About two-thirds of the roads sponsored by Clean Colorado’s Sponsor a Highway program are funded by cannabis companies, according to Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corporation data outlined by the Denver Post. The 51 cannabis dispensaries, growers, manufacturers, and processors in the Adopt a Highway program sponsor about 198 miles, despite representing less than half of all organizations that participate in the program, according to the report.
Many of the highways sponsored by cannabis firms have signage near exits — a novel loophole in a state that has banned cannabis advertising on, television, radio, social media, and print, unless they can prove the audience is 21-or-older. Under Department of Transportation rules, the Sponsor a Highway signs are not meant to be an advertising medium and, therefore, are not included in cannabis advertising rules.
Last year lawmakers approved a bill that allows cannabis companies to use outdoor advertising, such as billboards, so long as they are 500 feet away from schools, playgrounds, and places of worship, and comply with local ordinances.
Nico Pento, government affairs director for Terrapin Care Station, called the signs a “loophole that was overlooked.” The company sponsors six miles on two interstates; each costs $400 to $455 per month.
According to the Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corporation, general service companies – such as ad agencies, real estate, plumbing –represent 13 percent of all miles sponsored under the Clean Colorado program followed by retail (8 percent), restaurants (4 percent), and casinos and hotels (3 percent).
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