With Legalization in New Jersey, Will Cannabis Billboards Be a Thing?
On November 3rd, 2020, New Jersey voters authorized the legalization of recreational marijuana to customers 21 and over.1 Since then, we’ve seen news around the decimalization of weed, logistics of weed legalization, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, and more (which you can keep up to date with in our cannabis news blog). But with all these bills and laws being drafted, there hasn’t much talk about cannabis billboards and other advertising in New Jersey.
Scott Rudder, president of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association, said back in 2019 that “It’s common sense to have restrictions now,” as the legalization of recreational cannabis began to ramp up hype for the 2020 election.2 By this, he meant the expectation that the marijuana industry should (and most likely will) follow other 21+ restrictions similar to tobacco, alcohol, and gambling.
What Can the Cannabis Industry Learn from Big Tobacco?
If there is anything the cannabis industry needs to do when it comes to advertising, it’s avoid Big Tobacco’s “Joe Camel” mistake. As cannabis already faces such a strong negative perception, companies need to be careful how they choose to advertise their products and services. This means avoiding ads that show over-consumption as well as using cartoons or characters that appeal to younger audiences. Advocates have struggled for years to legalize cannabis, so they have an additional motivation to remain responsible, respectful, and to play by the rules.
What Can Be Expected from Cannabis Billboards?
Cannabis billboards are already a thing in New Jersey. From medical dispensaries, delivery services, and accessory brands, drivers are already seeing these advertisements across state highways. So, it is possible to advertise cannabis via billboards, but of course within rules and regulations. While there may not be clear laws from New Jersey just yet, billboard companies have their own set of rules. For example:
- No QR, text codes, or anything of the like that would encourage distracted driving
- No nudity, profanity, graphic violence, hate speech, or personal attacks
- No negative or potentially controversial ads
Of course, each billboard company has the right to approve or reject an advertisement. To increase your chances of having your cannabis billboard design approved, stick to a simple and clean message with minimal product imagery.
Where Can I Design a Cannabis Billboard?
If you’re struggling to get your cannabis billboard approved, or don’t even know where to start, you’ve landed on the right page. Herban Creative is a cannabis marketing agency—and one of our specialties is branding & design. We can create a brand from scratch, revamp your current branding, or work with your logo and colors to create a cannabis billboard.
To get started, contact a team member online.
- “New Jersey Legalizes Recreational Marijuana for 21+” Herban Creative. November 4, 2020. https://herbancreativenj.com/cannabis-news/new-jersey-legalizes-recreational-marijuana-for-21
- “New Jersey gets ready for legal weed. No stoner ads.” The Philadelphia Inquire. January 4, 2019. https://www.inquirer.com/news/new-jersey/new-jersey-weed-legal-marijuana-advertisements-20190104.html