Montana adult-use cannabis draft rules have advertising focus

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Draft rules for adult-use cannabis businesses in Montana concentrate mostly on advertising options.

According to Helena TV station KTVH, the draft regulations released by the state Department of Revenue, include:

  • Companies would be permitted to use only two outdoor signs 11 square feet or smaller, and they must contain explicit warnings about marijuana use.
  • No billboards, banners or flags would be permitted, and the signs would need to be attached to a building or other permanent structure.
  • No TV, radio, social media or newspaper ads would be allowed.
  • Websites would be permitted, but businesses would need to show that they’ve taken reasonable precautions to prevent anyone younger than 21 from accessing them.
  • No promo items or sponsorships of sporting or charitable events would be permitted.

Revenue department leaders told lawmakers during the legislative session that the rules are in line with what they were directed to produce by the Legislature, which was to “severely curtail forms of advertising pertaining to the sale, cultivation, or manufacture of marijuana.”

One medical marijuana dispensary chain owner told KTVH the proposed restrictions will lead those in the industry to question whether there will be any cannabis advertising allowed at all.

The agency will hold public comment periods to solicit input on the draft regulations through Aug. 23, including a public hearing in Helena on Aug. 13.

Montana voters approved recreational marijuana sales during the November 2020 election.

Sales are expected to begin Jan. 1, 2022, and existing medical cannabis businesses will have an 18-month head start to sell adult-use products before new businesses can be awarded licenses.