Last week, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Chair of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Advertising Act, which will permit radio and television stations to accept advertising for legal cannabis products if the station is licensed in states that permit the advertising of medical or adult-use cannabis.
Under current federal law, radio and television stations depend on an FCC-issued federal license to operate. Broadcast stations cannot currently accept advertisements for legal cannabis products due to the continued federal prohibition on cannabis. Currently, 37 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of cannabis products, and 19 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted measures to regulate cannabis for adult-use cannabis.
The SAFE Advertising Act removes the risk that stations could lose their licenses if they accept ads for legal cannabis products. For stations in states that have not legalized cannabis advertising, the legislation would leave the law as it is today and would not interfere with state regulation of cannabis advertising. Stations would remain subject to any advertising regulations adopted by the Federal Trade Commission or the Food and Drug Administration. The bill also requires several safety measures.
“As more states enact common-sense cannabis legislation, it’s crucial that radio and TV stations can accept advertising without fear of losing their license. As Chair of the Communications Subcommittee, which oversees the FCC, I’m proud to introduce this legislation with the support of broadcasters across New Mexico and the country,” said Luján. “With health and safety measures in place, this legislation will allow broadcasters to accept cannabis advertisements in accordance with state laws.”
The SAFE Advertising Act is supported by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Safe Advertising Coalition, which is comprised of state broadcasting associations around the United States.
Full text of the bill is available HERE.