First Among Social Media Platforms, Twitter to Allow Cannabis Ads

After updating its advertising policies on Wednesday, Twitter will now allow – in accordance with federal guidelines – cannabis ads to run on its service in states where cannabis is legal.

In part due to concerns that existing advertisers would not want to be positioned next to cannabis ads, mainstream advertising platforms have so far been reluctant to serve a federally illegal industry, so Twitter’s new policy is the biggest step forward that any major tech company has made toward allowing cannabis advertising.

As Amy Deneson, co-founder of the Cannabis Media Council, a trade association focused on cannabis education, stressed, it’s a groundbreaking thing for cannabis advertisers to be able to reach their audiences without doing any workarounds.

As Deneson explained, Twitter is actively wooing the industry beyond simply allowing cannabis advertising by not setting any minimum for cannabis companies, unlike many advertising platforms that require minimum buys of $5,000 to $10,000 to get started.

Until the end of March, Twitter is also offering a one-to-one match of every advertising dollar from cannabis companies which means that the cannabis company effectively gets a $100 campaign if it runs a $50 campaign on the platform.

Deneson, who hopes that advertising dollars from the industry could become a great revenue stream for Twitter, pointed out that that’s one of the most generous things that an advertiser and publisher relationship can kick off with.

Although with numerous restrictions, according to a policy update posted to Twitter’s website, the US cannabis companies can now advertise on its platform after meeting many requirements – including assuming all legal responsibility for complying with applicable laws and regulations – and being pre-authorized by Twitter.

However, in the most significant restriction, cannabis companies can’t promote or offer for sale cannabis products, ads can’t appeal to minors, show any depictions of cannabis use, or make any health claims.

Even with this change in Twitter policy, some cannabis companies won’t be able to take advantage of the platform for advertising due to state laws restricting online cannabis advertising.

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