As we go to press, we expect Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D NM) to introduce a cannabis advertising bill in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would allow broadcasters to accept cannabis advertisements consistent with the law of the state in which they are licensed. For stations in New York, this means a station would be able to accept advertisements for adult use of cannabis.
Unlike Senator Schumer’s bill, Sen. Lujan’s bill does not legalize cannabis. Rather, it focuses solely on the FCC and broadcasters’ ability to accept cannabis advertisements.
The legislation is another step forward in addressing the current inequity with respect to cannabis advertising. Since broadcast stations are licensed by the federal government, accepting cannabis advertising will place a station’s license at risk. However, this legislation will resolve this issue for stations, placing us on equal footing with cable, satellite, and other media platforms that can accept cannabis advertising.
As part of the legislation, stations would have to broadcast warning labels on cannabis advertisements that accept. On this point, we will need to address how this will work with the labeling requirements proposed by the Office of Cannabis Management in New York State.
We strongly support Sen. Lujan’s bill. Moreover, we anticipate that the provisions of the bill and the issue of cannabis advertising, in general, will be part of an overall cannabis compromise bill that will be negotiated by Majority Leader Schumer (see the previous story).
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