Although management at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston took down one medical marijuana store’s sign, there were still several others along the boards and walls up during Saturday night’s Lewiston-Auburn Nordique’s hockey game. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

State regulators are investigating concerns about marijuana-related advertising at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston.

Although management at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston took down one medical marijuana store’s sign, there were still several others along the boards and walls up during Saturday night’s Nordique’s hockey game. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The ads, including one that featured colorful images of cannabis leaves, drew complaints from parents whose children play sports or attend events at the ice arena.

Maine’s marijuana laws prohibit advertising that will reach those under age 21 – the legal age to consume marijuana products – or are specifically designed to appeal to those under 21 years old.

“State statute is clear – for both medical and adult use marijuana – that signs, advertising and marketing of marijuana-related businesses may not ‘have a high likelihood of reaching persons under 21 years of age,'” David Heidrich, spokesman for the Office of Marijuana Policy, said in a statement Saturday.

“We will take this prohibition, and other appropriate rules and regulations, into consideration as we review the situation at the Colisée,” Heidrich said. He did not respond to an email with questions about how the state would conduct its investigation and who could be held responsible if it determines the ads violated state law.

 

The Colisée is used by hundreds of youth sports players and is home ice for the Maine Nordiques and Lewiston-Auburn Nordiques hockey teams. At least one parent complained about marijuana being promoted in a place used by many kids and teenage athletes, the Sun Journal reported. In particular, parents were alarmed by an ad for Strawberry Fields Apothecary, which featured a clump of green cannabis leaves over bright red strawberries.

Colisée owner and general manager Mike Cain told the Sun Journal he is working with Strawberry Fields to change the advertising so it only has text, not a graphic, and does not mention marijuana.

Although management at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston took down one medical marijuana store’s sign, there were still several others along the boards and walls up during Saturday night’s Nordique’s hockey game. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

As of Saturday night, the Strawberry Fields marijuana ad had been removed, but others remained. Advertisements for Sinsemilla and Crystal Spring Healing Alternatives, both of which are Lewiston-based, are text-only signs and do not mention marijuana.

Cain did not respond to an email Saturday asking if he was aware of the state prohibition against marijuana advertising that had the likelihood of reaching those under 21 years of age, or if the law permitted advertising from any marijuana company at the arena.

The owner of Strawberry Fields, Darsi Simond, did not return a message left at the business Saturday. In an interview with WGME 13, Simond said she was surprised to hear people complained about the logo when the Colisée also has advertisements for beer.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.