Cannabis firm Acreage Holdings, which is based in the US and counts former House Speaker John Boehner as a member of its board, says its 30-second commercial was rejected from airing during the 2019 Super Bowl, the holy grail of television ad placements, by CBS.
The ad does not promote Acreage products but instead focuses on how medical marijuana helps people manage pain who may otherwise have run out of options, including a child who suffered from epileptic seizures from Druvet’s syndrome.
"We're disappointed by the news but somewhat unsurprised," George Allen, President of Acreage Holdings, said to CNN Business, noting that media companies may still be wary of the national illegality of cannabis.
"Still, we developed the ad in the spirit of a public service announcement. We feel it's our responsibility to advocate on behalf of our patients," Allen added. He plans to air a 60-second version of the ad on Acreage’s website.
CBS did not respond to CNN when asked about the ad. However, a CNN contact close to the CBS television network said it does not accept any advertising related to cannabis. They are also known for rejecting ads for coveted Super Bowl spots, which can cost upwards of $5 million. A GoDaddy ad was once rejected because it was considered too sexually suggestive.