You Might Finally See Weed Ads on TV and Radio — Here’s Why

This story originally appeared on Benzinga

The U.S. House of Representatives approved Wednesday a bill with language that would enable marijuana advertisements in states with legal cannabis programs to air on TV and radio.

Sarvesh Sangle | EyeEm | Getty Images

The news comes some three weeks after the House Appropriations Committee approved the measure, which would bar the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from penalizing broadcasters for marketing marijuana progress in states with legal cannabis markets.

RELATED: The Complicated Business Of Advertising And Marketing In Cannabis

Why no cannabis ads on TV or radio?

Currently, most TV and radio stations in those states that have legalized cannabis do not receive ads from the cannabis businesses, because these stations work under FCC licenses and federal law.

Marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug under federal law. It’s lumped into the same category as heroin, and considered to have no recognized medical value and high abuse potential. As a result, cable channels, social media platforms, satellite providers, print and billboards typically do not accept cannabis-related ads.

The approved bill is now heading to Senate where it faces a tough challenge having to obtain at least 10 Republican votes, reported Insider radio.

Commenting on the House advancing the bill, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, Alex Siciliano, stated: “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.”

David Donovan, president of the New York State Broadcasters Association, and leader of the Safe Advertising Coalition said: “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.”

RELATED: 5 Clever Ways Cannabis Brands Can Bypass Ad Restrictions

It probably won’t pass, but there’s hope

Despite expecting opposition from several GOP Senators, Donovan remains hopeful.

“We look forward to working with the U.S. Senate and the FCC to help restore parity between local broadcasters and other media outlets,” he said.

If the measure gets approved, it will be in effect only for one fiscal year, as it is a part of a budget bill (the FY 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill). If cannabis advertising goes on without any complications, it might help convince legislators to make a similar permanent law.

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