Twitter Embraces Cannabis Advertising, Allowing Brands to Reach New Audiences
Twitter has announced a major update to its Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia policy that will permit approved cannabis advertisers to target adults in legal jurisdictions within the United States and Canada. The new policy allows approved cannabis advertisers to target users in areas of Canada and the US where marijuana is legalized, and comes after similar updates to the platform’s CBD topical advertising policy.
The change in policy allows for cannabis brands to advertise on the platform, breaking with other social media platforms. Advertisers may only target jurisdictions in which they are licensed to promote products or services online, and may not promote or offer the sale of cannabis. Advertisers must also accept full responsibility for complying with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and advertising guidelines.
The move by Twitter has been seen as a major step forward for the cannabis industry, which has been unable to access straightforward online tools to reach wide audiences. Amy Deneson, co-founder of the Cannabis Media Council, stated that Twitter’s embrace of cannabis advertisers is “groundbreaking”, and that Twitter has set no minimum ad purchases for the cannabis industry.
The decision by Twitter to allow cannabis advertising has been made in light of the increasing number of US states passing recreational cannabis laws. A bill has been approved by the Minnesota House Education Finance Committee that would legalize recreational cannabis, while the US Senate Committee has approved a bipartisan marijuana research bill focused on military veterans with PTSD and pain.
Meanwhile, President Biden announced the issuance of marijuana-specific pardons on October 6, 2022 as part of a widely supported set of actions recognizing the folly of federal cannabis prohibition. At the end of last year, the president granted a half dozen additional pardons, including for those with marijuana or other drug convictions on their records.
This decision by Twitter signals a large amount of interest and engagement for cannabis products and services among its user base, and could lead to other mainstream media and platforms allowing cannabis industry ads. Luke Droulez, VP of Marketing at PAX, commented “This is a big moment, as a major advertising platform is making the decision to treat cannabis like any other consumer products category. We’re excited to be among the first of Twitter’s cannabis advertising partners and be able to engage customers more directly. After decades of prohibitionist propaganda, there is an opportunity to destigmatize and normalize the plant and its use.
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