The biggest game of the year for football is only two weeks away, yet the Super Bowl doesn’t appear to be ready for medical marijuana. In an interview, early this Monday morning Acreage Holdings, the multi-state cannabis company backed by John Boehner, said CBS rejected a television add that advocates the legalization of medical marijuana. CBS, the network responsible for airing the game Feb.3 blocked the idea after seeing a rough draft, as stated by a company spokesperson.
Despite the fact that medical cannabis is legal in more than 30 states, the federal prohibition on marijuana has still restricted research and have made patients struggle to obtain the plant that is said to help treat seizures, pain, and other conditions.
Acreage President George Allen said the advertisement displayed, “an advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue.” He claims Super Bowl airtime would have been the best way to achieve this goal.
“It’s hard to compete with the amount of attention something gets when it airs during the Super Bowl,” Allen stated in a phone interview.
CBS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, which was a federal holiday.
Typically for the last twenty years, the Super Bowl has been the most-watched television program of the year and is the most significant opportunity for brands to get in front of the whole country. The anticipation of the commercials is usually due to the debut of new campaigns with creative spins that run during stoppages in the plays.
However, in the past years, some advertisers have captured the attention of the nation for offering up commercials that were more likely to be deemed risky.
As for Acerage, one of the most successful and wealthy U.S. weed companies with a market value of $2.4 billion, had high hopes to raise awareness and push for the availability of medical marijuana. The ad which is said to feature a group of people who have benefited and increases their overall happiness from medical marijuana, one is a veteran with war injuries and another is a child suffering from seizures.
Being a commercial ad in the Super Bowl does not come with a cheap price tag. The typical cost for an average 30-second spot cost more than $5 million last year. The marijuana company was ready to pay the hefty price and created the ad with an aspiration of it having a fair chance of getting into the air. Acreage, which went public in Canada last year, said it approached the spot with caution, identifying it as a “call to political action” rather than a pitch for its brand. The company alone has legal cannabis operations in almost 15 states.
“We certainly thought there was a chance,” Allen Argued. “You strike when the chance of your strike has the probability of success — this isn’t a doomed mission.”
The company says it plans on trying one more time with a different proposal, however, believes that just the efforts alone will cause a “call to political action.”
“Look, from my third-grade government class, we live in a representative democracy,” Allen said. “In theory, our elected officials are supposed to support legislative action that is in keeping with the will of the people.”
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