General Mills Courts 420 Crowd In A Way That Cannabis Companies Can't

It's one of those good news/bad news stories for the cannabis industry - the recent appearance of 420-themed General Mills billboard ads in the Denver area.

It's a sign of mainstream acceptance that a large, famous brand like General Mills would associate itself with the most important day of the year for cannabis consumers (though they are playing to stereotypes by using it to advertise a product - Totino's Pizza Rolls - that would appeal to people with the munchies).

But it's also a slap-in-the face for marijuana businesses that can't advertise like this. Andrew Livingston, who works for the Denver cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg, told Marijuana Business Daily that advertising and marketing restrictions vary across the state, but the statewide prohibition on billboards is clear.

"The only big public billboard or sign that you can have under state law is the one on your zoned lot," Livingston said.

Ean Seeb, co-founder of the cannabis retailer Denver Relief, applauds Totino's efforts, but thinks unfair that its cannabis companies are denied these opportunities.

"I wish the same opportunities were afforded to those of us who are actually in the industry," Seeb told Marijuana Business Daily.

Marijuana businesses continue to seek high profile opportunities to promote their brands, particularly in the world of athletics. A recent high-profile example in Denver is Native Roots' recent pitch for the naming rights to the Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Broncos.

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Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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