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Cannabis Ads On Radio And TV: When Will They See The Light Of Day?

As marijuana legalization progresses in many states and cannabis sales increase, many companies want more visibility for their products and services through marketing and advertising. But are cannabis ads allowed? Yes and no. At the moment, loopholes abound. Also, local and federal laws come into play and when they do, they often clash. 

An Update Might Clarify The Situation

In June, the House Appropriations Committee passed a bill with a provision that would block the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from penalizing broadcasters for advertising cannabis products in states with legal marijuana markets

The Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2023 include provisions that would eliminate the ability of the FCC to take administrative action against broadcasters for accepting cannabis ads in states where use has been legalized.

However, the proposed FCC budget released by the Senate Appropriations Committee did not include any provisions that would address cannabis ads.

Recently, Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), introduced a bill allowing TV and radio stations to accept advertising for cannabis products in states with legal medical or recreational weed.

Luján’s bill would permanently allow TV and radio stations to accept and air marijuana ads. Under this bill, marijuana ads would only be allowed to air during programs where a minimum of 70% of the viewers are 21 and older.

“As more states enact common-sense cannabis legislation, it’s crucial that radio and TV stations can accept advertising without fear of losing their license,” said Luján. “With health and safety measures in place, this legislation will allow broadcasters to accept cannabis advertisements in accordance with state laws.”

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) Advertising Act

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) Advertising Act, would allow broadcasters to accept cannabis ads in accordance with state laws. In addition, it “would prohibit the FCC from rejecting a license renewal, license transfer, or require an early renewal application if a station opts to air cannabis ads from a legitimate seller,” stated the bill.

The measure needs to be approved by the House and Senate and, if passed would need to be renewed every year.

“While we welcome today’s progress, local broadcasters will continue to work with all policymakers towards a broader resolution of this competitive disparity and in support of our unique service to local communities,” said Alex Siciliano, the National Association of Broadcasters spokesman.

Photo: Courtesy Of Tom Wheatley On Unsplash

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