Weedmaps Super Bowl TV ad for cannabis rejected by NBC, report says

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A television commercial from cannabis e-commerce and advertising platform Weedmaps was rejected for Super Bowl airtime by the NFL championship game’s broadcaster, NBC-TV.

The commercial, which does not specifically promote purchasing cannabis, was rejected by NBC after Weedmaps approached the network last year, according to advertising industry news outlet Adweek.

“The answer was a hard no – they wouldn’t even entertain the conversation,” Weedmaps Chief Operating Officer Juanjo Feijoo told Adweek.

Irvine, California-based Weedmaps debuted the 94-second advertisement on YouTube on Monday.

The commercial “addresses the current advertising restrictions imposed on legal cannabis businesses and brands for marketing their products and services,” Weedmaps’ parent company, WM Technology, said in a Monday news release.

The advertisement was “timed to television’s most-watched event of the year,” according to the release, which does not specifically mention Super Bowl LVI.

The game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams will be played Sunday in L.A.

“There’s an irony in the fact that the biggest night for advertising will feature an array of consumer brands in regulated industries, from beverage alcohol to sports betting, yet legal cannabis retailers, brands and businesses have been boxed out,” Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals said in a statement.

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An NBC spokesperson told Adweek that the network does not accept any advertisements “for cannabis or cannabis-related businesses.”

However, a Colorado cannabis retailer has successfully aired television advertisements on a Denver NBC affiliate.