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What Not to do When Advertising Your Marijuana Business

August 11, 2018



Since recreational marijuana was legalized in California at the beginning of this year, marijuana businesses have sprung up all across the state. While opening a marijuana business is more attainable today, promoting your marijuana business still presents its own set of challenges. Be sure to familiarize yourself with California’s marijuana advertising laws before starting your business so you can put a legal and compliant advertising plan in place for your business. If you have any questions about California’s marijuana advertising laws, contact a cannabis attorney at Verhagen Bennett who can help you craft a compliant advertising plan that works for your business.


Federal Marijuana Advertising Laws


Although a majority of states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana, there are still about 20 states without any type of marijuana laws. Thus, federal law still places many limitations on marijuana sale and advertising across the country.


While most businesses will likely look immediately toward Google for advertising, Google prohibits advertising recreational drugs, including marijuana. This may cause businesses to look toward more local options of advertising, such as billboards, However, marijuana-related billboards are rare to see on major highways because most businesses are hesitant to do anything that might place them at risk of being punished by the federal government. Promoting your marijuana business to local citizens is one thing, but plastering ads for your business on billboards and in other public spaces is something that many businesses are hesitant to do.   


California Marijuana Advertising Laws


In addition to federal marijuana advertising laws, marijuana businesses in California must follow state marijuana advertising laws. Even though marijuana is legal in California, the state still puts certain restrictions on how marijuana businesses can advertise their products. A few examples of how California restricts marijuana businesses in the state from advertising include:


  • Any ad that is displayed on television, print, digital, or radio cannot be shown unless at least 71.6% of the audience is over age 21. That means you must verify website visitors’ ages before they can access your website or engage in any communication with your business.

  • Advertising signs and billboards cannot be placed on any Interstate Highway or State Highway and cannot be placed within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school, playground, daycare center, or youth center.

  • Your marketing messages about the labeling, packaging, product composition, and health effects of using your marijuana cannot contain any untrue information.


Contact a California Marijuana Advertising Lawyer Today


Crafting an effective advertising plan for your marijuana business that is also compliant with federal and state laws can be a much more difficult task than many business owners think when they first start their marijuana business. If you have any questions relating to advertising for your marijuana business, reach out to an experienced marijuana advertising lawyer at Verhagen Bennett today. Our attorneys have helped marijuana businesses create legally compliant advertising plans that have helped increase their sales without breaking any federal or state advertising laws. Contact us online or at 310-917-1064 today for your free consultation.


For questions or comments about this post, please email us directly at: info@VerhagenBennett.com


© 2018 Verhagen Bennett LLP — This article is for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.



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