As of Wednesday, Twitter has become the first social media platform to allow cannabis companies to market their brands and products in the United States.
The company previously only allowed ads for topical hemp-derived CBD products, while other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have a “no cannabis ads policy” as it remains federally illegal.
On Tuesday, the company changed its policy to allow U.S. cannabis companies to advertise on its platform, though there are a few restrictions.
In order to advertise on Twitter, cannabis companies must obtain a prior company license and must meet several requirements, perhaps the most important limitation is that cannabis companies cannot advertise or offer cannabis products for sale.
Other requirements that cannabis companies must meet include:
- licenses from the relevant authorities
- The ads are only targeted to areas where they are licensed to promote goods or services online.
- It is not intended for persons under the age of 21.
- Take full legal responsibility for compliance with applicable laws and regulations
Cannabis ads may also not target minors, make any health claims, or display images of cannabis use.
Even with this change in Twitter policy, some cannabis businesses will not be able to use the platform to advertise due to state laws restricting online cannabis advertising.
Major ad platforms are reluctant to serve an industry that is federally illegal, partly out of concern that existing advertisers don’t want to be placed next to cannabis ads, but also worry about how to check if a potential advertiser is a licensed company.
The Twitter policy change is so new that it’s unclear how long the cannabis brand will have to go through the review process.
“For so many cannabis advertisers, being able to reach their markets and audiences without resorting to any workarounds is a breakthrough,” said Amy Dennison, co-founder of the Cannabis Media Council, a trade association dedicated to cannabis education.
And with Twitter’s rewards program running until the end of March, Amy Dennison predicts the platform will expedite that verification process as quickly as possible.
That, and companies will have to invest resources in considering whether ads for cannabis comply with their own rules, which can be difficult to determine, such as what exactly makes an ad attractive to minors? decision-making process.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment for more details.
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