Before he owned Twitter, Elon Musk caused a media firestorm when he puffed on a joint on the Joe Rogan show. Now Twitter’s big boss is adding to his pro-cannabis credentials by making Twitter the first major social media platform to allow cannabis ads to run in U.S. states where cannabis is legal, in accordance with federal guidelines.
At present, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok policy follow a “no cannabis advertising policy” as it remains illegal at the federal level.
Meta does permit ads for some hemp products, but not THC or CBD products, and Reddit allows advertisers to run ads for “topical and non-ingestible hemp-derived CBD products” in the U.S.
Google updated its policies last month to allow ads for FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing CBD and “topical, hemp-derived CBD products with THC content of 0.3% or less” in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico.
“It is a groundbreaking thing for many cannabis advertisers to be able to reach their markets and their audiences without doing any type of workarounds,” Amy Deneson, co-founder of the Cannabis Media Council, a trade association focused on cannabis education, said in Politico.
“As the cannabis industry has expanded, so too has the conversation on Twitter. In the US – one of the most influential markets for cannabis – it is larger than the conversation around topics such as pets, cooking, and golf, as well as food and beverage categories including fast food, coffee, and liquor,” said the Twitter in a blog post.
For those brands out there considering advertising your offerings, here is the official policy as released by Twitter, that applies only to the United States – for now.
Twitter cannabis advertising policy
We permit approved Cannabis (including CBD– cannabinoids) advertisers to target the United States, subject to the following restrictions:
- Advertisers must be licensed by the appropriate authorities, and pre-authorized by Twitter.
- Advertisers may only target jurisdictions in which they are licensed to promote these products or services online.
- Advertisers may not promote or offer the sale of Cannabis (including CBD– cannabinoids)
- Exception: Ads for topical (non-ingestible) hemp-derived CBD topical products containing equal to or less than the 0.3% THC government-set threshold.
- Advertisers are responsible for complying with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and advertising guidelines.
- Advertisers may not target customers under the age of 21.
Any advertisement for Cannabis (including CBD– cannabinoids) content that is allowed, subject to the above restrictions, must in addition:
- Not appeal to minors in the creative, and landing pages must be age gated and sales must be age verified.
- Not use characters, sports-persons, celebrities, or images/icons appealing to minors.
- Not use minors or pregnant women as models in advertising.
- Not make claims of efficacy or health benefits.
- Not make false/misleading claims.
- Not show depiction of cannabis product use.
- Not depict people using or under the influence.
- Not encourage transport across state lines.
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