Social Media’s Relationship With the Cannabis Community?

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To say that the marijuana market is rapidly changing for the better for mostly all involved could be a major understatement. But, until our nation comes to a solution on the federal prohibition marijuana businesses will face subjective decisions from major companies that are considered “legal”. Unfortunately, any type of marijuana company faces scrutiny and prejudice from those that do not understand the benefits that these companies bring to many, especially the ill.

Activists continue to battle ethical conduct on different social media platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter for advertising political activities that are pro-legalization. Ads can run for weeks at a time or can be immediately shut down. This is can be a major issue for companies that are in the middle of a campaign, or business launch. It is difficult to understand these types of behaviors when almost 90% of the country in support of medical marijuana. Currently, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of marijuana.

Last week in an interview with Forbes, Shea Gunther, head of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy, stated:

“As the marijuana industry continues to grow, the federal-state conflict in cannabis laws is causing marketing problems for companies within the industry. Marijuana businesses routinely have their Facebook ads rejected and their Instagram accounts shut down ― ostensibly for violating the services’ policies against promoting illicit drugs.

“But the marketing headaches affect even businesses that don’t deal directly with the drug. ‘We don’t do illegal stuff,’ said Gunther, whose newsletter features marijuana-related headlines from around the web. ‘It sounds like their system … is not tuned to handle marijuana content. Everything we do is in compliance.’

“Perhaps one of the most aggravating aspects of the industry’s social media challenges is the arbitrary nature of how such policies are enforced. It can be particularly frustrating for companies that spend resources on building up their social media followers, only to have their accounts shut down. Meanwhile, they watch their competitors continue to use the platforms with no consequences.”

This issue continues to occur across social platforms for the marijuana industry with limited consistency across companies and most likely will continue until there is a change national policy.

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