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GKV, a Baltimore-based advertising and marketing firm, has won an $18 million contract from the state of Maryland to educate the public on responsible cannabis use. The contract, announced in July 2023, comes as the state prepares to legalize recreational cannabis use.
According to The Baltimore Sun, GKV beat out two other firms to win the contract, which will run for three years. The firm will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive public education campaign aimed at promoting responsible cannabis use and reducing the potential harms associated with cannabis consumption.
The campaign will include various educational materials, including television and radio ads, billboards, and social media content. It will also include outreach to community organizations and other stakeholders to ensure the message reaches as many people as possible.
In a statement, GKV CEO Roger Gray emphasized the importance of responsible cannabis use and the need for effective education campaigns. “As the state moves towards legalization of recreational cannabis, we must educate Marylanders on how to use cannabis responsibly and avoid potential harms,” he said. “We’re honored to have been chosen for this important work, and we look forward to working with the state and other stakeholders to create a successful campaign.”
Maryland Prepares for Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Use
The $18 million contract to GKV is awarded as Maryland prepares to legalize recreational cannabis use. In May 2023, the state legislature passed a bill legalizing cannabis for adult use, making Maryland the 18th state to do so.
Under the new law, adults over 21 can possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow six plants home. The law also includes provisions for expunging past cannabis convictions and creating a framework for regulating and taxing the cannabis industry.
Supporters of the law say that it will help to reduce the harms associated with cannabis prohibition, such as mass incarceration and racial disparities in drug enforcement. They also point to the potential economic benefits of a regulated cannabis industry, including new jobs and tax revenue for the state.
However, opponents of the law have raised concerns about the potential harms of cannabis use, particularly among young people. They argue that legalization could lead to increased use of cannabis among youth, as well as possible adverse health effects such as impaired driving and addiction.
To address these concerns, the state has allocated significant resources to education and public health campaigns promoting responsible cannabis use. In addition to the $18 million contract awarded to GKV, the state has also established a Cannabis Control Commission to oversee the regulation of the industry and ensure that cannabis products are safe and accurately labeled.
Despite the challenges, many in Maryland are optimistic about the potential benefits of legalizing cannabis. They point to the success of other states that have legalized cannabis, such as Colorado and California, and argue that legalization can be a positive step forward for the state.
As Maryland prepares to implement its new cannabis law, it will be closely watched by other states and policymakers around the country. If successful, the state’s approach to regulating and promoting responsible cannabis use could serve as a model for other states looking to legalize cannabis.