The social media giant Facebook has been known to keep its hands far away from the Cannabis industry. Restrictive advertising guidelines make it impossible to advertise Cannabis related goods or services, and accounts are often banned for including Cannabis-related content. However, according to The Telegraph report on Monday, they may consider changing their rules around regulated goods. This would include how users can promote Marijuana products for sale. “We want to consider whether we can loosen this restriction, especially in relation to Medical Marijuana, legal Marijuana, and brick and mortar stores.” Said company officials at an internal presentation.
The considered changes would determine whether Marijuana sellers can advertise and to whom. Ideally, it would be through user posts, but not to the Facebook Marketplace or paid advertising, where the current rules will remain in place for the time being. The company is also seeking ways to prevent underage users from accessing drug-related content, to avoid them becoming consumers. “Since Marijuana faces different legal and social restrictions across the globe, this may be operationally challenging for us,” The Telegraph quoted an employee as saying. The company “may encounter regional pushback in those areas of the world where the law or society views Marijuana negatively,” the employee said.
On Oct.17 (first day of legal sales in Canada) Facebook lifted a moratorium, on Cannabis-related search results. It did not block entities like legalization groups and dispensaries from having Facebook pages but did apply a “shadow ban” to all Cannabis pages. Instagram pages often face a similar fate. Facebook is now shocking the masses as they now speculate a change in outlook. This is possibly due to the fact that Cannabis is now legal for sale in pharmacies in Uruguay, via online sales in Canada, and is legally accepted as well as taxed in a growing number of U.S. States.
Facebook users are currently permitted to advertise, purchase and sell non-intoxicating Cannabis products such as CBD oil, but are banned from selling any product containing THC. The company now reports that an internal group is working on analyzing the rules and considering the diversity of laws that govern the plant around the globe. This could pose some issues as different laws and policies may have trouble mixing. However, this wouldn’t be the first time that Facebook has to work around global preferences. The outcome remains speculative for the time being.
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