Twitter Allowed Ads for Cannabis and THC Products
Since U.S. cannabis companies are just experimenting with a new advertising option on Twitter, it is unclear whether Twitter’s digital advertising competitors – such as Google’s Alphabet and Meta – might follow suit and allow cannabis ads. Google’s advertising platform recently eased restrictions on cannabis and CBD ads in select markets, but still excludes many other cannabis-related marketing efforts.
Twitter is inviting cannabis companies to advertise cannabis and even offering financial incentives to new ad buyers. In contrast, most social media platforms oppose cannabis-related content.
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Twitter has allowed cannabis and THC ads – the first social media platform to do so
Twitter announced that licensed cannabis brands can now advertise on the social platform. It will also offer an incentive to brands that take advantage of the new advertising policy before March 31s,t and promises to reimburse up to $250,000 for new ad buyers.
AdCann reports that there were more than 20 million cannabis-related tweets last year. That’s more than the number of tweets related to coffee, golf, and the NHL, says AdCann, a cannabis advertising company. On Feb. 4, Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted “420,” which today we can take as an announcement of a new advertising policy.
Musk, who burned the joint on Joe Rogan’s 2018 podcast, is now responsible for making Twitter the most 420-friendly social media platform. Meanwhile, competitors such as TikTok and Meta (Facebook, Instagram) strictly censor marijuana-related posts and categorically prohibit advertising any cannabis-related content.
Twitter’s cannabis advertising rules
The social media platform allows advertisers to promote brand preference and cannabis-related news content in the following product and service categories:
CBD (cannabidiol) and similar products containing cannabinoids
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and similar products
Cannabis-related products and services. Examples include, but are not limited to: delivery services, labs, technology, search engines, events, etc.
Some U.S. cannabis players are already gearing up to take advantage of Twitter’s policy change, with vaporizer company Pax announcing on Wednesday that it is “one of Twitter’s first cannabis-related advertising partners,” Pax Vice President of Marketing Luke Droulez said in a statement on Twitter.
Others are taking a wait-and-see approach
Thomas Winstanley, chief marketing officer of East Coast-based multi-state cannabis company Theory Wellness, said Twitter’s new approach to cannabis advertising is “more symbolic than practical for our operations,” at least for now.
Winstanley said Twitter’s rules for U.S. cannabis businesses are different than the advertising policy for cannabis businesses in Canada, where Twitter has already allowed advertising for legal cannabis businesses.
U.S. regulations on cannabis advertising on Twitter state that advertisers “may not promote or offer to sell cannabis,” including CBD, except for CBD products derived from topical fiber hemp containing less than 0.3% THC.
Will Facebook and Instagram follow in Twitter’s footsteps?
Since U.S. cannabis companies are just experimenting with a new advertising option on Twitter, it is unclear whether Twitter’s digital advertising competitors – such as Google’s Alphabet and Meta Platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – might follow suit and allow cannabis ads.
Google’s advertising platform recently eased restrictions on cannabis and CBD ads in select markets, but still excludes many other cannabis-related marketing efforts.
We hope that Twitter will lead by example and that more and more publishers and platforms, including the Met, will see the cannabis industry as a beautiful, thriving, and vibrant sector in which to engage. Twitter certainly deserves credit for being the first major social media player to allow cannabis companies to advertise.
(Featured image by KevinKing via Pixabay)
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