By Vyla Carter
(last updated: October 2020)
Because cannabis is unlawful, there are many restrictions on its advertising. These restrictions vary at the state and local level. Here is a breakdown of the California cannabis advertising regulations, listed in chapter 15 of Proposition 64:
Advertisements Can Only be Targeted to a 21+ Audience
According to section 26151 of California’s Proposition 64, any cannabis advertisement can only be displayed where at least 71.6 percent of the audience is suspected to be 21 years of age or older. This includes advertisements in broadcast, cable, radio, print, and digital communications.
The proposition states that “any advertising or marketing involving direct, individualized communication or dialogue controlled by the licensee shall utilize a method of age affirmation to verify that the recipient is 21 years of age or older.”
California also restricts cannabis advertisements from marketing in a way that is attractive to children.
California’s Restrictions on Cannabis Advertisement Placement
California places a range of restrictions on where cannabis ads can be placed.
These placement restrictions include regulations on cannabis advertisements placed along the road. This means that there can not be marijuana advertisements on billboards located along an Interstate or State Highway that crosses the border of California.
The state also bans all cannabis advertising “within 1,000 feet of a day care center, school providing instruction in kindergarten or any grades 1 to 12, inclusive, playground, or youth center.” This again reinforces the fact that cannabis companies must be very careful to not advertise to those under the age of 21.
No False or Misleading Statements
The proposition makes it clear that the false and misleading advertisement of cannabis is not allowed. All claims used in advertisements for cannabis must be supported by true information. This also means that there can be no unsupported or misleading claims of health benefits from a cannabis product.
Other Cannabis Advertising Restrictions in California
One more restriction included in California’s Proposition 64 is that companies can not give away cannabis products or accessories as part of a promotion. This means that these companies can not give away anything for free. This does exclude the donation of cannabis to a patient.
When advertising in California, make sure to double-check restrictions in the state and locally. Also, contact a lawyer to confirm you are following the law and reach out to peers in the cannabis marketing community. It is important to be careful when advertising cannabis so your company does not face any consequences.
See the state’s list of cannabis advertising regulations, here.
Learn more about California’s cannabis advertising regulations and receive marketing help from your peers by becoming a CMA member today!
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