2023 House Bill
The 2023 House bill that covers financial services and general government spending cleared the full Appropriations Committee last Friday. Law360 wrote, “Appropriators in the House hope to see the mandate on the FCC attached as a policy rider to a $390 million operating budget for the fiscal year starting in October, which would also raise the agency’s budget by $8 million over this year. The FCC has asked for a $16 million boost.”
Cannabis companies typically advertise on billboards, print media, some social media (depending on the company and platform) and cable or internet streaming channels. However local television and radio companies have been prevented from running these ads. Cannabis advertising is projected to total $18.5 billion in the U.S. this year.
The New York State Broadcasters Association President David Donovan said, “We are grateful to House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, Subcommittee Chairman Mike Quigley and members of the Committee for recognizing the unfairness of the present situation with respect to cannabis advertising. The provision in this House appropriations bill is a major step forward for leveling the playing field for local broadcasters. We believe the law of the state in which a station is licensed should determine whether a station can accept cannabis advertising if they so choose. We look forward to working with members of Congress and the Administration to help restore parity between local broadcasters and other media outlets.”
He added, “We believe the law of the state in which a station is licensed should determine whether a station can accept cannabis advertising if they so choose. We look forward to working with members of Congress and the Administration to help restore parity between local broadcasters and other media outlets.”
Just the First Step
While the move is seen as a positive one, it must still pass through the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will then move to the House floor for consideration in July and then goes on to the Senate. The NYSBA said that the Senate poses additional problems, not just for its language but the entire appropriations process. “The appropriations process is notoriously complex, which means the bill may get stalled. Congress is likely to adopt an interim budget through a continuing resolution. At some point, perhaps after the mid-term elections, there will be a final vote. Even if it passes, the legislation is not a “silver bullet.” This is because appropriations bills apply for a one-year period and would only last for FY 2023, which is scheduled to begin on October 1, 2022, and run through September 30, 2023. It would have to be renewed next year for FY 2024 and every year thereafter. As a practical matter, once it is included, it is like to be renewed every year.”