Mississippi Dispensary Owner Sues Officials Over Cannabis Advertising Ban

The owner of a Mississippi medical cannabis dispensary owner has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s rules on cannabis advertising, which he argues censors cannabis companies and violates their First Amendment rights.

Full story after the jump.

A Mississippi medical cannabis dispensary owner filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday challenging state rules on cannabis advertising that he argues censors cannabis companies and violates their First Amendment rights, the Associated Press reports. The lawsuit, filed by Clarence Cocroft II, owner of Tru Source Medical Cannabis, names the heads of the state Department of Health, Department of Revenue, and Alcoholic Beverage Control Bureau as defendants. 

“All I want to do, like any other business owner, is have the opportunity to advertise. If I pay taxes in this business, which I do, I should be able to advertise. All I’m asking from this state is to provide us with the same liberty that they’ve provided other businesses.” — Cocroft, during a press conference, via the AP 

During the press conference, Katrin Marquez, one of Cocroft`s attorneys, said her client “can’t advertise in any media” including in newspapers or magazines, on television or radio, or on billboards that he already owns. 

“The First Amendment does not allow a state to completely censor a legal business,” Marquez said. “If it is legal to sell a product, it is legal to talk about that product.” 

Under Mississippi rules, the only advertising available to cannabis companies is on their own websites.  

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