Postal Service Issues Warning About Marijuana Ads

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Marijuana growers and retailers may have fewer options for marketing now that the US Postal Service recently issued a directive warning that advertisements about selling or buying cannabis constitute a felony.

The Nov. 27 directive also warned publishing companies that mailing newspapers, magazines, catalogs, hand-bills and similar materials containing such ads is also a felony.

“If an advertisement advocates the purchase of clinical marijuana through a Medical Marijuana Dispensary, it does not comply with (US law),” the directive said.

It’s unclear, however, if federal officials have the authority to enforce the directive because of a recent Congressional law, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. The 2015 law prohibits the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from using federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana businesses and patients in states where medical marijuana is legal, so long as they comply with state laws.

The directive was hand-delivered Monday by a postal official to the Chinook Observer, a Washington State newspaper that runs advertisements from a Long Beach dispensary and Oregon Coast dispensaries. The Observer has about 4,400 subscribers, including about 2,560 subscribers who receive the paper by US mail, according to the Oregonian.

The Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association also forwarded the advisory to its members and urged them not to take marijuana related advertising.