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Regulations on Cannabis Advertising by State

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Regulations on Cannabis Advertising by State

state guide to cannabis advertising regulations

Welcome to part two of a two-part series about US cannabis advertising regulations. This state guide to cannabis advertising regulations provides concise information in alphabetical order.

Click here for Part One of the state guide to cannabis advertising regulations!

Nevada: here, advertising within the cannabis industry may not appeal to children, including without limitation, advertising using images of a cartoon character, mascot, action figure, balloon, fruit or toy. Establishments may not engage in advertising which contains any statement or illustration that is false or misleading, promotes overconsumption or depicts actual consumption or use by anyone under 21 years of age. Adverts noting cannabis product as “free” or “donated” without a purchase are prohibited

Further, cannabis advertisements are not to be within 1,000 feet of a public or private school, playground, public park or library, on or inside public transportation or any shelter for public transportation or at any sports event or entertainment event where persons under 21 years of age are allowed entry. Local governments are allowed to adopt regulations related to all signage, displays, content, handbills, pamphlets, cards or other types of advertisements.

For ads within any medium, advertising is only allowed in publications wherein the readership’s under-21 audience is no more than 30%. If a cannabis establishment engages in advertising for which it is required to determine the percentage of persons who are less than 21 years of age and who may reasonably be expected to view or hear the advertisement, the cannabis establishment shall maintain documentation for not less than five years after the date on which the advertisement is first broadcasted, published or otherwise displayed which demonstrates the manner in which the cannabis establishment determined the reasonably expected age of the audience for the advertisement.

New Hampshire: cannabis advertising regulations are not specified yet, but do include a prohibition of misrepresentation and unfair practices.

New Jersey: Alternative treatment centers in this state restrict signage to black text on a white background for external signs, labeling and brochures. Illumination of these signs is banned and no exterior display of medicinal cannabis or a brand name is allowed except to identify the building by the permitted name. Paraphernalia, nor actual cannabis, may be displayed or clearly visible from the building’s exterior.

Prices shall not be advertised except via a catalog or a printed list of the prices and strains available to registered qualifying patients and primary caregivers.

No items may be offered for sale or promotion which bears a symbol or references cannabis.

New Mexico: currently no advertising regulations in place.

New York: advertising may not be false, deceptive or misleading; it cannot depict consumption or promote overconsumption. It may not be designed in any way to appeal to children or other minors or be within or readily observed within five hundred feet of the perimeter of a school grounds, playground, child daycare provider, public park or library. Further, cannabis marketing may not be in public transit vehicles and stations, in the form of an unsolicited internet pop-up, on publicly owned or operated property or make medical claims or promote adult-use cannabis for a medical or wellness purpose. Promotions or implementations of discounts, coupons or other means of selling adult-use cannabis products below market value or whose discount would subvert local and state tax collections in the form of a billboard is prohibited. 

Looking for part one? Check out it out part one of our state guide to cannabis advertising regulations here.  

North Carolina: currently no advertising regulations in place.

North Dakota: currently no advertising regulations in place.

Ohio: Names, logos, signs and other advertisements must be approved by the state’s governing department. An advertisement with a high likelihood of reaching persons under the age of eighteen is prohibited.

No advertising or marketing campaigns related to or involving cannabis may encourage, promote or otherwise create any impression cannabis is legal or acceptable to use in a manner except as specifically authorized or that recreational cannabis use has any potential health or therapeutic benefits or that recreational cannabis use or possession is somehow not illegal.

No cultivator, processor or testing laboratory shall place or maintain or cause to be placed or maintained, an advertisement of cannabis or cannabis products, including paraphernalia, within five hundred feet of the perimeter of a prohibited facility, a game arcade where admission is not restricted to persons aged twenty-one years or older or a business where the placement of the advertisement targets or is attractive to children, as determined by the department; on a billboard; on a radio or television broadcast, including a system for transmitting visual images and sound that are reproduced on screens and includes broadcast, cable, on-demand, satellite or internet programming; on any handheld or other portable sign; with respect to public places, on a handbill, leaflet or flyer directly handed, deposited, fastened, thrown, scattered, cast or otherwise distributed to any person; left upon any private property without the consent of the property owners; on or in a vehicle, public transit vehicle or public transit shelter; or on or in a publicly-owned or operated property.

Adverts must not contain any image bearing a resemblance to a cartoon character, a fictional character whose target audience is children or youth or pop culture icon. The ad may also not market, distribute, offer, sell, license or cause to be marketed, distributed, offered, sold or licensed, any apparel or other merchandise related to the sale of medical marijuana, to an individual under eighteen years of age.

Advertising in a manner inconsistent with the medicinal and approved use of medical marijuana is not allowed, as well as the encouragement of use for a condition other than a qualifying medical condition. Statements, designs, representations, pictures or illustrations may not be false or misleading, may not depart from the medical marijuana registered name, including marijuana leaves, slang terms and similar references, be obscene or indecent or disparage a competitor’s products.

A cultivator, processor or testing laboratory shall not display external signage not attached to the entity’s permanent structure which is larger than sixteen inches in height by eighteen inches in width. An illuminated sign advertising a medical marijuana product or strain is not allowed at any time, as well as the sale or distribution of clothing, apparel or wearable accessories.

Oklahoma: no commercial licensee shall engage in false advertising.

Oregon: here, a registered dispensary must post the applicable entry sign on the exterior of the dispensary in a conspicuous location which can be easily seen by the public from outside the dispensary at any point of public entry, in bold, 80 point Times New Roman font.

Pennsylvania: currently no cannabis advertising regulations in place.

Rhode Island: currently no RI, US cannabis advertising regulations in place.

South Carolina: advertising, marketing and branding here may not be deceptive, false or misleading; nor by means of television, radio, internet, billboard or print publication unless at least eighty-five percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be twenty-one years of age or older, as determined by reliable, up-to-date audience composition data; utilize statements, designs, representations, pictures or illustrations that portray a person younger than twenty-one years of age; utilize mascots, cartoons, brand sponsorships and celebrity endorsements that are reasonably expected to appeal to a person younger than twenty-one years of age; make false or misleading statements about licensees; utilize promotional giveaways, coupons or free marijuana or marijuana products; utilize radio or loudspeaker equipment inside or outside of a marijuana establishment for the purpose of attracting attention to the establishment or use sponsorships of any kind.

Unsolicited pop-up advertisements on the internet are not permitted and retailers are prohibited from using in an advertisement for marijuana a subject matter, language or slogan addressed to and intended to encourage persons under twenty-one years of age to purchase or consume marijuana or marijuana products.

South Dakota: allows for restrictions on advertising, signage and display of cannabis, provided the restrictions may not prevent appropriate signs on the property of a dispensary, listings in business directories including phone books, listings in cannabis-related or medical publications or the sponsorship of health or not-for-profit charity or advocacy events.

Tennessee: currently no cannabis advertising regulations in place.

Texas: pending finalized regulations.

Utah: a qualified medical practitioner (QMP) may have a website/social media account where they may communicate only the following on a website: a green cross, a qualifying condition the individual treats, the individual’s registration as a QMP; or a scientific study regarding medical cannabis use.

Vermont: currently no advertising regulations in place.

Virginia: no pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility shall advertise (i) through any means unless at least 85% of the audience is reasonably expected to be 18 years of age or older, as determined by reliable, up-to-date audience composition data or (ii) on television or the radio at any time outside of regular school hours for elementary and secondary schools. Ads must be supported by substantial, current clinical evidence or data; and include information on side effects or risks associated with the use of cannabis.

Further, advertising shall not be misleading, deceptive or false or contain any health-related statement that is untrue in any particular manner or tends to create a misleading impression as to the effects on health of cannabis consumption; contain a statement, design, illustration, picture or representation which encourages or represents the recreational use of cannabis; targets or is attractive to persons younger than 18 years of age, including a cartoon character, a mascot or any other depiction or image that is commonly used to market products to minors; displays the use of cannabis, including the consumption, smoking or vaping of cannabis; encourages or promotes cannabis for use as an intoxicant; or is obscene or indecent.

Cannabis products or images of products cannot be visible to members of the public from any street, sidewalk, park or other public place. Coupons, giveaways of free cannabis products or distribution of merchandise displaying anything other than the facility name and contact information are prohibited Pop-up digital advertisements are banned.

Additionally, no outdoor cannabis product advertising shall be placed within 1,000 feet of (i) a school or daycare; (ii) a public or private playground or similar recreational or child-centered facility; or (iii) a substance use disorder treatment facility.

Signs placed on the property of a pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility shall not:

  • Display imagery of cannabis or the use of cannabis or utilize long luminous gas-discharge tubes containing rarefied neon or other gases;
  • Draw undue attention to the facility, but may be designed to assist registered patients, parents, legal guardians and registered agents to find the processor or facility; or
  • Be illuminated during non-business hours.
  • All outdoor signage must be in compliance with local or state requirements. A pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility shall not advertise at any sporting event or use any billboard advertisements and no cannabis product advertising shall be on or in a public transit vehicle, public transit shelter, bus stop, taxi stand, transportation waiting area, train station, airport or any similar transit-related location.

Washington:

  • marijuana buds or leaves may not be used as imagery.
  • hiring agencies to promote videos and using search options like Google Ads is permitted.
  • no advertising on public transit or in shelters
  • no advertising on publicly owned property or within 1,000 feet of places frequented by those under 21, such as schools or playgrounds
  • no sign spinners, costumed provocateurs or other people advertising on the streets to bring attention to a business; no inflatable tubes, either
  • no wrapped vehicles.
  • direct mail is acceptable as long as coupons are not included.
  • billboards are allowed, but they cannot use certain words or imagery, such as leaf or joint.

West Virginia: currently no advertising regulations in place.

Wisconsin: currently no advertising regulations in place.

Wyoming: currently no cannabis advertising regulations in place. 

This state guide to cannabis advertising regulations is courtesy of CannaCon, the nation’s leading business-to-business cannabis conference! For more helpful content like our state guide to cannabis advertising regulations, please follow along on our blog! 

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