CBS rejected a multi-million dollar Super Bowl advertisement promoting the benefits of medical marijuana Tuesday.
The network, which will air Super Bowl LII on February 3, shot down a pitch from Acreage Holdings, a medical marijuana company that espouses the benefits of cannabis for conditions like chronic pain and epilepsy.
The publicly traded company, which has a market cap of approximately $479 million and boasts prominent board members like former House Speaker John Boehner, was willing to shell out around $5 million for the airtime. But CBS decided the content of the ad was too polarizing. (RELATED: Superstar QB Arrested For Alleged Possession Of Marijuana)
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George Allen, president of Acreage Holdings, claims the ad his company pitched a 30-second commercial featuring the story of a little boy who needed medical cannabis to help treat his epileptic seizures. CBS recently shot the idea down, however, telling Allen that the ad was not consistent with CBS’s values.
“We’re disappointed by the news but somewhat unsurprised,” he said, per CNN. “Still, we developed the ad in the spirit of a public service announcement. We feel it’s our responsibility to advocate on behalf of our patients.”
We’re disappointed that we weren’t able to get our #SuperBowl PSA approved by @CBS and share our message on the largest national stage. Acreage stands with the 93% of Americans who support medical cannabis. #TheTimeIsNow for change. Read more on @USATODAY: https://t.co/5YhLLrux1t
— AcreageHoldings (@AcreageCannabis) January 22, 2019
CBS has not addressed the matter publicly.