Major social media platforms continue to gradually warm up to cannabis. As Meta rival Twitter announced it will allow some CBD and THC ads last February, Meta is taking steps as well by continuing to loosen up restrictions for CBD-related ads. On July 11, Facebook posted an announcement, unveiling Meta’s new policy on CBD and related products in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and changing some of the language from hemp to CBD.
“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services on our technologies,” Facebook wrote. “Effective today, we are renaming our advertising policy Hemp & Related Products to CBD & Related Products and allowing the promotion of legally permissible, non-ingestible CBD in the U.S., with some restrictions.”
Keep in mind that these products have been legal for some purposes at the federal level since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp and hemp products with insignificant amounts or >0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis.
“Under the new policy, advertisers don’t need written permission to run ads that: Promote or offer the sale of hemp products that don’t contain CBD or >0.3% THC (e.g. hemp seed and hemp fiber) in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, provided that they comply with all applicable local laws, required or established industry codes and guidelines,” a Meta spokesperson told High Times in an email statement.
In 2019, when Facebook announced it would allow topical hemp product ads—but not ads for ingestible products. This could be in part because the FDA determined that THC and CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition. The new changes clarify between hemp and CBD products and remove the written permission requirement. This also includes ads to “educate, advocate, or give public service announcements related to CBD and related products provided that such ads don’t offer any prohibited products for sale.”
This is unlikely to allow hemp-derived products marketed as psychoactive. The spokesperson continued, “Advertisers will continue to be prohibited from running ads that promote THC products or cannabis products containing related psychoactive components. Additionally, advertisers can only run ads that promote or offer the sale of legally permissible, non-ingestible CBD products that don’t contain more than 0.3% THC as long as they are:
- Certified with Legitscript
- Have written permission from Meta
- Comply with all applicable local laws required or established industry codes and guidelines.
“Further, ads for CBD products must not target people under 18 years of age and are only allowed in the U.S.,” the spokesperson continued.
This is a slight improvement compared to what we’re used to: Meta’s Instagram and Facebook routinely pull cannabis accounts off the platforms in a game of cat and mouse if they are deemed to violate Community Standards. There’s no indication that will stop anytime soon.
In February, Twitter announced it will now be allowing ads for CBD and THC products in certain jurisdictions. “As the cannabis industry has expanded, so too has the conversation on Twitter. In the US—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,” Twitter wrote.
Facebook’s new app Threads—dubbed the “Twitter Killer”—grew astronomically as soon as it was released to the public, hitting 100 million users within days. Social media apps are in high competition, even in the way they regulate CBD and/or THC-related ads.