Across the Country, states continue to both legalize cannabis sales and develop associated industry regulations. Naturally, there has been a lot of attention to what constitutes compliant cannabis advertising. As of December 2022, Twitter's audience comprised over 368 million monthly active users. That is a lot of users, who make up a captive audience - so to speak. So, when Twitter recently announced its new cannabis advertising policy, the industry took notice. Before marketing companies jump into the fray, however, there are many nuanced rules and procedures to be aware of. Failing to do so involves significant risk, both in terms of cost and reputation. In this rapidly-evolving space, it is a prudent idea to consult with attorneys who have experience in the cannabis advertising space before embarking on any new marketing campaign.
Details of Twitter's New Cannabis Advertising Policy
It is important to note that Twitter had banned cannabis advertising in the past because, among other things, the federal government has yet to legalize marijuana sales. The new policy takes this issue into account and only permits cannabis marketing in the states where it is legal to purchase marijuana products. As the industry awaits federal legalization, let us review the who, what, when, where and how of Twitter's new policy. First, bear in mind that Twitter's current policy clearly states that it prohibits the promotion of drugs and drug paraphernalia on its platform.
Advertisers may not target consumers under the age of 21.
The policy permits the advertising of "approved Cannabis (including CBD- cannabinoids) . . . ."
Cannabis advertisers may begin marketing identified products now!
The marketing of cannabis may now take place on Twitter, targeting 21 United States jurisdictions.
When setting up a marketing campaign, multiple restrictions apply, including that advertisers: 1) must be licensed by appropriate authorities, and pre-authorized by Twitter; 2) may only target jurisdictions in which they are licensed to promote these products online; 3) may not promote or offer the sale of Cannabis (including CBD- cannabinoids), with stated exceptions; and 4) are responsible for complying with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and advertising guidelines.
Even More Restrictions in Twitter's Cannabis Advertising Policy
Twitter's policy is clear about the restrictions that apply to cannabis advertising. Specifically, any advertisement for content that is allowed on the platform, subject to the above-mentioned restrictions, must also adhere to the following additional requirements. The cannabis ads must:
- Have landing pages that are age-gated and sales must be age verified.
- Not use characters, sports-persons, celebrities, or images/icons that appeal to minors.
- Not use minors or pregnant women as models in advertising.
- Not make efficacy or health benefit claims.
- Not make false/misleading claims.
- Not show cannabis product use.
- Not depict people under the influence.
- Not encourage transport across state lines.
How to Comply with Twitter's New Cannabis Advertising Policy
Twitter is the first social big media company to allow cannabis advertising on its platform. Such advertising is likely to be a welcomed source of additional revenue for Twitter following its purchase by Elon Musk.
Because the Twitter policy is new, and the industry is booming, businesses will want to be sure to cross every "t" and dot every "i" - lest they find themselves in regulatory hot water. To join the ever-growing market of cannabis advertising, in a compliant manner, work an experienced advertising attorney.
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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.