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Cannabis Billboard Ads Debut in Massachusetts
Author: Benjamin M. Adams  10/10/2017 - 21:54:00

The first billboard ads devoted to non-ancillary cannabis businesses have gone up in Massachusetts, according to the Boston Globe. New England Treatment Access (NETA) purchased space on four billboards in Chicopee, Somerville and Boston. 

“Why wait for better health?” the billboard asks, with a link to NETA’s website. “There’s no call to action—this is educational,” Norton Arbelaez, NETA’s director of government affairs, told the Boston Globe. “There are tens of thousands of patients that have a need but haven’t accessed the regulated market.” NETA currently has medical dispensaries in Brookline and Northampton, as Massachusett’s recreational stores won’t open until July next year. 

The majority of television and radio networks refuse cannabis ads, as they are federally regulated. In addition, per the state’s recreational rules, businesses that are licensed by the Cannabis Control Commission can only advertise if 85 percent of its intended audience is 21 years or older.

Earlier this year, a WeedMaps billboard in South Boston that read “States that legalized marijuana had 25 percent fewer opioid-related deaths,” received complaints and was forced to be taken down shortly after going up. Other billboard ads with cannabis references have slipped through the system, albeit briefly, including a New Mexico McDonald’s billboard.

Cannabis opponents didn’t waste any time slamming the cannabis billboard ad. “Pot billboards now up in Massachusetts. This is your country on Big Tobacco all over again. Any questions?” Kevin Sabet tweeted in reference to The Partnership for a Drug-Free America’s 1987 classic anti-drug commercial. It was that commercial that equated taking drugs with frying your brain like an egg. As leader of the anti-cannabis group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, Sabet promoted misinformation about cannabis. Alternet published Kevin Sabet’s “greatest hits” with his five most incorrect statements about cannabis.

If WeedMaps’ billboard ad was enough to generate controversy, it’s safe to say NETA’s billboards will likely stir up emotions in Massachusetts as well.

The post Cannabis Billboard Ads Debut in Massachusetts appeared first on Culture Magazine.

Original article from ireadculture:Cannabis Billboard Ads Debut in Massachusetts


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