A California-based marijuana mapping company has invested in digital and physical advertising in three Michigan cities to tout the benefits of legalized marijuana.
Weedmaps, a mapping and technology service for dispensaries and other marijuana services nationwide, recently started a public education campaign called WEEDFACTS to “provide communities with credible, verifiable facts about the benefits of legal marijuana” and start discussion around the issue, a company spokesperson said.
Physical billboards are currently up in Ann Arbor and Lansing, and digital advertisements are also running in Detroit, the spokesperson said.
Subject matter includes statistics on a decrease in opioid deaths and tax revenue increases in states that have legalized marijuana, Medicaid savings as a result of legalization and positive employment statistics in cannabis-related industries.
In addition to Michigan, WEEDFACTS campaigns are also up and running in Arizona, California, Canada, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.
The Weedmaps advertising comes as the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol continues its efforts to get signatures for a ballot proposal to legalize recreational marijuana use in Michigan. Another group, Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools, has come out in opposition to the proposed ballot petition.
State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge — who recently sponsored a bill to ban advertising on billboards for marijuana-related industries in a manner similar to tobacco — said Weedmaps has a right to post signs in favor of marijuana, but said he believes legalizing recreational use would not do what the messages claim.
“I do believe there is a place for medical marijuana for the truly sick,” Jones said. “If they make that recreational, I think that will be a huge mistake…it’s not the big tax revenue thing they think it is.”