Broadcasters’ hopes of cashing in on the cannabis legalization trend took a step forward Wednesday. The U.S. House approved a series of budget bills on a 220 to 207 vote, including one that would pave the way for local radio and television stations to accept cannabis ads as long as it is located in a state where the drug has been legalized.
As Inside Radio first reported last month, the language that would open the door for broadcasters to carry cannabis ads was tucked deep inside the proposed federal budget in the Financial Services and General Government portion of the hulking federal budget. It would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from taking administrative action against broadcasters that accept cannabis ads, as long as cannabis has been legalized in the state or jurisdiction in which the station is licensed. But even in places where local laws have not been changed, the FCC would not be able to go after a station if it takes ads from a business selling hemp, hemp-derived CBD products, or other hemp-derived cannabinoid products.
The Safe Advertising Coalition – the group of state broadcast associations advocating for cannabis ads – says the change recognizes the unfairness of the present situation with respect to cannabis advertising.