On January 1, 2020, Illinois joined the states that have legalized the use and sale of recreational marijuana. Among the many related regulations are some specific to advertising. The advertising rules in Illinois are similar to those of other states and include the following (most of these will seem familiar to those of you who know the alcohol industry’s self-regulatory guidelines):
No ads that -
Contain false or misleading statements;
Make health claims;
Include the image of cannabis leaf or bud (this actually isn’t typical, but a few other states, including Washington, do have a similar prohibition); or
Include images appealing to kids, including cartoons, toys, animals or children.
There are also restrictions on the placement of advertising
No ads near schools, playgrounds, rec centers, child care centers, public parks, public libraries or game arcades;
No ads on or in a public transit vehicle or public transit shelter; and
TV, digital, print and radio ads for marijuana can only run if at least 71.6 percent of the audience is over 21.
Be aware that this is not the full list of regulations in Illinois and that other states have specific requirements other than those mentioned here.
And keep in mind that the use and sale (and related advertising) of marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and therefore many media have their own restrictions on the advertising of marijuana. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter all prohibit ads that promote the sale of marijuana. The t.v. networks don’t accept marijuana advertising. And even local and regional radio and t.v. stations and print media can be skittish and most only take ads on a case by case basis (subject to the relevant state laws).