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House Appropriations Votes Concerning Cannabis Ads


U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

The House Appropriations Committee advanced the FY 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill on Friday which included language that would prevent the FCC from taking administrative action against broadcasters that accept cannabis advertisements consistent with the law of the state or jurisdiction in which the station is licensed.

In states that have approved cannabis for medical and/or adult use, such as New York, local radio and tv stations have been unable to accept advertisements from legally authorized cannabis distributors because stations operate under a FCC license. However, competitors to local radio and tv stations, such as cable, satellite, Internet, print, magazine, billboards and social media platforms are free to accept and transmit these advertisements.

NY State Broadcasters Association President David Donovan stated, "We are grateful to House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, Subcommittee Chairman Mike Quigley and members of the Committee for recognizing the unfairness of the present situation with respect to cannabis advertising. The provision in this House appropriations bill is a major step forward for leveling the playing field for local broadcasters. We believe the law of the state in which a station is licensed should determine whether a station can accept cannabis advertising if they so choose. We look forward to working with members of Congress and the Administration to help restore parity between local broadcasters and other media outlets."

NAB spokesman Alex Siciliano said, "We are pleased to see that this bipartisan language has advanced in the House today. As the vast majority of states have legalized cannabis in some form, today marks a long overdue step toward finally allowing broadcasters to receive equal treatment regarding cannabis advertising that other forms of media have had for years. While we welcome today's progress, local broadcasters will continue to work with all policymakers towards a broader resolution of this competitive disparity and in support of our unique service to local communities."

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