On February 3, CBS is set to air one of the most watched annual shows on television, the Super Bowl. Besides the game, the four-hour spectacle is known for its highly coveted and costly advertising spots—averaging more than $5 million USD for a 30-second clip.
Every year, companies vie for the viral attention of the game’s more 103-million-strong viewership.
On Tuesday (January 22), Bloomberg reported CBS rejected a one-minute commercial spot from Acreage Holdings, a cannabis investment firm headquartered in British Columbia, advocating for patient access to medical cannabis. According to the firm's spokesperson, the clip was turned down after the network previewed a rough storyboard for the commercial.
The advertisement, which can be seen below, highlights testimonies from a military amputee, a mother to a severely epileptic son, and a former chronic opioid user—all of whom found relief in cannabis.
Acreage Holdings’ president George Allen told a Bloomberg reporter the advertisement intended to “create an advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue.”
"It’s hard to compete with the amount of attention something gets when it airs during the Super Bowl,” he added.
A CBS spokesperson told USA Today Sports that under its broadcast standards the network does not currently accept cannabis-related advertising.
While weed is now legal in more than 30 states and federally in Canada, the U.S. federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.