Local broadcast television stations may soon be able to run TV ads for cannabis products in states that have legalized it.
According to Mediapost, the House Appropriations Committee late last week advanced a bill that would allow broadcasters to air such spots without being penalized by the Federal Communications Commission.
Many other media platforms including pay TV and internet can currently run ads in states where cannabis is legal. But broadcasters are reliant on FCC licenses to operate and since cannabis is still illegal under federal law, they have declined to run cannabis ads since it could mean losing their licenses or criminal charges.
The 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill would alleviate those fears by preventing the FCC from taking action against broadcasters that run cannabis ads as long as the substance has been legalized in the state where they’re licensed.
The National Association of Broadcasters cheered the legislation.
"We are pleased to see that this bipartisan language has advanced in the House today. As the vast majority of states have legalized cannabis in some form, today marks a long overdue step toward finally allowing broadcasters to receive equal treatment regarding cannabis advertising that other forms of media have had for years. While we welcome today's progress, local broadcasters will continue to work with all policymakers towards a broader resolution of this competitive disparity and in support of our unique service to local communities,” said NAB spokesman Alex Siciliano.