Following the legalization of cannabis in many US states and Canada, Twitter has updated its ad policy to allow cannabis ads on its platform in areas where the drug is legal. According to the company’s blog post and Axios, advertisers can now endorse brand preferences and cannabis-related content for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services. This makes Twitter the first social media platform to allow cannabis ads.
“The cannabis space on Twitter is fun and engaging with users Tweeting about their experiences using cannabis—whether medicinally, for wellness, or recreation—as well as recommending brands, products, and retail locations. The conversation also reflects where the cannabis industry is currently heading: legislative/policy reform, business development, and community impact,” says Twitter’s blog post.
Regulations surrounding the cannabis advertisements
While Twitter is now allowing cannabis marketing on its platform in legal areas, there are several strict regulations that advertisers must follow. Firstly, brands must obtain pre-authorization and licenses from the appropriate authorities in their respective jurisdictions before advertising. Secondly, the ads cannot target customers under the age of 21, and they cannot use any characters, sportspersons, celebrities, or images that may appeal to minors, nor include minors or pregnant women in advertisements. Thirdly, Twitter does not allow ads that claim health benefits, make false or misleading claims, or depict someone smoking cannabis.
Additionally, these brands cannot promote or sell cannabis or CBD on the platform unless the ads are for topical, non-ingestible, hemp-derived CBD products that comply with government regulations and have less than 0.3% THC.
Although Twitter says its decision to permit cannabis ads will enable the cannabis industry to grow and expand in a more regulated and controlled environment, this policy update comes at a time when 500 of Twitter’s top advertisers have left since Musk took over the company, leading to a 40% drop in advertising revenue. Therefore, by opening up to cannabis companies, Twitter is hoping to attract a new set of advertisers to its platform.