Twitter further eases US cannabis advertising rules, adds new markets

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Image of a marijuana leaf with a Twitter blue background on a cellphone with the Twitter bird flying away.

(Photo illustration by Demi Hinton)

Twitter is further loosening its limits on cannabis industry advertising, letting vetted, state-legal businesses show packaged marijuana products in their marketing campaigns while allowing ads in new U.S. markets.

Certified cannabis advertisers “may also continue responsibly linking to their owned and operated web pages and e-commerce experiences for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services,” Alexa Alianiello, Twitter’s head of sales and partnerships, wrote in a blog post.

“We have also made some changes for medical licensees and opened up additional recreational markets (some restrictions apply).”

Twitter’s publicly posted drugs advertising policy doesn’t specify which new medical and recreational markets are now open for cannabis ads.

However, Twitter is now permitting medical cannabis ads targeting users in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota and West Virginia, according to information provided by Rosie Mattio, founder and CEO of New York-based cannabis industry marketing firm Mattio Communications.

Adult-use marijuana ads will also be permitted in Missouri’s new adult-use market.

Mattio told MJBizDaily that Twitter’s decision to allow images of packaged cannabis products brings “a lot more opportunity for these brands to reach consumers and teach them about the actual product, (as opposed to) it just being a brand-awareness type of play.”

The privately held social media platform opened the door to U.S. cannabis advertising in February, a move welcomed by cannabis industry marketing leaders.

Initially, however, cannabis companies reported mixed results as they started experimenting with marketing on Twitter.

“We have seen companies of all sizes try to advertise on Twitter,” said Lisa Buffo, founder and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association.

“Some, not all, have been approved, and others have had early and mixed results,” she continued.

“With any advertising initiative, success depends on the match of the brand and the campaign to the platform – it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Twitter has “gathered meaningful feedback from the cannabis industry which we have taken into consideration to create even more opportunity,” Twitter’s Alianiello noted in the blog post announcing the ad-policy updates.

“It appears that they are iterating and taking feedback from the industry and better understanding the nuances of local laws and regulations,” said Buffo of the Cannabis Marketing Association.

“That should signal to the broader advertising world that a national approach to cannabis marketing is possible, when taken in small and iterative steps.”

Other online advertising platforms such as Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta and Google parent company Alphabet generally don’t allow marijuana marketing, although Google makes exceptions for certain hemp and CBD ads.

Twitter also permits cannabis advertisements targeting users in Canada and Thailand, subject to its policies.

Solomon Israel can be reached at