Marijuana advertising laws not exactly what businesses want
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 11/17/2014 in Medical Marijuana Laws
The past year has seen Washington’s weed industry start to take root. Growers started harvesting their crops, retailers opened their doors in July, and within several months there were a few more pot shops operating, forcing prices to start reducing as the market began taking effect.
Some of these local retailers recently approached the The Daily News to buy advertising, and now the The Daily News is left pondering over the rhetorical question, “To publish pot ads, or to not?”
There is only one answer of course, YES – and these are the reasons why The Daily News has decided to begin accepting ads for pot products.
Marijuana is very much becoming akin to tobacco and alcohol in the sense that they are all heavily taxed and regulated products. The Washington State Liquor Control Board, who is in charge of supervising the state’s cannabis sales, has also issued clear and specific guidelines for advertising. The guidelines focus on prohibiting the advertising from appealing to children, specifically by banning ads from using cartoon like characters or other such caricatures known to appeal to minors. Store signage of pot shops is restricted in size and must be kept at least 1,000ft from all schools. All ads are also to include specifically worded health warnings, stating that product use may lead to dependency and that the product is only legal to adults over the age of 21.
For the most part, the guidelines and warnings are very similar in nature to the those published on tobacco products.
Legalities aside, The Daily News says that they also considered the moralities of the matter – should they permit advertises to promote a product that has known negative health effects? But when they considered the reality of our society, they decided that ultimately in their opinion, their readers are educated enough to be able to make their own decisions as to what they will or will not buy, and they dont believe that marijuana ads will change that.
The Editorial Board at The Daily News, opposed legalization before Washington’s vote in 2012, but stated that they are also believers in popular sovereignty, and believe that they have readers who enjoy pot and would be receptive to pot-related advertising, letting them to know where to buy it locally, and which stores have the best prices.
All pot related advertisements will go through a review process that will extend to the publisher office, and the ads will be required to meet both The Daily New’s standards, as well as the Liquor Control Board’s, prior to publication.