Ben Ray Lujan introduces SAFE Advertising bill

Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) has filed a federal bill to allow cannabis companies to advertise on television and radio in states that have legalized the drug.

Under current federal law, broadcasters must acquire a license to operate from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Due to the federal ban on cannabis, television and radio stations that broadcast marijuana commercials could lose that license.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Advertising Act would forbid the FCC from penalizing television or radio stations that broadcast cannabis ads in states, tribal lands or territories that have legalized marijuana. For states that have not legalized cannabis, the laws and penalties would remain unchanged.

If made law, the bill would also require advertisers to include warnings in their ads regarding risks associated with cannabis use.

“As more states enact common-sense cannabis legislation, it’s crucial that radio and TV stations can accept advertising without fear of losing their license,” said Luján in a press release. “As Chair of the Communications Subcommittee, which oversees the FCC, I’m proud to introduce this legislation with the support of broadcasters across New Mexico and the country.”

The SAFE Advertising Act is supported by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Safe Advertising Coalition.

White House Reiterates Griner’s “Wrongfully Detained” Status

Even after WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to possessing THC cartridges, the White House says it still considers her to have been “wrongfully detained” by the Russian government. Cannabis advocates say the move highlights a double standard, considering the U.S. prohibition of marijuana.

“We believe that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained Brittney Griner and she is in intolerable circumstances right now. And we are going to do everything that we can—the president has this at the top of mind—to make sure that we get Brittney home safely and also Paul Whelan,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a briefing. Whelan is a U.S. citizen being held in Russia on charges of espionage.

Griner recently pleaded guilty in a Russian court to charges of possessing THC extract cartridges while traveling to the country. The WNBA star is facing 10 years in a Russian prison for drug smuggling.

It is unclear why the State Department and the White House have designated Griner as being “wrongfully detained” since possession of cannabis is illegal in many parts of the U.S.

Cannabis Bar to Open in Santa Fe

Minerva Canna, an Albuquerque-based cannabis company, is reportedly planning to open a cannabis bar and dispensary in Santa Fe.

According to Santa Fe New Mexican, the 4,000-square-foot Downtown dispensary will be located on Water Street. It will initially open as a dispensary until regulators approve its license to operate a public consumption area. A cannabis bar was added to Minerva’s Cerrillos location—which will remain open—in November.