Unwanted Marijuana Text Ads Show Up On Cell Phone

By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– One Colorado couple is fed up with text ads from a marijuana dispensary and the fact that they haven’t been able to get them to stop.

Colorado closely regulates such advertising for recreational pot, but the dispensary in question sells only medical marijuana.

The people who received the texts said they have typed in the word “STOP” and contacted the store several times but the texts have kept coming.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger entering Greenfield medical marijuana dispensary (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger entering Greenfield medical marijuana dispensary (credit: CBS)

The texts are being delivered to the number belonging to Scott Carlson and his wife.

“It reads, ‘Greenfield is now serving dabble extracts we have 2g of Pure Fire wax,'” said Carlson.

Greenfield is a Denver medical marijuana dispensary and the items refer to hash and ounces of marijuana.

RELATED STORIES: Marijuana Legalization Story Archive

“First I asked my wife was if she was at the store,” Carlson said, adding the answer was no.

Colorado’s legalized retail marijuana regulations prohibit advertising by directed towards cell phones “unless the person receiving them installs an app themselves.”

But the head of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, Lewis Koski, says for medical marijuana outlets it’s not as clear.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger interviews Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division Lewis Koski (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division Lewis Koski (credit: CBS)

“We’d have to take a look at the situation that they have, what kind of system they are using. If they are just using it for medical or for a broader range,” said Koski.

CBS4 spoke with the manager and owner of the dispensary. They insisted the texts are only directed to people who came in and signed up. The texts to the Carlsons must have been a mistake and they are stopping such ads for now. But Carlson is concerned that others could have gotten them as well.

“It was an unsolicited advertisement and it could have gone to my kid’s phone or my phone my wife’s phone,” said Carlson.

The state Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division has a phone number and email address for those who have complaints.

MED Tip Line: 855-277-7500

MED Information Referral Form: Help us keep Colorado’s Marijuana industries compliant, if you would like to provide the MED with information regarding non-compliant activity please submit this completed form to dor_med_info_referral_form@state.co.us or mail it to the Denver address above.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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