Yesterday, Twitter announced that it will now accept cannabis advertising on its platform. According to media reports, Twitter is first social media platform to do so.

In making the announcement, Twitter explained, "Twitter is the place where moments matter and where trends are born. It has been at the root of some of the most powerful grassroots movements, many of which have started with a single Tweet."

With the policy change, in certain states in the United States (and in Canada), Twitter will now will permit cannabis advertising in order to "create more opportunities for responsible cannabis marketing -- the largest step forward by any social media platform." Twitter explained that it is "allowing advertisers to promote brand preference and informational cannabis-related content for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services."

According to Twitter's updated Cannabis Ads Policy, advertising of cannabis products is permitted in the United States as follows:

  • Advertisers must be licensed by the appropriate authorities, and must be pre-authorized by Twitter;
  • Advertisers may only target jurisdictions in which they are licensed to promote the products online;
  • Advertisers may not promote or offer the sale of cannabis (excluding topical hemp-derived CBD topical products containing equal to or less than .3% THC);
  • Advertisers are responsible for complying with applicable law; and
  • Advertisers may not target customers under the age of 21.

It's not clear to me what the prohibition on promoting or offering the sale of cannabis means here, but I assume this will become clearer as Twitter begins to implement the new policy.

Cannabis advertising on Twitter is also subject to certain content restrictions. Specifically, cannabis advertising must not:

  • Appeal to minors in the creative, and landing pages must be age gated and sales must be age verified;
  • Use characters, sports-persons, celebrities, or images/icons appealing to minors;
  • Use minors or pregnant women as models in advertising;
  • Make claims of efficacy or health benefits;
  • Make false or misleading claims;
  • Show depiction of cannabis product use;
  • Depict people using or under the influence; and
  • Encourage transport across state lines.

It will be interesting to see whether other social media platforms follow suit -- or whether the acceptance of cannabis advertising will discourage other advertisers from promoting their own brands on Twitter.

"Twitter is the place where moments matter and where trends are born"

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