Scripps has decided it won’t air the first ever pot spot on its Denver ABC affiliate, KMGH.
Yesterday, we reported that Scripps’ lawyers were still thinking about airing the ad.
CNN Money reports Scripps’ decision not to air the spot for Neos, a cannabis oil and vaporizer provider, was because the feds still consider marijuana illegal.
“Scripps has decided not to accept marijuana advertising at this time,” said Valerie Miller, spokeswoman for the E.W. Scripps Company “We are proud to be a company of free speech and open expression, but we have concerns about the lack of clarity around federal regulations that govern broadcast involving such ads.”
“Channel 7 has officially put all cannabis commercials on hold until further notice, as ABC corporate investigates the legality of airing a ‘federally illegal’ substance on federal airwaves,” said Olivia Mannix, co-founder of Cannabrand, the ad agency that produced the Neos spot, in an email to CNNMoney.
It’s a familiar problem for the marijuana industry, which is legal for recreational use in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and D.C., and for medical use in 20 states. But local and state laws butt heads with the feds, which have not budged in response to loosening cannabis regulations. This has created problems not only for advertising, but for banking, because banks must be in compliance with federal regulations.
Mannix said Colorado law allows for the airing of marijuana TV ads when 70% of the audiences is 21 or older. Mannix said the ad was planned to have aired late Monday night around the time of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” where 97% of the audience is at least 21, according to Nielsen reports.
Here’s the spot: