California Bill Would Ban Cannabis Branded Hats T Shirts Other

Go to a California cannabis event and you’re likely to walk away with a free hat—or a bumper sticker, or a t-shirt, or tote bag emblazoned with a cannabis company’s logo. But under a bill being considered in the state Legislature, all that branded merchandise would go up in smoke.

Senate Bill 162, by state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), would prohibit state-licensed cannabis businesses from advertising “through the use of branded merchandise, including, but not limited to, clothing, hats, or other merchandise with the name or logo of the product.” It’s a measure aimed at reducing children’s exposure to cannabis ads, but some in the industry say it amounts to legislative overreach and could end up doing more harm than good.

Last month the Senate passed the measure unanimously, 40–0, and it’s now parked in an Assembly committee.

Advertising has been a thorny issue as the Golden State works to bring its multibillion-dollar cannabis industry out of the shadows and into a legal, regulated marketplace. Concerns over advertisements that might appeal to minors have already led to restrictions on the use of certain music, language, shapes, cartoon characters, and other content known to capture kids’ attention.

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Source: Canna Magazine

California Bill Would Ban Cannabis Branded Hats T Shirts Other

Go to a California cannabis occasion and also you’re more likely to stroll away with a free hat—or a bumper sticker, or a t-shirt, or tote bag emblazoned with a cannabis firm’s emblem. But beneath a invoice being thought of within the state Legislature, all that branded merchandise would go up in smoke.

Senate Bill 162, by state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), would prohibit state-licensed cannabis companies from promoting “through the use of branded merchandise, including, but not limited to, clothing, hats, or other merchandise with the name or logo of the product.” It’s a measure aimed toward decreasing youngsters’s publicity to cannabis adverts, however some within the trade say it quantities to legislative overreach and will find yourself doing extra hurt than good.

Last month the Senate handed the measure unanimously, 40–zero, and it’s now parked in an Assembly committee.

Advertising has been a thorny subject because the Golden State works to convey its multibillion-dollar cannabis trade out of the shadows and right into a authorized, regulated market. Concerns over commercials which may enchantment to minors have already led to restrictions on the usage of sure music, language, shapes, cartoon characters, and different content material recognized to seize children’ consideration. In addition to staying away from colleges, daycares, and youth facilities, commercials could be served solely to audiences which might be at the least 71.6% composed of adults 21 and over.

Rebecca Stamey-White, legal professional

Branded merchandise can also be presently restricted, with distribution allowed solely at “an industry trade show or other similar venue where the attendees are required to be 21 years of age or older.” SB 162 would take away that allowance, barring branded merchandise utterly.

As written, the regulation would apply solely to industrial speech by state-licensed cannabis corporations. Nonprofits and noncommercial speech can be exempt.

The proposal, as LA Weekly’s Dennis Romero reports, has some cannabis companies up in arms:

The Southern California Coalition, the biggest commerce group of marijuana companies in Los Angeles, is … against the proposal. “To ban small businesses from advertising, marketing and branding is ridiculous,” the group’s govt director, Adam Spiker, mentioned by way of e-mail.

“The bill would materially hamstring small business owners’ ability to grow in the land of opportunity,” Spiker mentioned. “We are firmly against it, and will work to ensure lawmakers are aware of the harmful ramifications it would have.”

The Southern California Coalition, the biggest commerce group of marijuana companies in Los Angeles, is … against the proposal. “To ban small businesses from advertising, marketing and branding is ridiculous,” the group’s govt director, Adam Spiker, mentioned by way of e-mail.

“The bill would materially hamstring small business owners’ ability to grow in the land of opportunity,” Spiker mentioned. “We are firmly against it, and will work to ensure lawmakers are aware of the harmful ramifications it would have.”

A letter despatched to Sen. Allen by the California arm of the American Academy of Pediatrics says the invoice “would ensure that children and youth are exposed to a minimal amount of marijuana advertising,” based on the LA Weekly report. “This would help protect children from the dangerous health effects of marijuana use in a manner consistent with tobacco regulations.”

The limits of the invoice’s restrictions on merchandise aren’t instantly clear. In different authorized states, workers of cannabis companies recurrently put on branded attire and different merchandise. But as a result of the regulation is phrased so broadly—”promote by way of the usage of”—it’s conceivable that even branded baggage or worker t-shirts may run afoul of the proposed regulation.

“SB 162 is broad enough in its language that it could cover branded merchandise worn by employees or even merchandise produced by an unlicensed third party if it was done so for the licensee,” Rebecca Stamey-White, a San Francisco-based lawyer who works with the cannabis and alcohol industries.

Other states, similar to Washington, have related restrictions on branded merchandise, though the small print are extra clearly outlined. According to a Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board FAQ page, licensees could create branded merchandise similar to attire for inside or worker use. Those gadgets can’t be offered or given away on to shoppers, however they are often offered by the licensee’s guardian firm or a separate-but-related enterprise. Strangely sufficient, branded paraphernalia—similar to pipes, bongs, and storage containers—is just not thought of “branded merchandise” in Washington and could also be offered by licensees.

“The [California] bill does not have the appropriate limitations that Washington has on their restrictions, which only prevent licensees from selling or giving away branded products from their licensed premises or on their website, but makes no attempt to regulate non-licensees producing or selling these products,” Stamey-White mentioned. “SB 162’s restriction on ‘advertising’ usually would give enforcement authorities the flexibility to close down all cannabis merchandising, together with all types of branded merchandise that don’t comprise cannabis, so this can be a invoice the trade ought to be actively opposing or working towards extra exact language right here.

In Colorado, cannabis legal guidelines don’t focus on branded merchandise particularly. Instead, restrictions on promoting give attention to “mass market campaigns that have a high likelihood of reaching” minors, together with web and in-app promoting.

Restrictions on alcohol, which is straight or not directly chargeable for hundreds of youth deaths yearly, are allowed significantly extra leeway. “Restrictions on consumer alcohol merchandising are limited to what products may be given away to consumers, but there are not blanket prohibitions on the sale of branded products or restrictions on where these products can be sold as advertising,” Stamey-White mentioned.

“This bill is an attempt to restrict commercial free speech without a substantial state interest in doing so,” she added. “I believe in restrictions on overly aggressive marketing (which is the constraint on giveaways) and marketing that is appealing to minors, but I think this goes too far.”

The full textual content of SB 162 is on the market on the California Legislature’s website.

Source: The Herb News

California Bill Would Ban Cannabis Branded Hats T Shirts Other

Go to a California cannabis event and you’re likely to walk away with a free hat—or a bumper sticker, or a t-shirt, or tote bag emblazoned with a cannabis company’s logo. But under a bill being considered in the state Legislature, all that branded merchandise would go up in smoke.

Senate Bill 162, by state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), would prohibit state-licensed cannabis businesses from advertising “through the use of branded merchandise, including, but not limited to, clothing, hats, or other merchandise with the name or logo of the product.” It’s a measure aimed at reducing children’s exposure to cannabis ads, but some in the industry say it amounts to legislative overreach and could end up doing more harm than good.

Last month the Senate passed the measure unanimously, 40–0, and it’s now parked in an Assembly committee.

Advertising has been a thorny issue as the Golden State works to bring its multibillion-dollar cannabis industry out of the shadows and into a legal, regulated marketplace. Concerns over advertisements that might appeal to minors have already led to restrictions on the use of certain music, language, shapes, cartoon characters, and other content known to capture kids’ attention. In addition to staying away from schools, daycares, and youth centers, advertisements can be served only to audiences that are at least 71.6% composed of adults 21 and over.

Branded merchandise is also currently restricted, with distribution allowed only at “an industry trade show or other similar venue where the attendees are required to be 21 years of age or older.” SB 162 would remove that allowance, barring branded merchandise completely.

As written, the law would apply only to commercial speech by state-licensed cannabis companies. Nonprofits and noncommercial speech would be exempt.

The proposal, as LA Weekly’s Dennis Romero reports, has some cannabis businesses up in arms:

The Southern California Coalition, the largest trade group of marijuana businesses in Los Angeles, is … opposed to the proposal. “To ban small businesses from advertising, marketing and branding is ridiculous,” the organization’s executive director, Adam Spiker, said via email.

“The bill would materially hamstring small business owners’ ability to grow in the land of opportunity,” Spiker said. “We are firmly against it, and will work to ensure lawmakers are aware of the harmful ramifications it would have.”

The Southern California Coalition, the largest trade group of marijuana businesses in Los Angeles, is … opposed to the proposal. “To ban small businesses from advertising, marketing and branding is ridiculous,” the organization’s executive director, Adam Spiker, said via email.

“The bill would materially hamstring small business owners’ ability to grow in the land of opportunity,” Spiker said. “We are firmly against it, and will work to ensure lawmakers are aware of the harmful ramifications it would have.”

A letter sent to Sen. Allen by the California arm of the American Academy of Pediatrics says the bill “would ensure that children and youth are exposed to a minimal amount of marijuana advertising,” according to the LA Weekly report. “This would help protect children from the dangerous health effects of marijuana use in a manner consistent with tobacco regulations.”

The limits of the bill’s restrictions on merchandise aren’t immediately clear. In other legal states, employees of cannabis businesses regularly wear branded apparel and other merchandise. But because the law is phrased so broadly—”advertise through the use of”—it’s conceivable that even branded bags or employee t-shirts could run afoul of the proposed law.

“SB 162 is broad enough in its language that it could cover branded merchandise worn by employees or even merchandise produced by an unlicensed third party if it was done so for the licensee,” Rebecca Stamey-White, a San Francisco-based lawyer who works with the cannabis and alcohol industries.

Other states, such as Washington, have similar restrictions on branded merchandise, although the details are more clearly defined. According to a Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board FAQ page, licensees may create branded merchandise such as apparel for internal or employee use. Those items can’t be sold or given away directly to consumers, but they can be sold by the licensee’s parent company or a separate-but-related business. Strangely enough, branded paraphernalia—such as pipes, bongs, and storage containers—is not considered “branded merchandise” in Washington and may be sold by licensees.

“The [California] bill does not have the appropriate limitations that Washington has on their restrictions, which only prevent licensees from selling or giving away branded products from their licensed premises or on their website, but makes no attempt to regulate non-licensees producing or selling these products,” Stamey-White said. “SB 162’s restriction on ‘advertising’ generally would give enforcement authorities the ability to shut down all cannabis merchandising, including all kinds of branded products that do not contain cannabis, so this is a bill the industry should be actively opposing or working toward more precise language here.

In Colorado, cannabis laws don’t discuss branded products specifically. Instead, restrictions on advertising focus on “mass market campaigns that have a high likelihood of reaching” minors, including internet and in-app advertising.

Restrictions on alcohol, which is directly or indirectly responsible for thousands of youth deaths every year, are allowed considerably more leeway. “Restrictions on consumer alcohol merchandising are limited to what products may be given away to consumers, but there are not blanket prohibitions on the sale of branded products or restrictions on where these products can be sold as advertising,” Stamey-White said.

“This bill is an attempt to restrict commercial free speech without a substantial state interest in doing so,” she added. “I believe in restrictions on overly aggressive marketing (which is the constraint on giveaways) and marketing that is appealing to minors, but I think this goes too far.”

The full text of SB 162 is available on the California Legislature’s website.

Source: Leafly