K8 Investigates: Cracking the Cannabis Code – KAIT

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – Amidst state restrictions, one billboard in Jonesboro raises questions about cross-state advertising.

A controversy surrounding recreational marijuana marketing in a state where it’s illegal has ignited debate. A billboard has stood tall for months on the corner of East Johnson Avenue and North Main Street that promotes “your state line dispensary.”

State law restricts advertising for the 38 medical marijuana dispensaries in Arkansas, and there is a strict list of marketing guidelines they must follow.

Arkansas dispensaries cannot display marijuana consumption or encourage excessive use via television, radio, or the internet, according to ABC’s Rules Governing the Oversight of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities, Processors, and Dispensaries.

K8 News traveled to Little Rock and spoke with Scott Hardin at the Department of Finance and Administration. Hardin said dispensaries are allowed to advertise if they can prove who their audience is not.

“They would have to be able to provide the state firm evidence, that 30% of the audience isn’t children, and that would be nearly impossible,” Hardin said.

A big concern at the state level is the influence on children. Marketing content that reasonably targets children is prohibited, according to ABC’s rules. This includes, but is not limited to candy, toys, and cartoon

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