Drivers in California’s Bay Area may notice a black billboard with the words “Magnolia Oakland” in large green font. If they look a bit closer, they’ll notice something new: Openly advertising a cannabis dispensary on a highway billboard.
An Oakland-based marijuana dispensary, Magnolia Wellness, is testing the waters of highway advertising by placing the billboard on Interstate 580, west of San Pablo Ave. in Oakland. David Spradlin, director of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland and River City Phoenix in Sacramento, said it’s been an interesting advertising adventure trying to secure locations for his ads: “One of the challenges in marketing for Magnolia Wellness has been the reluctance of mainstream media to accept advertising from a medical cannabis dispensary.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates television, radio, and billboard purveyors. Since marijuana is still considered illegal by the federal government, most media refuses to accept advertising from the cannabis industry.
Magnolia has been able to purchase advertising from a few independent radio stations and most recently, the small company that manages a great, high-traffic Interstate 580 freeway billboard. “This is very beneficial for us in getting the word out regarding Magnolia’s services, and helpful for patients looking for a legitimate supplier of their medicine,” Spradlin continued. “We are relatively new in Oakland, which is why we’ve been exploring getting the word out via mass media. We’ve already seen increased patient traffic, which we attribute to the billboard.”
Magnolia Wellness opened in Oakland just over a year ago and has done some pretty innovative things to stand out in the established Oakland medical cannabis community. Patients can receive free haircuts, and free massages, as well. Magnolia has also supported the local arts community, and commissioned a large mural to help beautify the neighborhood.
“We are seriously committed to providing the best products, all tested for safety, to our patients.” Spradlin said. “We are here for the long run, which is why we want to get the word on Magnolia to as many folks as possible.”
Magnolia Wellness is located at 161 Adeline Street in Oakland, CA. Open 8 AM to 10 PM daily.