NFL Super Bowl won’t run this cannabis ad

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NFL Super Bowl won’t run this cannabis ad

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Advertising with Super Bowl on the infamous football Sundays presents the pinnacle of opportunity for brands to be seen and taken seriously by a large audience. Unfortunately, for one cannabis company, CBS is not planning on running any pot commercials this year.

According to a report from Bloomberg, CBS dismissed a Super Bowl 53 ad from Acreage Holdings urging for medical cannabis legalization.

The news may have come as quite a shock to many cannabis supporters, considering the fact that former House Speaker John Boehner is the on the board of the multi-state cannabis company Acreage.

President of the company, George Allen, explained to Bloomberg his reasons for creating the ad. Allen believes that the primary goal of the medical cannabis advocacy advertisement could have helped people who are “lost in the dialogue.”

While Super Bowl might have been a good opportunity to tackle the confusion surrounding cannabis reform, Acreage must forfeit the chance due to CBS stating that the ad is not “consistent with the network’s advertising policies.”

Rejection of Super Bowl 53 ad from Acreage Holdings reflects lack of education on cannabis medicines

The campaign put forward by Acreage for a spot on the 30-second Super Bowl advertisement would have featured a diverse scope of medical cannabis patients, including a child suffering from seizures and a veteran dealing with chronic pain.

On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex. The oral solution, made by a British company named GW Pharmaceuticals, contains a non-psychotropic constituent of the cannabis plant, Cannabidiol (CBD). It is the first cannabis-derived medicine to receive such approval from the FDA and indicates serious progression in the medical cannabis industry at large.

Patients aged two and older who suffer from two rare types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, can now be prescribed the medicine. A Super Bowl 53 ad from Acreage Holdings could have further bolstered the medical cannabis market and consumer demographic.

“We chose to launch the campaign on the nation’s greatest stage — the Super Bowl,” wrote the CEO of Acreage Holdings, Kevin Murphy, during an email statement. “CBS’s decision to reject the campaign represents the exact issue we are tackling — that federal law translates to no access to the medicine or even education about it.”

Bloomberg says that Super Bowl advertising slots averaged $5 million in 2018. Despite being a rather hefty price to pay, Acreage was more than happy to fork out what would be considered just a  small chunk of the company’s fortune; estimated to be more than $2.4 billion.

We certainly thought there was a chance,” said Allen. “You strike when the chance of your strike has the probability of success—this isn’t a doomed mission.”