A first-of-its-kind television ad for a cannabis product was all set to air on a local Colorado station, but it was pulled from the commercial lineup over legal concerns.
The short, 15-second spot for Neos, a cannabis company that makes ‘vape pens’ infused with cannabis oil, was scheduled to air on Denver ABC affiliate KMGH shortly before the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show.
However Scripps, the parent company of the local Denver station KMGH, stepped in and decided that the commercial shouldn’t run after all.
The TV station had previously OK’d the spot, but then changed its mind at the last minute. They informed Cannabrand, the marketing company representing Neos, that the ad would be put on hold indefinitely as the parent company "investigates the legality of airing a 'federally illegal' substance on federal airwaves," a Cannabrand statement said. Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado but not on a federal level.
Cannabrand made sure that the commercial adhered to local laws by not actually showing the vape pen or the cannabis-infused oil that goes into it.
Furthermore, local laws also require that marijuana ads may only run if 70 percent of the total audience is over 21, which is why Cannabrand and KMGH picked the pre-Kimmel time slot, when Nielson ratings cite 97 percent of the audience is over 21.
"We're interested to see how this all unfolds, as this is uncharted territory for the industry," said the statement from Cannabrand.
Scripps said in a statement that the ad was pulled because the company has "concerns about the lack of clarity around federal regulations that govern broadcast involving such ads."