January 22, 2019

The Botanist parent says its marijuana Super Bowl ad was denied

Photo | Zachary Comeau
The Botanist General Manager Chris Tolford and Acreage Holdings Chief Marketing Office Harris Damashek.

Acreage Holdings, a national cannabis giant with a medical dispensary in Worcester, says its proposed Super Bowl advertisement advocating for equal access to medical marijuana was denied by CBS.

"We're disappointed that we weren't able to get our #SuperBowl PSA approved by CBS and share our message on the largest national stage. Acreage stands with the 93% of Americans who support medical cannabis," the company wrote in a Facebook post.

Acreage, with a market value of around $2.5 billion, is one of the largest cannabis companies in the Americas, with a prestigious board of directors including former GOP U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.

The company opened a medical dispensary under the brand name The Botanist on Pullman Street last month. The company is also planning The Botanist locations in Leominster and Shrewsbury.

In another Tuesday post, the New York-based company poked at the "flurry of pharmaceutical and alcohol ads" allowed by CBS and the NFL during the Super Bowl.

The company said its ad was rejected despite that the company is "simply advocating for equal access" to medical marijuana.

Ad time during the Super Bowl is big bucks, reportedly more than $5 million, according to Sports Illustrated.

According to Bloomberg, the ad would have featured a combat veteran and a child suffering from seizures, both of whom had benefited from cannabis.

"We certainly thought there was a chance," President George Allen told Bloomberg. "You strike when the chance of your strike has the probability of success -- this isn't a doomed mission."

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