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Here's the Medical Cannabis Super Bowl Ad CBS Refused to Run

Published: January 24, 2019
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By Javier Hasse

It was all over the news on Tuesday: CBS rejected a public service announcement highlighting the benefits of medical cannabis, which was intended to be aired during the 2019 Super Bowl.

Long story short, what happened was Acreage Holdings, one of the largest U.S. based cannabis companies, which counts former House Speaker John Boehner and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld among its advisors, created a 60-second public service announcement (or ad, if you will) featuring three medical cannabis patients and their loved ones explaining how marijuana had changed their lives for the better -- and suggesting it is a great alternative to other more dangerous pharma drugs.

The company submitted the ad to CBS and was ready to pay the estimated $5 million to $10 million it would cost to air during the 2019 Super Bowl.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering that cannabis remains illegal on the federal level under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, CBS rejected the ad. A network spokesperson told USA Today that, for the time being, pot-related ads did not fit CBS’ broadcast standards.

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As more and more people shake themselves free from the taboo against the medical and recreational use of cannabis, one would think that the mainstream media would similarly shift with the cultural winds and begin to show more flexibility toward the plant. In the case of CBS, this doesn’t seem to be an option.

The cannabis startup backed by former Speaker of the House John Boehner is set to become one of the most valuable companies in the U.S. weed industry. Acreage Holdings is the latest U.S. cannabis firm to tap the public markets in Canada, where marijuana is legal, through a reverse takeover.

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