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Mass. cannabis companies to remove billboards in Conn. following passage of new law

The bill will ban out-of-state advertising for cannabis products and services and turns the removal of billboards from a request into a requirement.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 1:35 PM EDT|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 4:51 PM EDT
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Back in October, the Connecticut Attorney General wrote a letter to Massachusetts cannabis retailers and asked them to remove their billboards from Connecticut highways. Now, that request is about to become law.

The bill, which received final legislative approval in the Nutmeg State, will ban out-of-state advertising for cannabis products and services and turns the removal of billboards from a request into a requirement.

“We will be following the law for sure,” said Erik Williams, chief operating officer of Canna Provisions in Holyoke.

Canna Provisions is one of the seven Bay State retailers that now has to take down its billboard. Williams told Western Mass News that while he plans to follow the new law, he does not agree with it.

“It flies in the face of Governor Lamont wanting to cooperate with other governors. It flies in the face of regionalism of cooperation. It also invites retaliation. At what point with the other states that border Connecticut start doing the same thing to Connecticut, which was limit commerce across state borders?” Williams added.

Williams said these new restrictions are concerning as Connecticut is also working to build up its own cannabis retail, which is expected to begin operating in the state sometime this year.

“I think this will have a much broader negative affect on cooperation amongst the states. It is a hypocritical thing for them to do. Clearly, they are advertising for gambling. Gambling is all over and so those kind of things in this fear-based legislation, it’s disappointing to see,” Williams explained.

However, he said he is not too concerned just yet about the impact this will have on his sales and customers with or without the billboard.

“It will also be a very, very long time before any shops in Connecticut can compete with us on price, on quality, on quantity of product. It will be a very, very long time,” Williams noted.

Williams says they have not been contacted yet with a deadline of exactly when their billboard needs to be taken down by.