The Future Of Cannabis Advertising: Twitter Latest Update

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The Future Of Cannabis Advertising: Twitter Latest Update

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Twitter has once again revised its policy on marijuana advertising, now allowing certified advertisers to feature “packaged” cannabis products in their promoted tweets. This comes after the social media site previously opened up advertising opportunities for cannabis companies in February, allowing them to promote their brands and campaigns while linking back to their websites in select legal states.

The Expansion and Changes to Twitter’s Policy

According to a recent blog post by Alexa Alianiello, who leads Twitter’s cannabis ads effort in the US sales and partnerships team, certified advertisers may now feature packaged cannabis products in ad creative. In addition, they can continue to link to their owned and operated web pages and e-commerce experiences for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services.

Twitter has also made changes for medical licensees and opened up additional recreational markets with some restrictions applying, although the company did not provide further details.

The expansion of the policy appears to be partly responsive to criticisms Twitter faced during the rollout of the initial update. While the initial move was applauded by many industry stakeholders and advocates, there was some frustration over the implementation of the policy change.

Adam Terry, CEO of Cantrip, a cannabis beverage company, expressed his disappointment with Twitter’s ad tracking system, which initially failed to calculate conversions to sales. Though it has since started tracking the number of conversions, it still does not show the value of those sales. He also mentioned long wait times for support from Twitter teams and the challenge of setting geographic parameters for targeted advertising.

Similarly, Kaliko Castille, CEO of ThndrStrm Strategies and author of CannabisCMO, a cannabis marketing newsletter, has heard various versions of the issues that Terry highlighted. He added that the ad policy update “seems aimed at the biggest players rather than smaller operators who need the most help.”

There have also been complaints that advertising marijuana brands on Twitter has been cost-prohibitive, as well.

Google’s Policy on Cannabis Advertising

Google updated its cannabis advertising policy in January, allowing companies to promote FDA-approved drugs containing CBD, as well as topical CBD products with no more than 0.3% THC. However, Google restricts these ad opportunities to California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico.

While Twitter’s previous policy also prohibited advertising the limited CBD products in seven specific states, that restriction now appears to have been removed.

Elon Musk and Twitter

It is worth noting that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has taken an interest in the marijuana debate on several occasions. He previously faced criticism for puffing a blunt during a podcast interview with Joe Rogan in 2018, prompting a federal investigation over SpaceX’s “workplace safety” and “adherence to a drug-free environment.”

Musk also raised the attention of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2018 after saying he was considering taking Tesla private at a share price of $420 – an announcement that the SEC described as “false and misleading” and that was made without required notification to regulators.

Conclusion

The recent update to Twitter’s marijuana advertising policy is a promising move for certified advertisers, allowing them to feature “packaged” cannabis products in their promoted tweets. However, there have been complaints that advertising marijuana brands on Twitter has been cost-prohibitive and challenging for smaller operators. Nonetheless, Twitter’s policy is constantly being revisited, and it remains the most inclusive cannabis ads policy on social media.

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