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Japan gets first outdoor billboard advertising medicinal cannabis

The first campaign advertising medicinal cannabis oil in Japan has gone live following a long-fought battle by Elixinol.

The Australian health brand has become the first to gain approval for a billboard advertising cannabidiol hemp oil – commonly known as CBD – in the country where medical marijuana has faced a fierce backlash by lawmakers.

Although CBD was legalised in November 2016, brands have so far struggled to gain approval to market their products, Elixinol Japan’s boss said in a statement.

“Japan has a very strong cultural connection with hemp, and its use by our people dates back to ancient times,” explained CEO Makoto Matsumaru.

“Elixinol has been supplying hemp oil products to Japan for over three years, however up until now we have not been able to actively market the product range. Approval to commercially advertise our Hemp Oil Drops is a major win for the hemp industry and comes after many months of working with the relevant authorities to gain authorisation.”

Created by Japanese agency Tsuge Production and Dentsu Tec, the campaign was installed in Tokyo’s Omotesando train station.

Mumbrella understands that Elixinol was able to get around the outdoor advertising regulations – which in this case are controlled by Toei Transport – owing to its conservative creative design.

Company global CEO Paul Benheim added: “Japan has the third largest consumer economy in the world, and the audience is both sophisticated and health conscious. Culturally, the Japanese people embrace natural health care, and with an aging population there is huge interest in preventative health and wellness through clinical grade CBD supplements.”

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