California’s Assembly Appropriations Committee has put the bill to outlaw cannabis advertising on clothing on hold, effectively killing the proposal that industry stakeholders argued would have deprived them of legitimate profits, the Los Angeles Times reports.
State Sen. Ben Allen, who had proposed the legislation, claimed it “was a commonsense measure” aimed at preventing cannabis use by teens. The bill had garnered the support of the California Police Chiefs Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“The Legislature in the past has wisely prohibited advertising with branded merchandise by tobacco companies, expressly because items like hats and t-shirts are known to entice kids to smoke,” he said in the report.
In addition to potentially depriving them of profits, opponents of the measure, including the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association, argued that the bill violated their free speech rights.
The legislation would have restricted medical and recreational cannabis businesses from advertising products “through the use of branded merchandise, including, but not limited to, clothing, hats, or other merchandise with the name or logo of the product.” Non-commercial speech, such as nonprofits, would have been excluded under the law.
The bill had previously been approved by the state Senate.
There are advertising restrictions on the cannabis industry under California’s voter-approved legalization law, but those are primarily zoning restrictions focused on where ads can be placed.