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One of social media’s most popular platforms, Twitter, is altering their advertising policies on cannabis.
Twitter is loosening its reins on cannabis industry advertising. Vetted, state-legal businesses will now be able to show packaged cannabis products in their marketing campaigns while also allowing ads in new US markets (1).
Alexa Alianiello, Twitter’s head of sales and partnerships, wrote in a blog post (2) that certified cannabis advertisers “may also continue responsibly linking to their owned and operated web pages and e-commerce experiences for cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabis-related products and services.” Alianiello added, “We have also made some changes for medical licensees and opened up additional recreational markets (some restrictions apply).”
On Twitter’s drug advertising policy (3), it does not specify which new recreational and medical markets are now available for cannabis advertising.
The social media platform will now permit medical cannabis ads targeting users in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota and West Virginia, according to information provided by Rosie Mattio, founder and CEO of New York-based cannabis industry marketing firm Mattio Communications (1). The state of Missouri will also be permitted to utilize adult-use cannabis ads in their newly-formed adult-use market.
Mattio reported to MJBizDaily (1) that Twitter’s decision to allow images of packaged cannabis products brings “a lot more opportunity for these brands to reach consumers and teach them about the actual product, (as opposed to) it just being a brand-awareness type of play.”
Elon Musk’s Twitter turned a new leaf in February 2023, allowing cannabis ads onto their platform (4). This move was very much welcomed and appreciated by cannabis industry marketing leaders. However, cannabis companies witnessed mixed results in their marketing on the privately held social media platform.
“We have seen companies of all sizes try to advertise on Twitter,” said Lisa Buffo, founder and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association (1). “Some, not all, have been approved, and others have had early and mixed results,” she continued. “With any advertising initiative, success depends on the match of the brand and the campaign to the platform – it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”
Alianiello mentioned in her Twitter blog post (2), announcing the ad-policy updates, commenting on how the platform has “gathered meaningful feedback from the cannabis industry which we have taken into consideration to create even more opportunity.”
“It appears that they are iterating and taking feedback from the industry and better understanding the nuances of local laws and regulations,” said Buffo chimed in (1). “That should signal to the broader advertising world that a national approach to cannabis marketing is possible, when taken in small and iterative steps.”
Other social media platform giants such as Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta and Google parent company Alphabet, usually do not allow cannabis marketing but Google has made exceptions for certain CBD and hemp ads.
The US is not the only country Twitter allows cannabis advertising. Canada and Thailand are also contingent to the social platforms’ policies.