Home Business Cannabis entrepreneurs applaud Twitter’s decision to let them advertise

Cannabis entrepreneurs applaud Twitter’s decision to let them advertise

by Ana Lopez
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Did you hear a collective cheer going up just before Valentine’s Day? That may have been cannabis entrepreneurs rejoicing at news of a major policy change on Twitter, which now allows cannabis ads on the platform. Cannabis advertising is highly regulated and very limited, and other major internet platforms Facebook and Google do not allow any form of marijuana marketing. Advertisers on Twitter will still have to follow state and local regulations, but the step is big for the emerging industry, especially if other internet giants follow suit.

Some entrepreneurs are already thinking about how they will use the platform. Aaron Rivadeneyra, director of e-commerce at KIVA, a California-based company that offers THC, CBD, and CBN-infused gummies, chocolates, mints, and chews, says the company is interested in exploring paid Twitter advertising to spread awareness of existing products and “create a build hype for new product launches. “Twitter is enabling Kiva and cannabis to join the digital social conversation like never before,” he said.

Ashley Fields, senior vice president of marketing and communications at the cannabis beverage maker Can, welcomed the new rules as a step to reduce the disparity between the ways in which alcohol and cannabis-infused drinks can be advertised. Increasing opportunities to market drinks like Cann shows that the conversation is moving toward normalization, legalization, and “substance quality,” she said.

5W, a PR agency that offers a CBD and cannabis division sees many opportunities in 2018. Executive Vice President, Paul Miser, says the new rules could affect customers in cannabis-related categories such as women’s and men’s skincare, pet products, edibles, wellness, pain relief, sleep aids, food, beverage, cannabis delivery services and advisory services.

Once approved, advertisers can use all of Twitter’s advertising capabilities, such as promoted tweets and in-stream video sponsorships.

There are of course limitations. Among them: Advertisers can only target jurisdictions where the content is legal. Ads must not feature a person, character or animal and must not appeal to anyone under the age of 18. The ads must not associate marijuana with glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring. The guidelines even state that advertisers may not promote or offer the sale of cannabis (including CBD, a non-psychoactive ingredient).

Even with strict guidelines, “this move by Twitter is such a big win for the cannabis industry,” said 5W’s Miser, Now, he said, “we’re keeping our eyes peeled for other social platforms” that may start lifting their own limits.

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