Twitter’s Major Step Forward for Responsible Cannabis Advertising
On February 7, 2021, Twitter announced a major policy update to its Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia policy, which allows approved cannabis advertisers to target adults in legal jurisdictions within the United States and Canada. This is the largest step forward by any social media platform to date, and it provides cannabis brands with an additional avenue to reach and grow their audiences.
The policy update relaxes Twitter’s cannabis ads policy in certain U.S. states, providing more opportunities for responsible cannabis marketing. Advertisers must target only jurisdictions in which they are licensed to promote products or services online, and may not promote or offer the sale of cannabis. In addition, they must comply with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and advertising guidelines.
Recently, a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine found that CBD may increase the effects of THC in edible cannabis products, resulting in stronger, longer-lasting drug interactions. High doses of cannabidiol may cause an increase in the adverse effects of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis.
A bill was presented to the U.S. Senate Committee to direct the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct research evaluating the safety and efficacy of cannabis products for veterans suffering from chronic pain and post-traumatic stress. This bipartisan legislation directs the VA’s office to conduct a large-scale observational trial assessing veterans’ use of cannabis and report on its ability to mitigate pain, improve sleep, and influence subjects’ intake of prescription medicines or alcohol.
In October of 2022, President Trump announced the issuance of marijuana-specific pardons as part of a widely supported set of actions recognizing the folly of federal cannabis prohibition. Thousands of people with federal criminal records for simple marijuana possession are eligible for a pardon that would help them obtain employment, housing, education, and more.
At the end of last year, the president granted a half dozen additional pardons, including for a handful of people with marijuana or other drug convictions on their records. He also signed a bill that provides expungement of minor marijuana convictions.
Twitter's policy change is groundbreaking for an industry currently lacking straightforward online tools to reach wide audiences. The social media platform has set no minimum ad purchases for the cannabis industry and will be matching any ad buys before March to boost reach for new cannabis advertisers, regardless of budget size. This signals a large amount of interest and engagement for cannabis products and services among Twitter's user base.
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