Commercializing Cannabis at the Super Bowl

Even if you’ve never watched a Super Bowl in your life, you know the commercials that run during the game are a very, very big deal. As the New York Times says, “Super Bowl Sunday is the day when the advertising industry is not only tolerated but celebrated.” A 30 second commercial during the game cost upwards of $5 million – as amusing as the ads may be, producing them is serious business.

If you watched the game this year, you saw ads for TurboTax and Walmart and Mercedes and Pringles and lots and lots of booze. But you didn’t see a cannabis-related public service announcement that was submitted to air during the game. “The ad in question,” says Forbes magazine, “produced by multi-state operator Acreage Holdings, showcased three medical marijuana patients and their loved ones explaining how medical cannabis had changed their lives, and calling citizens and legislators to action.” The marijuana company was reportedly prepared to pay between $5 million and $10 million to get the ad on the air, but CBS declined to run it. Here’s the commercial, which has gone viral.

As its reason for declining to air the commercial, CBS cited the federal prohibition of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. However, given the contradictory and often hypocritical nature of American attitudes toward cannabis, it may not surprise you to learn that two cannabis-related ads did, in fact, reach viewers of the Super Bowl.

First up was an ad promoting CBD-infused coffee that was delivered to the mobile devices of the 50,000 fans in attendance at the Super Bowl. An article in the Globe News Wire declares that the ad “made history for the CBD industry” and cites the newly signed Farm Bill as making it possible.

The second cannabis-related ad to run during the Super Bowl was broadcast by CBS TV 2 Virgin Islands, where medical cannabis is newly legal. The spot promotes a new “online cannabis TV network” call Hmm Did You Know which is set to premiere this April.  Here’s the ad, which has already been featured on BRAVO, Discovery, and the History Channel in the greater Los Angeles area.

As a leader in the cannabis industry, The Green Solution is dedicated to educating the public about this remarkable plant and its healing possibilities, which are only now beginning to be explored. Watch this space for news about the plant, the industry, and the changing legal landscape that surrounds them both.