California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday vetoed a bill that would have allowed marijuana businesses to advertise on billboards along most highways in the state. The legislation would “weaken” protections included in Proposition 64, the cannabis legalization ballot measure that voters approved in 2016, the governor said in a veto message. “When the voters passed Proposition 64, they enacted robust protections shielding youth from exposure to cannabis and cannabis advertising,” Newsom wrote. “Among other things, voters completely prohibited billboard-based cannabis advertising on all Interstate Highways, and on all State Highways that cross the California border. Allowing advertising on these high-traffic thoroughfares could expose young passengers to cannabis advertising.” In 2019, state regulators adopted rules aimed at clarifying advertising restrictions along highways that would have allowed marijuana billboards except within a 15-mile radius of the California border. In January of this year, however, a judge ruled that those regulations conflicted with state law, finding that officials did not have sufficient authority to allow the billboards. The new legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D), was aimed at providing that authority. The bill, AB 1302, also contained a provision barring cannabis billboard ads within a 15-mile radius of the state border.
Tom Angell, Marijuana Moment, 10/09/2021 09:59:00