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NACB Launches Historic National Standards for Advertising

  November 8, 2018

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), the cannabis industry's first self-regulatory organization (SRO) which vets its members to be trustworthy, ethical, and compliant, has officially released their National Standards focused on Advertising. These standards are designed to protect consumers and demonstrate to regulators, financial institutions and the public that NACB members operate at the highest levels of ethics and responsibility. Cannabis advertising serves as the public face of the industry, and is thus essential to establishing a trustworthy, professional, and ethical business space.


"The NACB believes that self-regulation is the most effective way for the cannabis industry to control its own destiny. With consumer-targeted ads becoming more prevalent, we need to self-regulate or we will face charges by heavy-handed government-driven rules that may hinder business's ability to market to and educate consumers," said Eugene Morgulis, Director, Legal & Strategic Initiatives. "It is important that the Cannabis industry develop a robust set of business-approved guidelines to build trust amongst market participants and local state and national regulators. The self-regulatory model has worked for organizations like FINRA and the MPAA, and it can work for cannabis."

Advertising is the second NACB National Standard that was adopted, after a period of public review and comment. The NACB's National Standards are developed through a deliberative and inclusive process. To create each Standard, the NACB takes input from their members along with government and subject matter experts, in addition to referring to other highly regulated industries, such as alcohol and tobacco. Once drafted and approved by members, the NACB receives feedback from the public during a month-long notice for comment period, after which the feedback is considered, the standard may be revised, and finally voted on and adopted by NACB members.

The full National Standard on Advertising is available here https://www.nacb.com/national-advertising-standards and highlights topics including:

  • Required warning statements on advertising
  • No promotion of excessive use
  • No showing consumption
  • No ads disparaging or degrading persons on the basis of race, gender, religion, or orientation
  • No images or endorsements that target minors
  • Minors cannot make up over 15% of audience composition for print and television ads
  • Digital advertising must employ an age-neutral screening mechanism
  • No ads on public transit vehicles or shelters

The NACB believes that industry-wide dedication to these principles can demonstrate that cannabis has listened to the concerns of regulators and consumers. This commitment can also give comfort to online platforms, who have been wary of cannabis advertising, and hopefully lead the way to engaging these major marketing channels.

More information about the NACB and an application for membership are available at www.NACB.com.

The NACB Advertising Standard, as with all NACB National Standards, is a voluntary standard. While non-compliance can result in expulsion from the NACB or other consequences, the NACB does not actively monitor its members' compliance with these standards

About the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB)
The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) is the only self-regulatory organization whose mission is to support the compliance, transparency and growth of legal cannabis businesses in the U.S. Led by a team of government, legal, banking and data security experts, the NACB helps member businesses connect to one another, and establish voluntary national standards that demonstrate responsible business and compliance practices to consumers, regulators, and financial institutions. The NACB also provides members access to expertise, tools and services that are intended to help them enhance the value of their business and navigate the complex web of constantly shifting regulations they face every day. The NACB is a division of First American Holdings, a technology and business services company. For more information, visit www.NACB.com.

This communication is not an offer to sell or solicit offers to purchase any security or interest in the NACB or any of its affiliates.

Author Bio

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses is the first and only self-regulatory organization (SRO) in U.S. cannabis. Our members function as a self-governing community, focused on differentiating themselves to regulators, the public and others as the most legitimate, professional and trustworthy businesses in the industry.