On Monday, Massachusetts commuters will get an eyeful of something they’ve never seen before: a billboard advertising medical marijuana dispensaries.
New England Treatment Access (NETA) is behind not one, but four new billboards. According to the Boston Globe, two are located on the Massachusetts Turnpike near Exit 5 in Chicopee, one on Route 28 in Somerville, and another near the Mass. Ave. exit off Interstate 93 in Boston.
The ads read, “Why wait for better health?” along with NETA’s website.
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Norton Arbelaez, the nonprofit’s director of government affairs, tells the Globe, “There’s no call to action — this is educational. There are tens of thousands of patients that have a need but haven’t accessed the regulated market.” He says not all of the 45,000 Massachusetts residents who have medical marijuana cards visit dispensaries.
The billboards were a natural advertising route for NETA, as it’s still super sticky for the cannabis industry to advertise on radio stations and social media because of federal constraints.
Also, Massachusetts’ state regulations have strict guidelines in place on how dispensaries can market themselves; citing prices and using logos featuring marijuana plants are big no-nos.
A billboard that went up in Boston earlier this year that read “States that legalized marijuana had 25% fewer opioid-related deaths” was quickly taken down.
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Market analysts suggests Massachusetts’s move to bring an end to marijuana prohibition will contribute to a marketplace worth an estimated $1 billion by 2020.
As reported by The Fresh Toast last December, industry experts believe legal weed is destined to become a rampant East Coast trend, complete with a newfound tourism trade, which will undoubtedly put Boston on the map as the reining champion in nationwide pot sales.