NJ Launches Cannabis Safety Campaign

If you’re going to use cannabis in New Jersey, be smart and safe about it, advises an ad campaign launching Monday from the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC).

The ads, in both English and Spanish versions, include separate messages targeting teens, parents, seniors, drivers, pregnant women, and cannabis users in general.

Teens, for instance, are told that “Getting high can get in the way of getting ahead.”

“Weed can be harmful for your children,” says an ad directed to parents. “If you use it, keep it where kids can’t get it.”

Media being used includes digital out-of-home on 100 major roadways, posters in beauty salons and barbershops, digital, social, and connected TV.

The connected TV campaign has two components, Chris Sullivan, marketing performance director of NJ-CRC’s marketing agency Princeton Partners, tells Marketing Daily. In addition to a programmatic buy, he says, there’s a “unique CTV partnership whereby viewers can engage with an interactive ad on premium platforms like Hulu.”



“This cost-per-engagement tactic,” Sullivan says, “has proven to deliver 99% completed views of the ad, lift ad recall and drive website traffic."

On the digital side, Sullivan says the campaign will be “optimized frequently based on audience engagement. We also have built brand lift studies into our social media efforts for an independent review of campaign efficacy and comprehension of our core message."

Much of the campaign aims to engage users with NJ-CRC’s Safe Use website, which includes science-based info on cannabis use and safety. “If I use weed while I’m pregnant, will it harm my baby? Is any amount ok?” asks one ad. “Have questions about legal cannabis use in the Garden State? Let’s clear the air at njcrc.gov.info/safeuse.” (Spoiler alert: there is “no known amount of cannabis that is considered safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding,” according to Helen Hannigan, chief executive officer, Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, who spoke at a NJ-CRC press conference.)

The state’s Poison Control Center and AAA Northeast also endorsed the campaign, with the latter saying it would provide flyers to drivers about the risks of driving under the influence of cannabis.

The state’s cannabis industry is also on board with the campaign, with Scott Rudder, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, saying that it “sets an example for the nation as we navigate the evolving landscape of cannabis legalization. The NJCBA is wholeheartedly committed to this mission and looks forward to working closely with the Commission and other stakeholders to ensure its success."

That statement represents something of a turn-about for the NJBCA, which in August issued a report castigating the NJ-CRC for holding back the state’s cannabis industry due to its “anemic pace of licensing operators.” Since recreational cannabis sales became legal in April 2022, the report said, only 37 dispensaries had been approved.

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