The Marijuana Media Miracle
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The Marijuana Media Miracle
Posted by CN Staff on August 05, 2014 at 05:37:50 PT
By Michael Wolff, USA Today Network
Source: USA Today
USA -- The coming legalization of marijuana, advocated last week by The New York Times in perhaps the most noted editorial in its history, will create a consumer product as sought after as cigarettes (in their day) and booze. Hence, legalized marijuana, among its other lucrative effects  including closing gaps in state budgets with certain heavy taxes  offers a gold mine for the media business.Media have, in many ways, never recovered from the loss of cigarette advertising, one of the all-time great revenue generators for newspapers, magazines, television, radio and advertising agencies. Marijuana could be as big a market as cigarettes and, as pot brands try to establish and distinguish themselves, as prodigious an advertiser.
On Sunday, the Times ran a full-page ad for a company called Leafly, which describes itself as "the world's largest information resource about cannabis" and "the Yelp of cannabis."Legalizing pot means, at least on some level, legalizing its marketing, too. It would seem churlish and merely part of a continuing governmental grudge to forbid pot manufactures from advertising  and counterproductive once pot starts generating major tax revenue. Cigarette advertising was curbed only after the health effects of smoking became known. The legalization of marijuana acknowledges that its benefits, or at least its pleasures, significantly outweigh its negative effects. Why legalize it if you don't also acknowledge the right to sell it? (Is that even constitutional?)Certainly this will be part of the argument that the nascent marijuana industry will make  an argument that, if it prevails, will transform the media business, too. In fact, a good way to benefit from the coming end of the prohibition might be to go long on media stocks.Still, even if the federal government, trailing state governments like those in Colorado and Washington, finally accepts the premise that, in the words of The New York Times, pot's "casual use by adults poses little or no risk for healthy people," there might still be a public policy argument about age-appropriate marketing. Straitlaced regulators and politicians trying to save face will surely take this view.SnippedComplete Article: USA Today (US) Author: Michael Wolff, USA Today NetworkPublished: August 3, 2014Copyright: 2014 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.Contact: editor usatoday.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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