The California Bureau of Cannabis Control has 30 days to inform all cannabis business owners that they can no longer advertise on highways that cross state lines, according to a judgement San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett issued Monday. The judgment has state-wide effect.
On Nov. 20, Judge Garrett ruled that marijuana billboards on California’s interstate highways are prohibited under Proposition 64, a voter initiative approved in 2016. Garrett then left it up to SLO-based attorneys Saro Rizzo and Stew Jenkins to work out an agreed judgement with the state to remedy the issue.
On Monday, Judge Garrett ordered the California Bureau of Cannabis Control to report back to the court within 75 days.
In 2019, the bureau determined that a 15-mile radius was a necessary and appropriate distance from California borders claiming it satisfied the intent of Proposition 64. That interpretation led to cannabis billboards sprouting up along highways from San Diego to Crescent City.
Matthew Farmer, a SLO County resident and father, filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s interpretation in an attempt to protect children and the public from involuntarily exposure to cannabis advertising along those major highways, His attorneys’ Rizzo and Jenkins then successfully battled the bureau and its interpretation of Proposition 64.
“Multiple studies show that advertising to pre-teens and teens increases their early use of this Schedule 1 controlled substance, frequently causing permanent damage to their still developing nervous systems,” Rizzo and Jenkins said in a press release. “Links between lung cancer and testicular cancers, as well as early onset Parkinson’s disease, paranoid disorders, and schizophrenia from early and frequent use of cannabis have also been demonstrated.”