A marijuana plant in flower at La Conte's grow facility in Denver on Dec. 6, 2014. (Denver Post file)

Denver’s KMGH-7 says plan for pot TV ads now on hold indefinitely

KMGH-Channel 7 has decided not to risk getting burned by marijuana advertising.

Despite having two commercials ready to roll this week, the station’s plans for pot advertising are on hold indefinitely, general manager Brad Remington said.

“We just told our sales staff the running of marijuana ads on TV on KMGH is on hold indefinitely. Scripps PR asked me to share this message on why they reversed their decision to accept the ads right now,” Remington said by e-mail.

The statement from parent company, E.W. Scripps, says the company is “proud to be a company of free speech and open expression, but we have concerns about the lack of clarity around federal regulations that govern broadcast involving such ads.”

The National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, the industry trade group, said its policy on marijuana-related advertising is to recommend to member stations to check with legal counsel.

Privately, many in the industry note that marijuana is still prohibited federally and TV stations are federal licensees. There is widespread concern among broadcasters that, if they were to air marijuana advertising, an aggressive federal prosecutor could decide to prosecute a station owner as aiding or abetting an illegal activity.

Joanne Ostrow: 303-954-1830, jostrow@denverpost.com or twitter.com/ostrowdp

This story was first published on DenverPost.com