For the first time ever, Facebook is considering changing its policy regarding cannabis which would allow site users to promote and sell their products.
At the moment, Facebook doesn’t allow any advertisements for cannabis companies or discussions of buying or selling cannabis products. This has been a rule for a while and recently, almost all of the cannabis related Facebook groups were also deactivated.
However, this new policy would allow legitimate medical and recreational cannabis brands to market their businesses, products, and services. This includes advertising with photos, listing their menus and prices, and encouraging potential customers to contact them. However, the changes still exclude Facebook’s sponsored ads, paid advertisements, and Facebook marketplace where cannabis would remain prohibited.
“Our policies at the moment do not allow for the sale of marijuana on the platform,” said a Facebook representative. “We want to consider whether we can loosen this restriction, especially in relation to medical marijuana, legal marijuana and brick and mortar stores.”
There are some pressing questions surrounding this possible change in policy though. How would Facebook stop this kind of activity from spreading to countries where cannabis remains illegal? How would they prevent products being advertised to underage users? What parameters would they use to determine whether a company is on the level or not?
“Since marijuana faces different legal and social restrictions across the globe, this may be operationally challenging for us,” mentioned another Facebook employee. “[We] may encounter regional pushback in those areas of the world where the law or [society] views marijuana negatively.”
The social media giant is also looking at the possibility of applying an age-filter that would prevent anyone under 21 years old from seeing the cannabis ads. Unfortunately, this would not block minors lying about their age on their profiles.
Addressing the topic of vetting companies is another story. Although the change would be welcomed by America and Canada’s developing legal industries, it could create a gateway for black market vendors posing as legitimate businesses. According to this study, it happens quite often.
For now, everything is up in the air so there’s no way to know exactly how this will all pan out. Check back for more information on this developing story and make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter for all the latest news and information about the cannabis industry.