Missouri reconsidering medical cannabis advertising restrictions

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In response to opposition from industry stakeholders, Missouri’s medical cannabis regulators are considering relaxing advertising restrictions on the state’s MMJ businesses.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MMJ regulators published draft regulations Thursday that would allow dispensaries to externally advertise sales promotions if they carry this caveat:

“Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.”

In-store sales promotions must follow the state’s signage rules, the newspaper noted.

The about-face stems from a July email, in which the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) told dispensaries it was aware of promotional events that had to “immediately” stop because they violated state regulations that prohibit dispensing “medical marijuana as part of a promotional event.”

The DHSS will accept public comment on the draft regulations until Nov. 18.

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After the July email was sent, the Post-Dispatch reported, Missouri MMJ industry stakeholders “launched a letter campaign, which included placing an ad in a monthly cannabis magazine that included a prewritten postcard for patients to mail to officials.”

A DHSS spokesperson did not respond to a Post-Dispatch request for comment about the decision reversal.