Senate panel OKs Jones bill to regulate medical marijuana ads

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to regulate medical marijuana ads similarly to how the state regulates tobacco ads.

“This is about stopping unnecessary marijuana ads like the shocking ‘High Lansing’ billboards that are popping up throughout our communities,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Promoting the idea of getting ‘high’ is not advocating for medical treatment. We don’t need these types of billboards encouraging children and others to use marijuana.”

Senate Bill 463 would effectively ban advertising on billboards for medical marijuana, medical marijuana dispensaries, and businesses that facilitate access to medical marijuana. The bill mirrors the restrictions Michigan already has on billboard advertising for tobacco products.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites exposure to tobacco advertising as a factor in the increasing youth usage of tobacco and recommends limiting advertising as part of an effective strategy to reduce tobacco use among youth. Limiting advertising for medical marijuana and services associated with medical marijuana would likely be part of limiting improper youth usage.

Rep. Andy Schor has introduced a companion bill, House Bill 4767, in the House of Representatives. It has been referred to the House Law and Justice Committee.

“I am happy to see quick progress on Senator Jones’s bill in the Senate committee,” said Schor, D-Lansing. “I look forward to seeing it in the House soon, where I can work with my House colleagues to move both our bills to help protect children from marijuana advertising like we do tobacco.”

SB 463 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.