- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2023

Twitter will let cannabis ads hit its site in the U.S., charting new territory for the social media platform under Elon Musk’s tenure atop the company.

The company announced its new approach in a tweet proclaiming, “We’re turning over a new leaf.”

“Going forward, Twitter is allowing advertisers to promote brand preference and informational cannabis-related content for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services,” wrote Twitter’s Alexa Alianiello on the company’s website Wednesday.

The relaxation of Twitter’s rules means CBD companies can run ads on Twitter to promote their brands but not to sell marijuana. 

“Advertisers may not promote or offer the sale of Cannabis (including CBD-cannabinoids),” the new rules read. “Exception: Ads for topical (noningestible) hemp-derived CBD topical products containing equal to or less than the 0.3% THC government-set threshold.”

Other limitations on the ads include restrictions preventing advertisers from targeting children and only letting advertisers appeal to people in jurisdictions where the advertisers are licensed to operate. 

Twitter is not the only tech platform with rules that benefit advertisers of CBD. Reddit’s rules include a provision allowing “ads for topical and noningestible hemp-derived CBD products.” 

Google announced a policy change affecting some CBD advertisers late last year. The company said the new rules taking effect last month would “allow for the promotion of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing cannabidiol (CBD) and topical, hemp-derived CBD products with THC content of 0.3% or less in California, Colorado and Puerto Rico.” 

Twitter’s shifting ad rules arrive as the company says the conversation surrounding marijuana online is growing. 

“As the cannabis industry has expanded, so too has the conversation on Twitter,” Ms. Alianiello wrote. “In the U.S. — 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’s billionaire owner has a reputation for being open-minded about cannabis products. Before acquiring the social media platform last year, Mr. Musk grabbed attention for smoking marijuana alongside podcaster Joe Rogan on a YouTube livestream in 2018. 

The new Twitter rules arrive as the Biden administration has signaled a desire to change rules surrounding marijuana usage and possession. President Biden said in October that no one should be in jail for using or possessing marijuana and pledged to issue new pardons of “all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana.” 

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has criticized Mr. Biden for not moving faster to enact the pardons. NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano wrote last week that none of the thousands of people estimated to be eligible for such pardons had received them.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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