Twitter announced this week that the platform will now allow licensed cannabis businesses to run purchase advertising campaigns—provided that those businesses are targeting only those users who live within a given state market.
The sudden move opens a major marketing opportunity for licensed operators. The social media landscape has thus far been hostile to the cannabis industry, with the prime example being Instagram’s routine shut-down of cannabis-related accounts (including our own, @cannabisbusinesstimes).
But the cannabis community, otherwise, tends to thrive on social platforms. Certain corners of Instagram, LinkedIn and even Twitter are abuzz with important policy discussions, consumer sales trend data and innovative technological feats within licensed facilities. It’s 2023: To succeed as a business, getting in on the broader conversation with intentional social media marketing messages is pivotal.
Here’s the updated Twitter language for U.S.-based cannabis businesses:
We permit approved Cannabis (including CBD– cannabinoids) advertisers to target the United States, subject to the following restrictions:
- Advertisers must be licensed by the appropriate authorities, and pre-authorized by Twitter.
- Advertisers may only target jurisdictions in which they are licensed to promote these products or services online.
- Advertisers may not promote or offer the sale of Cannabis (including CBD– cannabinoids)
- Exception: Ads for topical (non-ingestible) hemp-derived CBD topical products containing equal to or less than the 0.3% THC government-set threshold.
- Advertisers are responsible for complying with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and advertising guidelines.
- Advertisers may not target customers under the age of 21.
Any advertisement for Cannabis (including CBD– cannabinoids) content that is allowed, subject to the above restrictions, must in addition:
- Not appeal to minors in the creative, and landing pages must be age gated and sales must be age verified.
- Not use characters, sports-persons, celebrities, or images/icons appealing to minors.
- Not use minors or pregnant women as models in advertising.
- Not make claims of efficacy or health benefits.
- Not make false/misleading claims.
- Not show depiction of cannabis product use.
- Not depict people using or under the influence.
- Not encourage transport across state lines.
Cannabis companies were quick to jump on the opportunity. Florida-based Trulieve launched an ad campaign this morning.
Other businesses signaled high praise for the social media platform’s policy shift.
“As a brand trying to change the overwhelming imbalance in public opinion about cannabis (especially vs. alcohol), this is a welcome and overdue moment for the industry,” Ashley Fields, senior vice president of Marketing and Communications at Cann, said. “Advertising plays a significant role in our culture and Twitter’s announcement shows behaviors and conversations are trending in favor of normalization, legalization and frankly, ‘substance equality’ reflecting where cannabis vs alcohol can advertise. We’re thrilled with the announcement and Cann’s marketing will not only continue to push boundaries as we market our product, but also as we challenge norms, stereotypes, and outdated ways of thinking.”