Why is there a dispensary advertisement in Canyon?


Marcus Rogers

Everest Cannabis Co’s billboard sits just above S U.S. Hwy 87, driving into Canyon, Tx. (Marcus Rogers/The Prairie News)

In the last couple weeks of October 2022, several new billboards for Everest Cannabis Co. have popped up along the Interstate 27 corridor and even coming into Canyon. This advertising campaign is promoting a specific product that is illegal in the state of Texas, marijuana.

Since April 1,2022, New Mexico has had a legal recreational market of cannabis, and their sales have exploded. The most considerable growth has occurred in the most significant New Mexico city, Albuquerque. Still, the rest of the increase is scattered around the state, including Clovis, Anthony, Clayton, and many other towns located less than 10 miles from the Texas border.

“You could argue that the first amendment would protect cannabis advertising, as long as it was legal in the place where it was offered,” said Dr. Mary Liz Brooks, jenny lind porter professor of communication, assistant professor of media communication and advisor of WT Buffalo Advertising. “It’s legal.”

When driving into the city of Canyon from Highway 60, the legal New Mexico and illegal Texas substance billboard sits in perfect view for all WT students and residents coming from Amarillo or Hereford. Lamar advertisement and the state of Texas have no problem accepting green goods, money from anyone as long as they are not violating the law doing so.

“Texas laws are pending in terms of how this is going to be regulated in compliance with local ordinances,” Brooks said.

Pew Research Center

Seeing as New Mexico is a new state for cannabis legalization, few laws prevent advertising their products to out-of-state residents. Colorado has had legal sales since 2012, so their advertisement regulations would not allow a billboard to go up in Canyon. However, there needs to be data on the impacts of this advertisement campaign.

“I don’t think the target audience is probably WT students,” Brooks said. “Being such a conservative and, I would assume, a lot of our student population is Christian based, it is surprising that this billboard is there.”

The culture around the legalization of marijuana has been changing. The majority of U.S. citizens now accept weed legalization.

“There’s so much, I mean, there’s recreational marijuana, but there’s medicinal marijuana, too,” Brooks said. “So many other states are going towards (marijuana legalization) and advertising it.”

In recent months, New Mexico has benefited from millions of additional tax dollars coming into the state just from the legalization and regulation of marijuana sales. To know if Everest Cannabis Co. is benefiting from the advertisements so close to an out-of-state city is not really possible.

“We’re so oversaturated with advertising that I can see how people wouldn’t have seen it; we are not necessarily a billboard kind of town like you are in New York or whatever,” Brooks said. “This is throwing me for a loop here.”