New York transit rules now prohibit marijuana ads on subways, buses

(This story has been updated to note that New York’s adult-use marijuana market is now expected to launch in 2023.)

An updated version of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority’s advertising policies now includes a ban on marijuana product ads on subways and buses.

According to Morning Brew, the updated guidelines were released after the settlement of a lawsuit in which sex-tech company Dame claimed the institution’s ban on sex-related ads were discriminatory.

Marijuana had not merited a specific mention in previous versions of the MTA’s rules, but the updated regulations bar any ads related to marijuana or hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The new policy is a result of “recent developments in the decriminalization of cannabis in New York,” according to minutes from a November MTA board meeting, Morning Brew reported.

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At least one licensed medical marijuana company in New York – Vireo Health – began advertising in the New York subway system in 2017.

The state had been expected to launch a recreational marijuana market as soon as 2022 after an adult-use legalization bill was signed into law in March – but that timeline appears to be slipping.

New York’s top marijuana regulator said recently the recreational market won’t get off the ground for at least another 18 months, meaning the program won’t launch until mid-2023.