All cannabis-related advertising is explicitly prohibited under newly-released New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) guidelines. It’s the first time the agency has included a cannabis advertising ban in its regulations as the state only approved its legalization bill in April.
The MTA covers advertising on New York City subways and buses.
The proposal was included in a summary of the November 2021 MTA board meeting as a response “to the recent developments in the decriminalization of cannabis” in the Empire State. The guidelines also include a ban on “hallucinogenic mushrooms or hallucinogenic mushroom-related product(s).” Psilocybin possession and use remain a criminal offense in New York; however, in nearby New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill in February reducing penalties for the possession of psilocybin mushrooms. The reforms did not legalize adult-use or therapeutic use of such products in the state.
In March, a bill was introduced to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in New York. That bill remains in the House Health Committee.
The MTA advertising rules have banned tobacco and alcohol ads from sectors it oversees since 2017.
The new rules also include a ban on sex-related ads, including “sex toys,” and “sexual enhancement products” and prohibits any ad that “depicts, references, or contains symbols or images reasonably understood to represent or evoke feces, urine, semen, orgasms, erections or Sexual Activity, excluding kissing,” the guidelines state. Those changes stem from a lawsuit challenging why the MTA could prevent an ad promoting sex products but allow ads for an erectile dysfunction medication.
The new rules took effect on November 17.