As New York continues to update on its cannabis-related rules and regs, an odd one seemed to slip into the books on Wednesday as the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) banned all cannabis and psychedelic mushroom ads on subways, buses and trains, reported Marijuana Moment.
The advertising policy update comes after the MTA reached a settlement in a case related to a sexual wellness brand, Dame, which had been underway for the past three years. In that case, Dame will be permitted to advertise under certain restrictions, yet the MTA decided that weed and psychedelics are off limits.
“The revised policy includes certain provisions that were part of past policies (with some amendments), and adds new restrictions based on changed circumstances,” the MTA stated. “For example, the revised Advertising Policy explicitly bars advertising for cannabis products, following the decriminalization of recreational use of such products in New York State.”
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“MTA will not accept any advertisement for display in or on the Property if it falls within one or more of the following categories of prohibited advertising…
16. Promotes tobacco, nicotine, or any tobacco-related or nicotine-related product; any alcohol product; cannabis or any cannabis-related product; or hallucinogenic mushrooms or hallucinogenic mushroom-related product.”
New York City has some of the strictest anti-smoking laws in the country. The Smoke-Free Air Act has been in effect since 2003. Ongoing legislation since then has seen the prohibition of smoking in all workplaces, bars, small restaurants and, most outdoor venues. Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to encounter someone smoking on the street in the Big Apple.
This policy update concerning cannabis ads, however, is a bit confusing considering that the current marijuana law already forbids cannabis advertising “in public transit vehicles and stations.” Psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics are still illegal in the state and under federal law. Therefore, one may wonder if it was a necessary update.
Among other policy changes and updates confirmed since New York State's legalization took effect in March, one of the most significant was the employee cannabis testing policy update. In October, New York became the first state in the Union to prohibit employers from testing most employees for cannabis.
More recently, the state cannabis board declared marijuana gifting illegal and banned Delta-8 THC products while allowing hemp flower sales.
In addition, just this week New York Senator Jeremy Cooney (D) proposed a bill that would allow transgender and non-binary people to qualify as social equity applicants under the state’s cannabis law.