Twitter becomes first social media platform to allow cannabis ads in U.S.

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Twitter has approved cannabis companies running advertisements on its platform in certain US states, with the social media giant saying it will allow “responsible” pot marketing as long as vendors follow a set of rules.

In a blog post published on Wednesday, the company stated that it would work to enable “more brands to connect with the cannabis conversation” on Twitter.

“As of today, we have taken measures in certain US states to relax our Cannabis Ads policy to create more opportunities for responsible cannabis marketing – the largest step forward by any social media platform,” said Alexa Alianiello, Twitter’s US Sales and Partnerships head. “In the future, advertisers will be able to promote brand preference and informational cannabis-related content for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services on Twitter.”

Companies in the marijuana industry that want to run advertisements on Twitter must first meet a number of requirements. To begin, advertisers must be “licensed by the appropriate authorities” in their region and “pre-authorized by Twitter” to offer cannabis products.

The prohibition on marijuana users owning firearms has been declared unconstitutional.

Once approved, companies must limit their advertisements to jurisdictions where cannabis is legal and may not directly promote the use of marijuana-related products (with the exception of certain topical CBD products containing negligible amounts of THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis). Advertisers are also not permitted to target customers under the age of 21, and they are not permitted to “appeal to minors” in any way.

While other social media platforms allow ads for certain hemp and CBD products, Twitter is the first tech behemoth to allow advertising for medicinal or recreational cannabis, which is legal in 21 US states and decriminalized in ten more. On the federal level, however, it remains illegal, with the government classifying the substance as a schedule I drug – the highest level under the Controlled Substances Act of 1971.