Under MSDH’s proposed advertising and marketing rules, all medical cannabis establishments, including cultivation facilities, processing facilities and dispensaries, are prohibited from advertising and marketing in any media, including radio, television, social media, email, text, billboards, testimonials and endorsements. (Rule 3.2.1) The only exception to this general prohibition on marketing is that medical cannabis establishments can (1) have a website that provides general information on the licensed entity’s contact information, retail dispensing locations, available products and other information expected to be necessary to serve patients, (2) have listings in business directories, and (3) sponsor health or not-for-profit charity or advocacy events. (Rule 3.3.2) All branding by medical cannabis establishments must include the entity’s license number. (Rule 3.3.3) The rules also clarify that education on the risks and benefits of using medical cannabis during a one-on-one session between a practitioner and patient is permissible and not considered advertising. (Rule 3.5.1)
To the extent medical cannabis establishments are permitted to engage in the limited branding activities described above, they are not allowed to have advertisements that (a) depict the actual consumption of cannabis, (b) promote the overconsumption of cannabis, (c) make any health, medicinal, or therapeutic claims, (d) make safety claims of any type, (e) include the image of a cannabis leaf or bud, (f) include any image designed or likely to appeal to minors, or (g) target minors, pregnant women, breastfeeding women or promote the non-medical use of marijuana. (Rules 3.2.2 and 3.3.4) Medical cannabis establishments are also prohibited from using inducements, such as discount card, coupons, samples and giveaways. This prohibition on inducements may be waived by the licensing agency for establishments with a formal partnership with a cannabis research facility to research cannabis or develop best practices for specific medical conditions. (Rule 3.4.1)
The Department of Health has also released draft regulations for Cannabis Testing Facilities and Work Permits. All regulations released, to date, are available on the Department’s website here. The agency is accepting comments on all proposed regulations through 12:59 PM, April 15, 2022.