The weed revolution still won't be televised.

Portland was about to take another step into the brave new world of legal marijuana with what was described as the first-ever pot business commercial on network television—until KATU-TV pulled the plug.

The Portland-area network was scheduled to air a commercial on Wednesday for the upcoming Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference. According to a report from Marijuana Politics, the ad would have continued to air during the weeks leading up to the conference on Sept. 12-13. 

However, KATU general manager John Tamerlano told WW this afternoon that the network has decided not to air the commercial due to concerns about the unprecedented nature of the ad.

"After further review, we have decided to step back," said Tamerlano. "We don't accept advertising for marijuana."

Tamerlano clarified that network officials were aware of the content of the ad when they agreed to air it, but decided that it was acceptable strictly as a business commercial. When it became clear earlier today that other media sources were reporting it as the first-ever marijuana commercial, KATU reversed course.

When asked why KATU continues to reject marijuana ads despite legalization in Oregon, Tamerlano said the law was changed very recently, and cited the continuing prohibition of marijuana at the federal level.

The commercial, which is already on YouTube and the OMMBC website, is a quick 30-second spot featuring the conference’s executive producer Alex Rogers. It doesn’t feature any strain or retailer brands, but focuses on changes to Oregon law and the upcoming conference. 

It’s also impressively dense – Rogers manages to say 87 words in less than half a minute.

Rogers did not return WW's requests for comment.

UPDATE, 10:30 am Wednesday, Aug. 19: Alex Rogers tells WW that KATU was originally receptive to the ad, and the Aug. 18 cancellation came as a complete surprise. 

“At around 3 o’clock, I get a call from my ad rep in kind of a frantic state, who says I need to talk to the general manager [Tamerlano] ASAP,” said Rogers. “He told me straight up that he had OK’d the spot and he had no problem with it as a conference commercial, but because the media was portraying it as a landmark event, he was going to pull the spot.” 

Rogers expressed disappointment about the decision to pull the ad, especially in light of its focus on the conference. 

“The commercial is very benign, it’s overly un-offensive,” he said. “It was a very professionally done and presented commercial that’s not trying to sensationalize cannabis or the cannabis industry in any way.”