In the ever-complex cannabis industry, we face the ongoing challenges of trying to reach consumers in a highly regulated and restrictive world of advertising policies. To adapt, companies have turned primarily to free social media platforms to create meaningful brands and connect with customers, with the caveat of not being allowed to talk about cannabis consumption/use or sales.

Every social media channel has their own policy dictating how you can and cannot advertise on their channel and these policies are especially restrictive towards cannabis. It leaves an enormous gray area where businesses aren’t quite certain what is and isn’t allowed, so most err on the side of caution by avoiding anything that would be questionable. Facebook is the most well-known for this because it’s so widely used and, since they own Instagram, both channels take a unified approach, completely restricting cannabis-related advertising.

However, a recent statement sent out by Instagram indicates they could be coming around to the idea of a more progressive approach to cannabis advertising. Considering Instagram/Facebook have approached the issue uniformly in the past, it’s could be assumed that if Instagram is following these new guidelines, it’s supported by their parent company Facebook.

Cannabis companies have been relying on — and fearing the loss of — their social media accounts since the industry’s inception. Photo Credit: Sarah Climaco

According to a recent Leafly report, the Instagram account of the popular California-based edibles company Kiva Confections was the victim of an ongoing impersonation where a false Instagram account under their brand name was interacting with users in an abusive and disrespectful manner. Kiva has since taken steps to eliminate the false account and successfully contacted Instagram to get the account removed.

Through their efforts to get the account removed, Kiva received a full statement directly from Instagram, one that seemingly delivers an updated policy as it relates to cannabis advertising on the platform — one that is not outlined in their existing policies:

Instagram does not allow people or organizations to use the platform to advertise or sell marijuana, regardless of the seller’s state or country. This is primarily because most federal laws, including those of the United States, treat marijuana as either an illegal substance or highly regulated good. Our policy prohibits any marijuana seller, including dispensaries, from promoting their business by providing contact information like phone numbers, street addresses, or by using the “contact us” tab in Instagram Business Accounts. We do however allow marijuana advocacy content as long as it is not promoting the sale of the drug. Dispensaries can promote the use and federal legalization of marijuana provided that they do not also promote its sale or provide contact information to their store.

The emphasis above has been added and it highlights one big element they left off that short-list: your website. So, without listing your location’s contact info, you can drive customers to your website where your contact info, daily deals, and updated menus are all prominently displayed. 

What if they just forgot to list websites? That’s a valid concern, but this is one of the largest digital platforms in the world, so it would be hard to believe that they would accidentally omit the listing of websites from that very specific list.

In summary, as long as you don’t advertise or promote the sale of cannabis, you should be safe. You can promote the use and all around legalization — which means strain reviews, advocacy, product reviews, and anything else you can come up with while avoiding a sales pitch or direct contact info. At the end of the day, getting customers to your website will be your most powerful avenue. Promote “online-only” deals, implement coupons that must be printed from the website — there are all kinds of creative ways to get people on your website and Facebook/Instagram just provided a ton of clarity as to how you can do it without getting your account deleted.

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Tags: , , | Categories: Marijuana Culture Marketing

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    An upstart design/build/create/help/strategize agency based in the Pacific Northwest. We help good people & companies get the recognition they deserve through clever, honest communication and the right look. We love working with cannabis brands who set a high bar for quality and who emphasize the positive impact that cannabis legalization will have on the world.

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    Precision® Extraction Solutions is the industry leader in cannabis extraction equipment, training and consulting. Precision® extraction systems are world renowned for quality, safety and precise operation. Costing half of comparable CO2 systems, with nine times more efficient processing, more award winning concentrates are made with Precision® than any other brand.

  • Nutraceutical Facility Solutions, LLC

    Nutra FS is a full-service cannabis facility planning and construction management firm. We create successful plans for various permit applications, including administrative, conditional use, building, health, and fire. Our diverse team will help carry you through to your project realization with services offered for cGMP, feasibility, design/build, workflow efficiency, technical writing for local and state applications. You have a vision. We have a solution.

  • The Hybrid Creative

    We are an award-winning, full spectrum creative agency with expertise in cannabis and eCommerce. We have supported the creative strategy and successful growth of cannabis brands such as Care by Design, Korova, Bhang, AbsoluteXtracts, Wildflower, and BDS Analytics. Website design and development, company and product naming, logo design, brand development, brand strategy, packaging, labeling, marketing collateral, sales tool kit collateral, digital marketing strategy, and social media support are a few of the many services we offer. If you’re looking for an experienced, forward-thinking, creative agency with a proven track record of success to elevate your brand and empower your success, welcome to The Hybrid Creative!

  • CO2Meter

    CO2Meter, Inc. is a Florida based business specializing in the design and manufacturing of gas detection and monitoring devices – mainly Carbon Dioxide. Our CO2 monitors satisfy the current fire code regulations necessary for all cannabis grow house and extraction facilities. Our business partners in agriculture, HVAC, science, safety, research, pharmaceuticals, beverage, and other fields find our devices to be highly accurate and cost effective.

  • CORE Security Solutions

    CORE Security Solutions, Inc. provides security services to a wide array of clients, including the rapidly growing cannabis industry. We are fully licensed and insured by the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). We currently provide security services to several local cannabis dispensaries in the Bay Area and secure transport and delivery services for cannabis products and proceeds throughout California. Our security specialists are all licensed and our transport vehicles are equipped with secure storage and GPS tracking.

  • Releaf App

    The Dispensary Partnership Program uses data collected from patients, via Releaf App, to provide business analytics to dispensaries (USA) and licensed producers (Canada). This data service is creating a new class of dispensaries that are driven outcomes and patient results. The dispensary partnership program shows symptom-specific patient ratings & analytics for the specific cannabis batches and products in a dispensary’s inventory. Dispensaries use this information to give more informed recommendations at the counter.

  • California Cannabis CPA

    California Cannabis CPA is the premiere CPA firm that helps individuals and companies working in the Cannabis Industry with all tax planning, compliance, preparation, savings, and peace of mind.

  • Harbor Collective MMCC

    Harbor Collective is your Downtown San Diego dispensary. 100% LEGAL! Voted Best City-Approved Medical Marijuana Dispensary in San Diego. Harbor Collective MMCC provides quality flowers of Indica, Sativa and Hybrids. We also have a wide selection of Moon Rocks, Cartridges, Edibles, Topicals, Pre-Rolls, Extract Wax and Extract Concentrates. We carry a selection of clones for sale but they sell fast so back orders are sometimes expected. We have great deals on Eternal Cartridges at 4 for $100! and much more! View our special offers page to benefit from our friendly hearts.

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