Marc Iskowitz
Feb 19, 2023

Twitter greenlights ads for cannabis, THC brands

The social network is permitting CBD and THC products to run ads under an updated policy, provided they meet certain requirements.

Twitter greenlights ads for cannabis, THC brands

THC and CBD brands will be permitted to promote themselves on Twitter in states where cannabis is legal after the social network updated its cannabis policy Wednesday.

“We permit approved Cannabis (including CBD — cannabinoids) advertisers to target the United States,” subject to a number of conditions, Twitter noted on its website.

State-legal cannabis companies that wish to run ads for THC- and CBD-containing products on the platform, as well as related accessories and services, must be “pre-authorized” by Twitter. 

“As the cannabis industry has expanded, so too has the conversation on Twitter,” the network said in a blog post explaining the change. “In the U.S. — one of the most influential markets for cannabis — it is larger than the conversation around topics such as pets, cooking, and golf, as well as food and beverage categories including fast food, coffee, and liquor.”

The policy shift is a major one for Twitter, which had previously only allowed ads from CBD topical brands, observed AdCann, a cannabis marketing and advertising website which first reported the news.

The business pivot also distinguishes the network from its social media peers. As Axios pointed out, Meta and Reddit permit ads for some hemp-derived or topical CBD products, respectively. Meanwhile, Google sanctions ads in certain states for FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing CBD and topical CBD products with minimal THC content, though some of its ad formats remain off-limits.

Under Twitter’s revised policy, which is effective immediately, advertisers can promote brand preference and informational cannabis-related content. Marketers can also get access to Twitter’s full suite of advertising products, AdCann noted, from promoted tweets and product opportunities to location-specific takeovers, in-stream video sponsorships and partner publication features. 

However, there are still limits. Ads can’t promote or offer the sale of cannabis, except topical (non-ingestible) hemp-derived CBD products “containing equal to or less than the 0.3% THC government-set threshold.” Twitter will also only sanction cannabis advertisers that are appropriately licensed and that the company has pre-authorized.

Moreover, advertisers can only target users over the age of 21 and in geographical areas in the U.S. in which they are licensed to promote cannabis products or services online. Services will be self-managed by the cannabis company, meaning that responsibility for ensuring compliance with state-level regulation falls on the marketer.

The relaxation of the Elon Musk-owned company’s cannabis ads policy comes a few months after Musk halted Twitter’s COVID misinformation policy, which had removed more than 11,000 accounts since 2020.

As for Musk, who has publicly smoked marijuana, it’s no surprise that his network has now become one of the most ad-friendly networks for cannabis firms.

The company added, “We look forward to helping more customers unlock the power of Twitter Ads to connect with the cannabis conversation and drive their business forward.”


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