Missouri medical cannabis companies can no longer advertise strain names — or employ any other type of advertising outside of listing prices on their websites — under a new directive from the compliance director for the program, Greenway Magazine reports. The letter from Andrea Balkenbush, the facility license and compliance director for the Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, also prohibits cannabis companies from accepting online payments through third-party sites.
“The Department views a promotional event as any activity, advertisement, or publicity designed to increase interest in purchasing medical marijuana or a particular product or brand of medical marijuana. For example, facilities are not allowed to advertise price discounts on a particular product because that would result in disbursing medical marijuana as part of a promotional event.” — Balkenbush, in the letter, via Greenway Magazine
Chris McHugh, CEO, and president of Vertical Cannabis, told News-Press Now that he believes the guidance regarding third-party payments in an attempt to prevent cannabis delivery services and that regulators are trying to prevent adult-use-like marketing in the medical cannabis program.
Dan Viets, an attorney, and chairman of the group that led the effort to legalize medical cannabis in the state, said that the regulations will stamp out competition in the industry.
“For the welfare of patients, there has to be competition,” Viets told News-Press Now.
According to Greenway Magazine, which tracks the Missouri cannabis industry and first posted the letter, medical cannabis sales in the state passed $100 million last month for both cumulative and year-to-date sales and posted a record high of $21.73 million in revenues in August.
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