In a groundbreaking move, Twitter on Wednesday announced it will be the first big social media platform to allow cannabis brands to market their products in the U.S.
Twitter had previously allowed ads for CBD topical products derived from Hemp, contrary to Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, which all have a total ban on cannabis advertising.
While federal law still bans the sale and distribution of marijuana, the District of Columbia and 21 states have legalized its recreational use, and most other states allow for expansive medical uses.
Twitter said it will approve cannabis advertisements from companies that only target jurisdictions where they are licensed to operate, with a strict ban on ads targeted to users under 21 years old.
Elon Musk, who completed his acquisition of Twitter last October, bid $54.20 per share for the company, in an apparent pot reference. He also famously toked a fatty on Joe Rogan’s podcast, drawing howls of protest in some quarters of the media. The show was broadcast from California where marijuana use is legal.
A Pew Research study showed that 23% of U.S. adults are active Twitter users, with the demographic skewed heavily toward younger adults (42%), making it an attractive platform to target for cannabis advertisers.
Industry players welcomed the move by Twitter: “Kudos to @twitter for being the first major social network to welcome Cannabis advertisements”, tweeted Rosie Mattio, CEO of Mattio Communications, a New York-based marketing and communications firm focusing on cannabis.
In another Twitter post, cannabis marketing agency AdCann, who was first to report the development, greeted the news enthusiastically: