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When will cannabis ads start airing on Arizona TV, radio stations?

Local radio and TV stations are a step closer to cashing in on cannabis. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved language that would allow broadcasters to air marijuana ads.

The language, in an appropriations bill, would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from denying a license or issuing fines to stations that run ads in states where cannabis has been legalized. The FCC’s stance is that a federally illegal product cannot be advertised. The National Association of Broadcasters and many state groups, including the Arizona Broadcasters Association, are lobbying for the change.

In a press release, NAB spokesperson Alex Siciliano said, "For too long, local broadcasters have been stuck in a regulatory purgatory because of conflicting federal and state cannabis laws. Today’s passage marks an important step towards allowing broadcasters to receive equal treatment for cannabis advertising that many other forms of media have enjoyed for years.”

Cannabis ads typically appear on billboards, social media and print. Research firm BDSA expects legal sales in the U.S. to hit $28 billion this year. If the Senate approves, local stations could start accepting ads Oct. 1, 2022.

Voters in Arizona approved the legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes for people 21 and older.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.