California judge rules against cannabis billboard ads on interstate highways

Did you miss the webinar “Women Leaders in Cannabis: Shattering the Grass Ceiling?” Head to MJBiz YouTube to watch it now!

Billboards for marijuana companies are commonplace in California, but that advertising option for cannabis businesses is about to shrink based on a district court judge’s ruling.

According to TV station KSBY, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett ruled on Nov. 20 that billboards on interstate highways are illegal under Proposition 64, the 2016 voter-approved ballot measure that legalized adult-use marijuana.

The ruling invalidates a 2019 regulation from the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) that permitted billboards advertising marijuana along highways that cross state borders, including both federal interstates and state highways.

The ruling will impact 35 highways, the San Luis Obispo TV station reported, including major thoroughfares such as Interstate 80, I-10, I-15 and I-5.

However, remaining billboard advertising options include highways that don’t cross state borders, so not all billboards advertising cannabis have been banned.

It’s unclear what the deadline will be to take down marijuana advertising on billboards along interstates, pursuant to the order, and the BCC did not indicate whether it would appeal the ruling.