CBS blunts effort to buy medical marijuana ad for Super Bowl, company says

The Associated Press file

Super Bowl views will see plenty of the now-traditional commercials for beer, pickup trucks and potato chips on Feb. 3, but they won’t be seeing one that promotes the benefits of medical marijuana, CNN reported.

Cannabis company Acreage Holdings says CBS has rejected a proposed ad on the topic, Variety reported.

The 60-second commercial features three people with health issues, including a Colorado boy, describing how medical marijuana has improved their lives, USA Today reported. It closes with a call to viewers to lobby Congress for changes to federal marijuana laws.

A CBS spokesperson confirmed the network does not currently accept cannabis-related ads, according to the publication. While 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot to various degrees, the federal government still classes it as a controlled substance.

“We definitely want to underscore the fact that we don’t begrudge CBS or the NFL in any way,” said Harris Damashek, chief marketing officer for Acreage Holdings, Variety reported. “They are just doing what they can and need to be doing to protect themselves.”

The New England Patriots will face the Los Angeles Rams Feb. 3 in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. CBS is charging upwards of $5 million for ads during the game, which reliably attracts up to 100 million viewers each year, CNN reported.

Acreage Holdings, which counts former House Speaker John Boehner among its backers, had hoped the proposed Super Bowl ad would be taken as a call to action rather than one promoting a particular product, Bloomberg reported.

“We certainly thought there was a chance,” company president George Allen said, according to the publication. “You strike when the chance of your strike has the probability of success — this isn’t a doomed mission.”

The commercial, which is not yet finished, may be shown elsewhere at some point in the future, USA Today reported.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee