Exploring the Regulation of Cannabis in the US: from Twitter Ads to Presidential Pardons

As the legalization of cannabis spreads across the United States, more and more states are taking steps to regulate the recreational use of marijuana.[0] On February 7, 2023, Twitter announced that it was allowing approved cannabis and CBD advertisers to run ads in the United States, allowing for the promotion of informational or brand-preference content. High doses of CBD may increase the effects of THC in edible cannabis products, according to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine.[1]

On December 1, 2022, New York City became one of the first cities to open a recreational cannabis dispensary, Legally Rooted, located on 6th Street.[2] The dispensary opened its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony, and has since become one of the most profitable cannabis markets in the country.[3]

Approved cannabis advertisers will now be able to reach users in the US and Canada who reside in areas where marijuana is legally permitted, due to Twitter's new policy. The ads cannot glamorize cannabis use, appeal to minors, or advertise the price or distribution of cannabis. Celebrities and athletes cannot endorse cannabis in ads, and advertisers must accept full responsibility for complying with laws. In the US, Twitter users must be 21 years of age or older to be eligible for targeting.[4]

In October 2022, the President issued a number of pardons, including for those with marijuana or other drug convictions on their records.[5] This action was widely supported and allowed thousands of people with federal criminal records for simple marijuana possession to receive a pardon, which could help them obtain employment, housing, education, and more.[6]

On a lighter note, the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, famously inhaled from a cannabis cigarette on camera during a 2018 interview with podcast host Joe Rogan.[7] Musk, who was the “Technoking” of Tesla at the time, seemed to enjoy the experience, and it has since become an iconic moment in the history of cannabis.

0. “Cannabis reform bill continues to be debated in Annapolis” www.wmar2news.com, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.wmar2news.com/local/cannabis-reform-bill-continues-to-be-debated-in-annapolis

1. “The association between cannabis use and sleep complaints in …” www.news-medical.net, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.news-medical.net/news/20230214/The-association-between-cannabis-use-and-sleep-complaints-in-University-students.aspx

2. “Cannabis News | Cannabis Blog | Herban Creative” herbancreativenj.com, 20 Feb. 2023, https://herbancreativenj.com/cannabis-news

3. “Meridian cannabis dispensary opens | Local News | meridianstar.com” www.meridianstar.com, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.meridianstar.com/news/local_news/meridian-cannabis-dispensary-opens/article_b8071b52-5ee0-579a-b5fd-424fb4c6de79.html

4. “Doobie-us: Pot ads come to Twitter amid cannabis industry collapse …” arstechnica.com, 20 Feb. 2023, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2023/02/twitter-allows-weed-ads-the-move-could-alienate-its-top-advertisers/

5. “Biden Signs Equity-Focused Executive Order That Touts Marijuana …” www.marijuanamoment.net, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.marijuanamoment.net/biden-signs-equity-focused-executive-order-that-touts-marijuana-clemency-actions-calling-criminalization-a-failed-approach/

6. “Presidential Pardons for Federal Cannabis Possession Convictions …” communitynewspapers.com, 20 Feb. 2023, https://communitynewspapers.com/featured/presidential-pardons-for-federal-cannabis-possession-convictions-still-unavailable/

7. “Twitter will allow cannabis ads in parts of the United States …” www.morningstar.com, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.morningstar.com/news/marketwatch/20230216351/twitter-will-allow-cannabis-ads-in-parts-of-the-united-states