A Colorado CBD company plans to make history tonight, December 31, when Elixinol debuts cannabis advertising in Times Square.
Around 1 million people are expected to ring out 2018 in Times Square, one of New York City's most heavily trafficked areas no matter the time of year. Up until now, however, cannabis companies were barred from advertising there.
But Elixinol, the Broomfield-based company specializing in hemp-derived CBD, will be advertising on several digital billboards around the square, a spokesperson told Hemp Today. That's some of the most expensive and sought-after advertising real estatein the world.
Elixinol reportedly tried to advertise in Times Square last New Year's Eve and was denied. But the legalization of industrial hemp via the 2018 Farm Bill earlier this month has opened new doors for American hemp and CBD companies, which don't face the same scrutiny as state-legal cannabis businesses, since marijuana is still federally illegal.
Weedmaps, an ancillary marijuana business that publishes dispensary menus online, tried to run television ads on CBS during its 2014 New Year's Eve broadcast in Times Square, but that was killed by the network before the telecast. Other cannabis brands to see their historical advertising hopes dashed include Neos, a hash vaporizer company whose commercial was pulled from Colorado television broadcasts before it could air in 2015, and Veedverks, a hemp-CBD company that was days from sponsoring a Nascar driver before the league discovered what Veedverks actually was — and promptly squashed the sponsorship.
According to the Denver Business Journal, other cannabis-related companies will also be advertising in Times Square tonight, with Cannabis Network Media, Curved Papers, My Bud Vase, MTracTech and Restorative Botanicals also making history.