If you have any knowledge of or experience with the medical marijuana industry here in Ohio, then you know that just about every aspect of it is subjected to some type of law, regulation or rule. Cultivators, dispensaries and laboratories must all meet certain state-imposed measures. Failing to do so can result in a business being subjected to penalties that can be so serious as to stop operations altogether. For this reason, medical marijuana businesses need to make sure they know how to stay on the right side of the law and use it to their advantage when allegations of wrongdoing arise.
One area of this field where businesses need to be especially careful is advertising. Ohio law dictates that medical marijuana advertising must refrain from creating an impression that marijuana use in general is legal. Marijuana use is only legal as provided under the medical marijuana statutes. Advertising also must not give the impression that marijuana use outside of medical purposes is acceptable in any way. This means that a medical marijuana business cannot claim that recreational use has health benefits or that it is legal.
Additionally, all business names, logos, and signs must be submitted to the state for approval. Even advertisements must be approved before running in their chosen medium. Upon review of those advertisements, the state may require corrections, such as adding disclosures or reworking the advertisement to promote public health. The state even has the power to deny the use of an advertisement.
There are other restrictions on advertising, as well. Some medical marijuana businesses may be unable to utilize radio, television and billboards to promote their goods, and the law requires that they refrain from using cartoon characters and selling marijuana merchandise that targets those who are under the age of 18.
While this may seem like a lot of restrictions, it is just a sampling of those that are in place under Ohio’s medical marijuana laws. Those who want to ensure that they don’t run afoul of these laws may want to discuss the matter with a professional to ensure that they avoid incurring any damaging penalties.