Federal Cannabis Advertising Legislation Fails to Pass in 2022

NYSBA and other state broadcasting associations continue to seek a legislative solution that will allow stations to accept cannabis advertising under federal law. The proposal—the Safe Advertising Act—will allow stations to accept cannabis advertising consistent with the law of the state in which they are licensed. The bill was introduced earlier this summer by Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D NM) (S 4622).

The goal is to attach the Safe Advertising Act to the Safe Banking Act and include both bills in the Omnibus spending package that will be passed in the next few days. Unfortunately, recent opposition by the Republican Senate Leadership in regard to including cannabis legislation in the Omnibus spending package means that the Safe Banking Act and the Safe Advertising Act will not be enacted this year.

As a result, even though recreational adult-use cannabis is now legal in New York, local stations accepting cannabis advertisements will be violating federal law and placing their federal licenses at risk.

Obviously, we are disappointed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who supported us, put our issue on the table. However, he was unable to convince Republican leadership to support us or the banks seeking relief.

Obtaining relief in the next Congress will be more difficult, as Republicans will now control the House of Representatives. Nonetheless, the banks, who have been lobbying this issue for more than a decade, will the looking for an avenue to move forward. We will also be exploring ways we can obtain relief in the next Congress.