International Cannabis Business Conference

CBS Has a History of Rejecting Marijuana Ads and Content

Acreage Holdings is not the only cannabis company that's ticked off at CBS for rejecting a medical-marijuana commercial. In 2015, 420MEDIA signed a letter of agreement with CBS (see below) to produce "10 one-minute features with 15-second commercials featured in NFL games, morning shows, days shows, late shows etc."

The company "filmed a 15-year-old medical refugee with Crohn’s disease named Coltyn Turner and
his family (and) turned it into a one-minute director’s cut for CBS. After they reviewed It, we were
offered an unbelievable opportunity to air a 30-minute primetime TV show about medical
cannabis to 2.5 million homes in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland at 7 pm on Saturday nights
called Medical Cannabis: The Healing Power Of Knowledge," says 420MEDIA founder Kerri Accardi.

Lelehnia DuBois, founder of Humboldt Grace and publisher of Sensi magazine, was recruited to be the spot's first sponsor. In 2016, two other sponsors - Curved Papers and Age Vital CBD - joined the effort. With additional financial support, Accadi moved ahead with the 30-minute public service program. Below is the five-minute promotional reel of Medical Cannabis: The Healing Power Of Knowledge.

At the end, former NFL player Marvin Washington thanks CBS "for being out front and being a leader - that is your legacy for being a leader in the news field – and giving us the opportunity to spread to the masses that canabis is medicine, cannabis heals. This opportunity will not be wasted."

"And then," Accardi tells CelebStoner, "during MJ Biz Con (in Las Vegas), on Nov. 15, 2016, I was notified (by CBS) that our project has been 'shelved' until further notice. Verbally, I was told by someone from CBS the FCC threatened a $1 million fine and license revocation. 

Kerri Accardi: "Honestly, it knocked the wind out of me personally for a few days and almost business wise."

When news broke on Jan. 22 that CBS would not air Acreage's ad during Super Bowl LIII, "this brought up a lot up because we didn’t have the money or team to call CBS out publicly (then), but behind the scenes we were making monumental moves," Accardi explains.

"CBS pulling the plug caused damage I didn’t even realize until writing about it all now and speaking with people involved. My sponsors suffered a lot, which is what is really hurtful to learn about.

"Now, we would like to show actual CBS agreements and content to show how far the rabbit hole of blocking cannabis information goes, including bait and switch. Because our mission was always about educating the world about cannabis, not just the CBS spot. We kept moving forward and still aired the first cannabis educational commercial during primetime on BRAVO, History, and Discovery.

"Thank you Acreage," she concludes, "for opening the door and conversation."

 

Letter from CBS to 420MEDIA, Aug. 5, 2015

 

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.