The average American spends a whopping 181.7 minutes per day watching TV, making it one of the most used sources of entertainment – and a huge opportunity for advertisers to market their products. With the change in legislation that is currently underway, we might see the cannabis industry benefiting from this major line of advertising. How did the legislation come to be considered, and how will this impact the industry?
The 2023 Financial Services And General Government Appropriations Bill
The newly proposed bill was given the initial nod but still has a way to go before it can make a real impact on the cannabis industry. The bill still stands to pass the House and Senate – but the cannabis industry is eagerly awaiting the bill’s final passing to be allowed to air marijuana-related ads.
Even if cannabis is legal in certain states, it does not mean the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) allows the ads to be aired. The FCC is notorious for not allowing any content related to a cannabis topic since it remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance. The FCC has therefore used its power to block any major reach.
The newly proposed amendments will block the FCC from using its funds to deny any broadcaster the ability to showcase marijuana ads. It would “…prevent the FCC from taking administrative action against broadcasters that accept cannabis advertisements consistent with the law of the state or jurisdiction in which the station is licensed.”
This means that states that have already legalized cannabis may have the freedom to broadcast any marijuana-related ads. Broadcasters will now have better protection against the FCC and better control over their allowances for ads. Even though this might be seen as only the first step towards a smooth advertisement channel, it certainly is the most significant leap we needed.
How Does This Impact The Cannabis Industry?
The usual route for cannabis products to get the attention of the vast population has been through the use of billboards, print media and social media. These routes have limited reach, yet still possess the opportunity for educating the wider community on the benefits and uses of cannabis – a subject that is still deemed very touchy to many individuals. Cannabis use usually delivers hefty debates and resurfaces personal beliefs and opinions, but such discussions need to happen more often if the cannabis industry is set to improve the lives of even more Americans. As more scientific research surfaces and more people are comfortable speaking out about their experience with cannabis – coupled with the new opportunities that may arise for advertising – it gives the industry a solid backbone to further create a stable market. Cannabis advertising alone is deemed to reach $18.5 billion in spending in the U.S. this year.
A move towards television advertisement will create equal opportunities for cannabis products to reach their target market, providing a host of job opportunities to a major area that has been crippled under the legislation. The opportunity to level the playing field with respect to advertising is itself a goal to be celebrated, but various other branches of the industry will also benefit, from cannabis cultivators, farmers, and workers, to lounge operators, and product agents. This decision’s impact is immeasurable and will be welcomed by many.
Even though this is widely regarded as just an initial step, it marks a great leap in the industry and a much-needed change that will allow major players to come forward – as well as smaller niche businesses to establish themselves with equal advertisement opportunities.
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