Many cannabis/marijuana advocates were looking forward to the first ever medical cannabis Super Bowl ad to be shown on national television during the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams game on the 3rd February 2019.
Acreage Holdings, a big cannabis firm based in the United States which is currently valued $2.4bn, aimed to present and broadcast the ad, which would have cost $5m for a 30-second spot. The purpose of the advertisement was to “create an advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue of medical marijuana”.
There are currently 33 states in America where cannabis is legal. However, the trump administration is not making any sudden movements in decriminalizing it on a federal level nor is it showing an interest in effectuating current statutes which would ultimately affect the ever, and fast growing cannabis industry which is already becoming a multi-billion industry.
As a result, CBS (American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network), pulled the 30-second commercial from screening. The president of Acreage Holding, George Allen, told CNN business
“We’re disappointed by the news but somewhat unsurprised[.] Media companies may be unwilling to show cannabis ads as long as marijuana remains illegal for recreational and medical use on a federal level. Still, we developed the ad in the spirit of a public service announcement. We feel it’s our responsibility to advocate on behalf of our patients.”
Acreage Holdings Super Bowl Advert
The advert featured real-life stories of people suffering from various medical conditions such as; Dravets Syndrome and chronic pain. It also showed testimonies of people using the plant as a form of medication. It doesn’t contain any cannabis-based products, nor does it rely on sex appeal like other super bowl commercials and super bowl advertisers in the past (cough cough, I’m watching you GoDaddy).
A Cannabis Free Super Bowl
Funnily enough, while the Super Bowl will be free of cannabis-based content and advertising this year, this isn’t to say that the athletes will be. Estimates on the percentage of NFL players who are currently using cannabis has already been predicted, and let’s just say, the number is pretty high.
Martellus Bennett, the American football tight end said “about 89%’ of NFL players use marijuana. He continues to say that it’s common to replace opioid painkillers and other harmful prescription drugs with medical marijuana amongst NFL players, and even regular people.
“There are times of the year where your body just hurts so bad,” Bennett said. “You don’t want to be popping pills all the time. There are anti-inflammatory drugs you take so long that they start to eat at your liver, kidneys and things like that. A human made that. God made weed.”
To add, cannabis is still on the NFL list of banned substances. Will the NFL eventually catch up with WADA? The World Anti-Doping Agency removed cannabidiol (CBD an active ingredient from the cannabis plant) from their prohibited list back in January 2018. To find out more about the future of cannabis, check out 5 Cannabis Predictions in 2019.