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A TV ad for a marijuana vaporizer has hit the airwaves — with no mention of the drug itself

A still image from Eureka Vapor commercial. (Innovation Agency)
A still image from Eureka Vapor commercial. (Innovation Agency)

Six months after California voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana, a television commercial has begun airing in the state that promotes a product aimed at cannabis users, but without ever mentioning the drug itself.

Eureka Vapor markets portable vaporizers for cannabis concentrates that the company produces. But you wouldn’t necessarily know that from the commercial, which shows actors portraying figures including athletes, dancers and members of the military with phrases such as “Discover Love” and "Discover Freedom" displayed. The ad ends with the product’s logo and Web address.

Why the mystery?

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and many federally licensed television stations do not accept cannabis advertising, according to Randall Huft, president and creative director of Innovation Agency, which has also done work in the past for AT&T, Hyundai, Toyota, Nestle and Disney.

“We wanted to create a commercial that captures the essence of the brand,” Huft said. “Eureka stands for inclusion, acceptance and love." 

The commercial began airing Friday on KDOC-TV, an Orange County-based independent channel with nearly 1 million viewers per week, and is also scheduled to run on stations in Los Angeles, San Diego and other markets, Huft said.

When KDOC began broadcasting in 1982, it was owned by a group of conservative celebrity investors including Pat Boone and Fess Parker.

John Manzi, the station’s general manager, noted that the Eureka Vapor devices can be used for products other than cannabis.

“We are very careful about taking advertising,” Manzi said. “We didn’t feel it was right to deny advertising to a product that has many uses.”

The vaping device can be used with tobacco products. but it and the cannabis concentrates are primarily aimed at marijuana users and are prominently featured on the company's website, Huft said.

Will a day ever come when television ads will be able to openly promote cannabis?

"Certainly," Huft said. "Most things in our lifetime seemed impossible just a short time ago: Equal rights for the LGBT community, gay marriages, Trump becoming president. Anything and everything is possible."

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