California lawmakers block cannabis advertising restrictions

With the launch of California’s regulated marijuana industry rapidly approaching, state lawmakers have rejected a bill that would have prohibited cannabis businesses from advertising on clothing such as shirts, hoodies and hats.

It’s a significant victory for advertising purposes, given that marijuana-related businesses are already constrained in that arena much more than companies in traditional industries.

Bill opponents, such as the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association, argued that the proposed law would have prevented them from pursuing legitimate profits, the Los Angeles Times reported. The association wrote that the bill “undercuts a legitimate revenue center for cannabis licensees” and that it would have impinged on free speech, according to the newspaper.

The legislature’s decision comes at a time when California regulators are working to meet a January 2018 deadline to establish rules for medical and recreational marijuana businesses.

Supporters of the bill – including the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the California Police Chiefs Association – argued such a law was necessary to curb young people’s exposure to marijuana marketing, the Times reported.