Rhode Island marijuana store heeds order to halt billboard ads

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Three billboards advertising a Rhode Island marijuana store were taken down in response to a state order.

Joe Pakuris, owner of Pawtucket-based Mother Earth Wellness, on Sunday ended the billboard advertising campaign on Interstate 95, Providence TV station WPRI reported.

Less than a week after starting the campaign, Pakuris removed the billboards after being ordered to do so by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation.

Pakuris told WPRI that he faced fines of $10,000 a day and eventual suspension of his license if he did not comply.

State law forbids Rhode Island-based cannabis businesses from advertising on highway billboards as well as any other “manner which is observed by or targets the general public.”

Mother Earth Wellness, a medical and recreational marijuana store, is next to I-95 and a few miles from the Massachusetts state line.

Pakuris testified about Rhode Island’s advertising rules during a state legislative hearing in April, when he pointed out that cannabis retailers in Massachusetts and Connecticut are permitted to advertise on roadside billboards, according to WPRI.