This week, we were planning on announcing that Rocky Mountain High would soon become one of the state’s and nation’s first ever cannabis brands to enter television screens in Denver. Unfortunately, due to legal concerns, KMGH, ABC’s Denver affiliate, has been forced to pump the breaks on these hypothetical televised marijuana ads:
The ad for Neos, a provider of cannabis oil and vaporizers, was planned to be shown on KMGH, an ABC affiliate in Denver, where marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use.
The ad shows footage of young people partying in clubs and hiking up mountains. [CNN]
As you can see in the below video that was supposed to air this week, the television spot is rather innocuous. No one in the video is consuming cannabis, none of the company’s products are shown, and nothing that would even register “weed” with an audience aside from the closing screen even surfaces.
It’s unfortunate that national concerns and the specter of “Reefer Madness” has caused this indefinite delay of what we view as the inevitable future for marijuana advertising. The year is 2015, weed is now legal in four states and the District of Columbia, and while alcohol ads run rampant on television, cannabis ads and brands still clearly have hurdles to jump.
Moreover, these ads would specifically have aired during nighttime hours when the audience would be over 90%, and in the case of Jimmy Kimmel Live, 97% adults aged 21-and-over. That 90% threshold meets Colorado’s standards for targeting audiences, yet it’s still clearly a sticky and tricky topic for mainstream companies like ABC to tackle from a legal standpoint: it’s unprecedented.
We’re optimistic that reason and the simple fact that marijuana’s legality is here to stay and must be televised (to an appropriate adult audience) will overcome this obstacle and that Rocky Mountain High and other Colorado-based companies will soon see their brands on television.
Stay tuned, and check out the ad that won’t yet air in Denver homes: