Newsom Bans Cannabis Billboard Legislation

The governor has vetoed a bill that would have expanded cannabis advertisements along California highways.

Last year, a judge ruled that cannabis advertising along interstate highways violated Prop 64. State regulators were forced to change the rules and order the removal of cannabis billboards on roads that cross state borders. The change impacted 35 highways.

The bill vetoed last week was authored by Democratic Assemblyman Bill Quirk. AB 1302 would have allowed marijuana billboards along interstate highways and national highways except within 15 miles of the state border.

In his veto message, Gavin Newsom said AB 1302 would violate the spirit of the ballot measure voters approved and put children at risk.

“When the voters passed Proposition 64, they enacted robust protections shielding youth from exposure to cannabis and cannabis advertising,” Newsom wrote. “Among other things, voters completely prohibited billboard-based cannabis advertising on all Interstate Highways, and on all State Highways that cross the California border. Allowing advertising on these high-traffic thoroughfares could expose young passengers to cannabis advertising.”

The governor’s veto means cannabis billboards remain banned on highways throughout California.