What Advertizers Should Know Before Marketing Cannabis in California

Everyone and their grandmother is trying to cash in on California’s green rush. And that includes ambitious marketing professionals, eager to introduce their creative cannavisions to the world. But there are a number of laws to consider before embarking on a cannabis ad campaign. Run afoul of them and you risk professional injury and possible legal trouble.

The National Law Review has just published a piece on the do’s and don’ts of cannabis advertising in California. Here are a few highlights:

• Make sure the product’s place of origin is accurately represented. When including the name of any county, you better be sure the cannabis used in that product was grown there.

• Stay away from making any claims about health benefits you can’t absolutely prove.

• If you want to advertise on radio, TV, print, or digital media, make sure you’ve accessed the latest data on age composition. Such advertisements are limited to audiences in which 71.6% are at least 21 years of age.

• Mind your federal P’s and Q’s: “Despite widespread state legalization, cannabis remains illegal under federal law,” the National Law Review notes. “To date, the federal government has not prosecuted anyone for publishing cannabis advertisements in states where it is legal. However, it is a felony under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), punishable by up to four years in prison, to ‘place in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publications, any written advertisement knowing that it has the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance.’”

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