On February 17, 2022, the New York (“NY”) State Cannabis Control Board approved the filing of proposed Medical Cannabis Program regulations to be released for public comment. The regulations implement various aspects of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. Of note, the law includes comprehensive NY marijuana advertising regulations. While medical marijuana cannot be advertised for recreational use and New York’s Adult-Use Cannabis Program is still being developed, many of these advertising regulations will apply to future NY marijuana marketing in general.
New Requirements for NY Marijuana Advertising
The NY marijuana advertising rules are located in section 113.17 (“Cannabis Marketing and Advertising”) of the Medical Cannabis Program. The regulations include standard advertising laws, such as the prohibition on publishing obscene, false, and misleading advertisements. Further, the statute specifies that all cannabis advertisements “that make a statement relating to effectiveness, side effects, consequences or contraindications shall present a true and accurate statement of such information.” In addition, cannabis advertisements cannot contain statements that suggest that such products have been endorsed by the State of New York or any entity associated therewith.
In the Cannabis Control Board’s press release, a few aspects of the NY marijuana advertising regulations were highlighted, including: (1) removal of restrictions on naming conventions for products (i.e., products may include the names of various cannabis strains); and (2) additional prohibitions on packaging and labeling that appears to advertise to minors. Specifically, when marketing marijuana, “[n]o packaging or labeling shall imitate a candy label or use cartoons or other images popularly used to advertise to children or otherwise be marketed to anyone under 18 years of age.”
Please note that pursuant to the proposed Medical Cannabis Program, cannabis companiescannot advertise cannabis or its devices on the exterior of their physical structures or vehicles (e.g., store) unless prior written approval is received from the Office of Cannabis Management. In addition, marijuana advertisements may not be:
(1) located within or visible from 500 feet of school grounds;
(2) on or inside public transit vehicles or stations;
(3) in the form of an unsolicited internet pop-up; or
(4) in the form of a billboard.
In light of all of these requirements and restrictions, it is recommended that marijuana advertisers consult with knowledgeable marketing attorneys concerning how to meet their statutory compliance obligations.
Get Ready to Comply with NY Marijuana Advertising Law
It bears repeating that the Medical Cannabis Program is proposed legislation right now. Following the public comment period, the NY marijuana advertising regulations may undergo change and look significantly different from how they do today.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic or require legal assistance in connection with advertising marijuana or cannabis products, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (212) 246-0900.
The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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