cannabis advertising

How Should California Regulate Cannabis Advertising?

The Emerald Tribune

California Senate Bill 162 was proposed to limit the advertising of cannabis brands, to the end of protecting children. It would have banned cannabis-branded billboards and apparel, the use of cartoon characters, and sporting events sponsorship. The bill died in the Senate last month. The Emerald Tribune considers the laws regulating similar industries, in an attempt to figure out how best to manage cannabis advertising in California. 

Walking down any city street in California, you are likely to see window displays full of clothing and other apparel decorated with cannabis leaves. The seven-pointed fan leaf is gaining in popularity and cultural cache as legalization sweeps across the nation.

Imagine an article of clothing covered with cannabis images, and you are just a few clicks away from finding it online. If you do online shop for some weed-themed products, expect to see lots of advertisements for similar products on social media and other ad-supported websites.

Got Trim? Billboard on 101

Got Trim? A billboard visible from 101 North

You are also likely to see billboards and large advertisements for specific cannabis brands. They started popping up in Humboldt County earlier this year, and more seem to appear every day.

Not everyone is excited about it. Some lawmakers are concerned that children who are exposed to cannabis apparel and advertising will be tempted to smoke it, when they otherwise might not. California Senate Bill 162 (SB-162) was introduced by state senator Ben Allen of Santa Monica.

“Cannabis companies would be expressly forbidden from advertising in the most common and effective ways”

SB-162 would have banned the advertising of cannabis brands on roadside billboards and apparel. The bill also would have banned the use of cartoon characters, and advanced marketing techniques like sponsorship of sporting events.

Two different cannabis billboards on 101

Two billboards for cannabis-related industries on 101 North

Only cannabis companies would have been affected by SB-162. Apparel companies that produce hats and shirts emblazoned with weed imagery would have been unaffected, so long as they were not advertising to induce the sale of cannabis.

Cannabis companies would be expressly forbidden from advertising in the most common and effective ways, even if they used non-cannabis imagery. Billboard ads on the freeway would be banned. Radio, TV, and other broadcast formats would be limited to times and stations when, “at least 71.6 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older.”

SB-162 suddenly died last month, when the Assembly Appropriations Committee put it on hold. Opponents of the bill claim that Prop 64 includes sufficient language to forbid appealing to children.

“Should cannabis be strictly regulated like cigarettes, or allowed to self-regulate like alcohol?”

Advertising for tobacco is heavily regulated at the state and federal level. Cigarette ads have been banned from national TV since 1973. Advertisements for smoke shops may not mention cigarettes, little cigars, smokeless tobacco, nor any tobacco brand names. Cigarette ads are also forbidden from appealing to children with cartoon characters.

An automated trimmer billboard in Fortuna

An automated trimmer billboard in Fortuna

Alcohol advertising is far less regulated, but there are other ways to control the behavior of brands in a capitalist system. The National Association of Broadcasters, a trade group of TV networks, frowns upon displays of people imbibing alcohol in advertisements. Have you ever noticed how the actors never actually drink any beer in beer commercials? 

Should cannabis be strictly regulated like cigarettes, or allowed to self-regulate like alcohol? What about other so-called “vice” industries, like gambling, or sexually-oriented businesses like strip clubs and adult toy stores? There seem to be very few laws regulating the impact of advertisements from these industries on children, or anyone else for that matter.

“Americans are subjected to more direct-to-consumer drug advertisements than any other nation.”

Legalized gambling is explicitly linked to children by its contribution to schools, positioning itself as a boon to child welfare. The California lottery has contributed over $30 billion to schools since the program began, with 80% of that money going to K-12 education. Driving around California, you will see hundreds of giant billboards and other advertisements for casinos.

A similar sign elsewhere in Fortuna, visible from 101

A similar sign elsewhere in Fortuna, visible from 101 North

Of course, cannabis in California has two sides. We can only compare it to vice industries when talking about the recreational market. The medical cannabis market is more aptly compared to the pharmaceutical industry, which has some of the most prevalent advertising of all.

Americans are subjected to more direct-to-consumer drug advertisements than any other nation. In fact, we are one of only two countries who allow direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs. The other country is New Zealand.

Two different cannabis billboards on 101

A cannabis billboard on 101 North shortly before Eureka

We are inundated with drug commercials all day and night on television, and there don’t seem to be any laws in the books to protect kids from overexposure. Recent voter initiatives like Prop 64 have demonstrated our society’s consensus on the safety of cannabis therapies. Why should they be more restricted than conventional over-the-counter or prescription drugs?

It remains to be seen if another law will be written to replace the failed SB-162. Opponents contend that Prop 64 contains sufficient language to protect children from unwanted exposure to cannabis advertising. Perhaps we should examine our treatment of other vices and pharmaceuticals when we consider new cannabis legislation.

cannabis advertising

A billboard on 101 North in Eureka

For the time being, all of the pictured billboards will be allowed to stand. Until another law is written and passed, the only limits to cannabis advertising are set by Prop 64, and by local ordinances. 

What do you think about the failure of SB-162? 

How do you think cannabis advertising should be regulated? 

Drop us a comment below and let us know! 


  1. I’m originally from Dublin but now live in Edinburgh soup maker pro 7 day diet
    They emphasised that these drugs are ‘indisputably valuable’ when it comes to the treatment of anxiety and insomnia, but they warned that use of them ‘should be of short duration and not exceed three months’.

  2. The United States bactrim 800 mg 160 mg It is initially transmitted to humans from wild animals, but human-to-human transmission can then occur as a result of direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, or indirect contact with environments that have been contaminated with these fluids.

  3. I’m a trainee best drugs for emotional pain “The Chongryon are vital to North Korea’s military budget,” a recent report from HP Security analysts explained, “raising funds via weapons trafficking, drug trafficking and other black market activities.” .

  4. Will I have to work shifts? c sora cream image Wahlberg called Lam a “Vietnamese f— s–” and beat him over the head with a five-foot wooden stick until Lam lost consciousness and the rod broke in two.

  5. I never went to university formin pg 2 forte Fighting in eastern Ukraine intensified this month as the pro-Russian militia, who are allegedly supported by Russian troops and tanks crossing the border, went on the offensive and government forces fought back.

  6. My spouse and i got really relieved when Michael could finish off his survey while using the precious recommendations he acquired through the weblog. It is now and again perplexing just to choose to be giving for free methods which often others might have been trying to sell. We really grasp we now have the writer to appreciate for that. The most important illustrations you have made, the simple website navigation, the friendships your site make it easier to promote – it’s got mostly exceptional, and it’s really making our son in addition to the family imagine that that idea is amusing, and that’s extremely fundamental. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  7. I precisely desired to say thanks once more. I do not know the things I might have tried without the entire pointers documented by you about that theme. Completely was a scary matter for me personally, however , seeing the very skilled fashion you managed the issue forced me to jump for gladness. I am just grateful for your assistance and even believe you are aware of a great job you’re getting into teaching people today all through your web page. I know that you haven’t encountered all of us.

  8. I together with my friends were reviewing the best pointers found on the blog and unexpectedly got an awful feeling I had not thanked you for those strategies. These people had been as a consequence passionate to learn all of them and already have without a doubt been making the most of those things. Many thanks for turning out to be so considerate and for picking out variety of great topics most people are really desperate to understand about. My personal sincere regret for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  9. Thanks so much for providing individuals with such a marvellous chance to read from this blog. It’s usually very kind and also full of amusement for me personally and my office co-workers to visit your site at the very least three times a week to study the new tips you will have. Of course, I’m at all times impressed with all the staggering advice you give. Certain 1 facts in this article are basically the very best I’ve ever had.

  10. I simply desired to appreciate you once again. I am not sure what I would have sorted out without the type of advice discussed by you concerning such a area. It was a very daunting case for me personally, however , taking note of the expert approach you handled that took me to weep for gladness. Now i’m happy for your assistance and in addition expect you really know what a great job you have been undertaking teaching people all through your webpage. I am sure you have never got to know any of us.

  11. “Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that Thank you for lunch!”

  12. I simply had to thank you so much once again. I am not sure what I would have done in the absence of the thoughts documented by you about such a concern. It had been a frightful crisis in my position, nevertheless being able to see your well-written form you treated it made me to jump for gladness. Now i am thankful for the guidance and thus trust you know what an amazing job you are undertaking teaching people today thru your websites. I am sure you have never got to know all of us.

  13. I just wanted to type a quick note in order to thank you for these nice recommendations you are giving out on this site. My time intensive internet research has now been rewarded with excellent suggestions to share with my relatives. I ‘d claim that we site visitors actually are very much blessed to live in a very good community with many wonderful professionals with good methods. I feel very much fortunate to have discovered your entire web page and look forward to many more pleasurable moments reading here. Thanks again for everything.

  14. “Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Thank you”

  15. I want to show my thanks to this writer just for bailing me out of this issue. As a result of scouting through the internet and meeting recommendations which are not helpful, I was thinking my entire life was gone. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the issues you’ve solved by way of your site is a critical case, as well as the ones that could have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I hadn’t encountered the blog. Your good skills and kindness in maneuvering almost everything was excellent. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a point like this. I can also at this point relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for this specialized and results-oriented help. I will not think twice to propose the blog to anyone who ought to have guidance on this problem.

  16. Needed to send you that tiny note just to say thanks over again on your fantastic tactics you’ve shared in this case. This has been certainly extremely open-handed with you to allow extensively just what most people would have offered as an electronic book to help make some profit on their own, primarily given that you might have tried it if you ever desired. Those concepts in addition acted to be a easy way to comprehend someone else have the identical passion really like mine to understand whole lot more on the topic of this issue. I think there are several more fun sessions ahead for individuals that find out your website.

  17. I want to show my appreciation for your kindness in support of folks who have the need for help with this content. Your special commitment to getting the message throughout turned out to be particularly helpful and have all the time encouraged folks like me to arrive at their aims. The important hints and tips denotes a whole lot to me and especially to my fellow workers. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

  18. I simply had to thank you so much again. I do not know what I would have achieved without the actual strategies discussed by you over such question. It absolutely was an absolute intimidating condition in my position, however , seeing this expert fashion you managed that took me to weep with fulfillment. Now i am thankful for your help and as well , trust you know what a great job you are always undertaking training others with the aid of your web page. I am certain you haven’t met all of us.

  19. Needed to send you one tiny observation in order to say thank you as before for the breathtaking techniques you have shown here. It’s quite surprisingly generous with you to offer unhampered what many people would’ve marketed for an electronic book to make some bucks for their own end, even more so seeing that you could possibly have tried it if you wanted. The tips as well acted like the fantastic way to be aware that other people online have the same eagerness really like my own to understand many more in regard to this condition. Certainly there are lots of more fun times up front for many who examine your site.

  20. Your post on How Should California Regulate Cannabis Advertising? – The Emerald Tribune is great. I hope you can continue delivering many more blog . Be prosperous

Leave a Comment