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July 10, 2022 – Weeds. is advising clients that the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) has begun reviewing advertisements (print, radio, billboard, online) by integrated, retail, and manufacturing licensees and issuing notices of violations for ads that are non-compliant with state law and rules.
As a reminder, since advertising rules prescribe multiple mandatory disclaimers depending on the ad type, audience, and media type, each individual advertisement can accrue multiple violations per run. In other words, if you run a print ad and do not include the 6 mandatory disclaimers, you can receive 5 violations against your license.
Licensees receiving a notice of violation also have to respond to the notice, with a technical compliance plan, within 5 days. Not only is this a time-consuming and frustrating process, but it is also very expensive with advertising since most publishers and outdoor advertising companies will not issue refunds or free change orders for ads your company already approved. It is not a defense to say, “the publication let me run the ad.” The obligation for compliance is on the licensee.
Quick Compliance Checks for Advertising Compliance:
- 21+ Audience Only: As a reminder, cannabis advertising is limited to publications, radio, or internet services with an audience of persons 21 or older. Licensees must provide audience verification to CCD immediately if requested. Weeds. compliance teams work with you and your advertisers to obtain industry-specific audience audits meeting the standard. (Caution: many small publications and outlets do not go to the expense to obtain audits and may not be eligible for ads, even if their sales teams solicit them).
- 6 Mandatory Warnings: CCD rules require each cannabis advertisement to contain 6 mandatory warnings regarding safety, adult use, FDA guidance, operating motor vehicles and health effects. These are similar to the surgeon general’s warnings on cigarettes and alcohol. These warnings, required to be of certain font sizes, can take up significant landscape in your ad. Ensure all of your ads have mandatory warnings, in the correct font and size.
To ensure your advertising is compliant, clients of Weeds. compliance services have the option to have all of their advertising reviewed for disclosure compliance. If your company is not currently using our compliance services, let’s discuss how our site inspection programs, policy and procedure updates, and compliance guidance alerts (like this one) can help your company and your license avoid violations, or worse.
If you receive a notice of violation, contact us right away. We can work to build your compliance action plan, or request additional time to respond if required.
About Weeds. Licensing & Compliance Services. With more than 40 pages of emergency and administrative licensing rules and hundreds of pages of OSHA, local rules and workplace rules specific to cannabis, no licensee can expect to understand it all. Worse, rules and forms change constantly and unless you attend every hearing and monitor every listserv, you are bound to miss one that matters to you. That’s why Weeds. Cannabis Services has built the state’s largest licensing and compliance programs to help cannabis run their business while we get you in, out, and through the weeds.
Compliance reference: NMAC 22.214.171.124 (A)(3)
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