for 10DLC registration is March 1, 2022. After that, AT&T will enforce the following fines for numbers not yet registered for 10DLC:


  • $0.004 / SMS message pass-through fee 

  • $0.03/message for outbound SMS to AT&T

  • $0.0035/message for outbound MMS to AT&T

Also effective March 1, 2022, T-Mobile will enforce larger fines for the following violations:


  • Non-Registration: $10,000 sending text messages without registering for 10DLC

  • Content Violation: $10,000 for content that violates Code of Conduct rules, specifically SHAFT. Cannabis, CBD and Vape products are categorized under Tobacco. 

  • Program Evasion: $1,000 for any instance, dynamic routing, spam filter evasion and snowshoeing, which is sending the same message over multiple numbers to bypass certain messaging volume limits. 

  • Grey Route: $10 per message for non-consumer messaging sent over P2P routes. These fines will be waived until March 1, 2022. 


  • Verizon implemented its own 10DLC channel in 2019. Violations against their policy result in message throttling, blocking and service suspension.

Compliance is critical to avoiding fines, fees and penalties

The best way to stay ahead and avoid fees, fines and penalties are to actively comply with 10DLC industry standards and guidelines such as SHAFT and TCPA. Since cannabis is still prohibited federally, cannabis falls under the ‘tobacco’ category and cannot be openly advertised. This isn’t a barrier or even a setback. Instead, Fyllo has built custom content templates that help cannabis brands and dispensaries adhere to compliance guidelines. 

Understanding 10DLC’s alternatives

If your brand uses text message marketing, 10DLC is the industry standard. Surely, there are a few alternatives out there. Some brands opt for push notifications through mobile apps to create awareness around their promotions. Others have found a ‘workaround’ where customers receive P2P messages with a link containing the brand’s cannabis promotions and notifications, essentially hiding content. These are risky maneuvers and can be costly, as grey routing fines can reach $10 per message. 

Fyllo’s approach is built on compliance, transparency and efficiency. By pre-vetting content templates, Fyllo protects brands from content violations - and customers from receiving harmful content. And while mobile apps have their own advantages, text messaging has more attractive open rates, is cost-effective and tends to receive higher engagement. It’s a win-win-win.


What’s next 

If you were affected by the cutoff date, it’s not too late to register your brand with Fyllo for 10DLC compliance. First, submit a brand registration form with a Fyllo representative and we will handle the onboarding process with the Campaign Registry. Then, you will receive a brand verification and trust score to determine your throughput rate and enable faster delivery. All that’s left is to customize and automate your 10DLC messaging campaigns that fulfill the needs of your current business objectives. It’s that simple.

Still have questions about 10DLC? Talk to our Promotions Engine sales team and schedule a demo today.


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