Marijuana businesses swarm Colorado’s Sponsor-a-Highway program

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Cannabis businesses in Colorado – which are saddled with restrictive advertising rules – are flocking to the state’s Sponsor a Highway program.

The program covers 287 miles of highway. Roughly half of that – or 140 miles – are sponsored by marijuana businesses, Denver alt-weekly Westword reported.

Participating companies are required to clean up their section of a highway 12-26 times per year and are rewarded with a “sponsored by” sign featuring the businesses’ names and logos, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“Acknowledgement signs are not intended to be an advertising medium, or any kind of forum for public speech or political opinion,” CDOT notes on its website.

The cost of sponsoring a part of highway varies depending on its location.

“Cannabis businesses are always seeking to show their commitment to being responsible members of the community, but at the same time they’re really restricted in how they can demonstrate that,” said Taylor West, senior communications director at Cohnnabis, the cannabis arm of Denver-based marketing agency Cohn.

“Sponsoring a part of a highway and cleaning it up is really valuable for a cannabis business. It’s a valuable combination of message and visibility.”