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The Cannabis License Requirement For Digital Advertising

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It's The Law

In an effort to crack down on the illicit cannabis market, California mandates that all cannabis advertisements must include the cannabis business’ license number.  The law is detailed in Section 26151 of Proposition 64, which explicitly states that:

  • All advertisements and marketing shall accurately and legibly identify the licensee responsible for its content, by adding, at a minimum, the licensee’s license number.

  • A technology platform shall not display an advertisement by a licensee on an Internet Web page unless the advertisement displays the license number of the licensee.

Under this law, all cannabis website landing pages and online advertisements must legibly display their business' license number.  Violators of this law are subject to a $2,500 fine per day for each violation.  Currently, the only state other than California with a license requirement for advertising is Alaska.

Unlicensed Dispensaries Put Consumers At Risk

The license requirement is important because it protects cannabis consumers from illegal products that have not been tested according to the state’s standards and which therefore could be tainted by mold, pesticides, heavy metals, or even human waste. 

These illegal cannabis producers put consumers at risk and hurt the legal cannabis market by competing at lower price points.  A recent analysis from BDS Analytics, a Colorado-based cannabis industry research firm, estimated that 78% of all marijuana sold in California in 2018 was illegal.

It can be difficult for consumers to know which dispensaries are operating legally, especially when there are cannabis technology platforms advertising unlicensed products and dispensaries.  In February, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (CBCC) cracked down on a popular cannabis technology platform and ordered that they “cease all activity that violates state cannabis laws” or face “criminal and administrative penalties” as well as civil penalties for each violation.  

As the leader in legal cannabis advertising, Vana only works with verified cannabis brands and dispensaries.  We ensure that all advertisements include your business license number, so you can breathe easy knowing that your ads are in full compliance with relevant state law. 

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Colleen Mitchell

By: Colleen Mitchell

Colleen is a senior at the University of Georgia studying history and political science. After interning with Vana over the summer, Colleen joined the marketing team as a Content Specialist. Colleen combines her interest in public policy and marketing to create original content focused on digital cannabis advertising for the Vana Business blog. Outside of work, you can find her hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing with her two kittens.