Advert for marijuana product pulled from US TV over legal concerns

Ad for 'vape pen' infused with cannabis oil is first of its kind in America

Henry Austin
Wednesday 22 July 2015 00:26 BST
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The advert was due to air on Denver based TV channel KMGH
The advert was due to air on Denver based TV channel KMGH

America’s first ever advert for a marijuana product has been pulled because of concerns about its legality.

The 15-second commercial for Neos, a company which makes “vape pens” infused with cannabis oil had planned to run the advert on the Denver based TV channel KMGH, in Colorado.

The state changed its laws in 2013, allowing adults aged 21 and over to grow and legally possess small amounts of Cannabis and providing licenses for cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities as well as shops to sell it in.

Marijuana adverts are legal in the state but they can only run if 70 per cent of the audience is over 21, so the 15-second spot was planned to go out before late night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

According the Neilsen ratings, which measure US TV audiences, 97 per cent of that show’s audience is over 21.

Despite this, KMGH’s parent company Srcipps, pulled the slot as they investigate the legality of airing a 'federally illegal' substance on federal airwaves.”

Neos produce 'vape pens' infused with cannabis oil

Cannabrand, the advertising agency behind the advert said it adhered to local laws as it did not show the vape pen or the marijuana oil that goes into it.

“We're interested to see how this all unfolds, as this is unchartered territory for the industry,” the company said in a statement.

The company will also work with the Marijuana Enforcement Division of Colorado to “try to find a way where we can get more distinct guidelines about what kind of television advertising we can and cannot do,” Paige Janulewicz, the company’s director of media relations, told NBC News.

Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia have also legalized recreational marijuana, and more jurisdictions could follow as last year the General Social Survey, a large national poll conducted every two years showed a majority of Americans favoured legalisation.

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