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Montana Revises Proposed Advertising Regulations for Medical Cannabis Businesses

The Montana Department of Revenue has revised its proposed advertising regulations for medical cannabis businesses after reviewing public comment it received on the draft rules.

The department released proposed regulations in July to implement House Bill 249, a law passed earlier this year to allow medical cannabis businesses to engage in some forms of electronic advertising that were previously off limits.

Many of Montana’s licensed medical cannabis providers criticized the Department of Revenue’s proposed rules, KTVH reported, arguing that the regulations were too restrictive and would ultimately limit their ability to grow their businesses.

The department announced Sept. 8 that it would amend its draft rules to clarify that a medical cannabis provider “may promote its business and market its brand but may not advertise marijuana or marijuana products except in electronic advertising,” according to KTVH.

The revised regulations would also remove several provisions that were included in the original proposal, including one that would have restricted the size of outdoor signs and required them to include disclaimers about the risks associated with cannabis use, KTVH reported. Under the updated rules, cities and counties would be responsible for regulating outdoor signage, although medical cannabis businesses would be barred from advertising on billboards.

Also eliminated in the updated rules is a provision that would have barred medical cannabis businesses from sponsoring charitable events, according to KTVH.

The new regulations also pave the way for medical cannabis providers to advertise on social media, according to the news outlet, as long as the accounts are private and only open to adults 21 and older.

The Department of Revenue will accept public comment on the revised rules through Sept. 20, KTVH reported. The department is also currently drafting rules for the state’s adult-use cannabis market, which is set to launch Jan. 1, 2022.

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