The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would allow marijuana advertisements to run on radio stations and television channels. Congress has taken the first steps towards permitting advertisements in the states with legal medical use of marijuana, as well as legalized recreational use.
The bill is part of the 2023 fiscal year and consists of provisions that would rid the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its ability to take administrative action against broadcasting channels that accept and run cannabis ads in legal states.
It should be noted that despite this progression, companies would still have to comply with the local regulations regarding marketing cannabis.
In American states with legalized medical/ recreational use of marijuana, the local television channels and radio stations are currently unable to run ads from government authorized cannabis distributors. This is because the stations have to operate under an FCC license. However, the same laws are not valid to their competitors, such as magazines, billboards, social media platforms, as they are free to advertise marijuana.
Although it is still too early to comment, at the moment it appears that the Congress has started working towards acceptance for cannabis ads in the future. However, the bill still requires approval from the Senate before it can come into effect.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) commended the House committee on their step towards making cannabis more acceptable in the community. Alex Siciliano, the NAB’s spokesperson commented on the legalization of cannabis in some form in the majority of American states.
“For too long, local broadcasters have been stuck in a regulatory purgatory because of conflicting federal and state cannabis laws. Today’s passage marks an important step towards allowing broadcasters to receive equal treatment for cannabis advertising that many other forms of media have enjoyed for years. While we are pleased to see the House act, broadcasters will continue to work with policymakers for a permanent resolution to this competitive disparity to the benefit of consumers.”
According to Insider Radio, the bill may face a challenge at the Senate, where it has to obtain at least 10 republican votes.
David Donovan, President of the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA) said in a statement;
“This House-passed provision is a major step forward to level the playing field for local radio and TV broadcasters.” “The provision makes clear that the law of the state in which a station is licensed should determine whether a station can accept cannabis advertising if they so choose”