TV Station in Denver Delays Airing Cannabis Ads

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Two Denver cannabis companies that were originally slated to make their first TV ad appearances this week have been put “on hold” indefinitely.

Neos, an extraction firm that sells vape pens, and The Green Solution, a chain of shops with both medical and recreational marijuana, were scheduled to run television commercials on an ABC affiliate in the city next week, according to the Denver Post.

But on Friday, the Post reported that the ads had been delayed, and are now being considered by attorneys, since marijuana is still illegal federally and the TV station is overseen by federal regulators.

The ads adhered to strict guidelines. They’re 15 seconds, and were expected to run just before Jimmy Kimmel Live. The ads would not show any vape pens, oils or cannabis in accordance with the law, and the words marijuana or cannabis will not be uttered, the Post reported.

The station, KMGH, also must follow strict guidelines for recreational businesses – no ads before 10 p.m. and no showing people actually consuming cannabis.

Advertising has always been a challenge for the marijuana industry. Laws are often strict, leading many growers, dispensaries, rec shops and edibles makers to turn to social media or rely on word-of-mouth to get their names out.

A handful of dispensaries and marijuana-related companies have run local TV ads in the past, but it hasn’t caught on.

Some businesses have gotten creative – a Tacoma shop hired an airplane to fly a banner over the U.S. Open in June, while a dispensary in Colorado Springs sponsored musical production of “Reefer Madness” to get its name on promotional materials for the show.