Get Excited About Twitter’s New Advertising Policy
The approval of cannabis advertising on Twitter was just a glowing ember when it landed quietly on the social media giant’s website yesterday, but the announcement is already lighting up the industry in a big way.
Effective immediately, Twitter’s ad content policy now specifically allows pre-approved advertisers in the U.S. to promote informational content about cannabinoids—igniting a powerful marketing tool to promote state-legal cannabis brand products and services.
A boon to the growing trend toward legalization and the increasing awareness of the potential benefits of CBD and cannabis, Twitter is the largest social media company to change its corporate tune to date.
Why the Change of Heart, Twitter?
This decision to reverse the prohibition on cannabis advertising via Twitter comes just months after Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter last October. Musk famously smoked cannabis on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2018, making his stance on cannabis consumption public.
“We are thrilled that Twitter has updated their advertising policy in support of our community and are prepared to facilitate Twitter ad buys as of today.”said Jake Litke, the CEO of MediaJel, a full-stack adtech platform and marketing agency focused on the cannabis industry.“The change in ownership and Elon’s support of cannabis gave us a feeling that Twitter might be more supportive of cannabis businesses in the future.”
Marketing Opportunity for Cannabis Brands
Businesses in our industry have struggled to advertise their products on social media platforms due to strict regulations around the promotion of cannabis-related content. This has left many businesses struggling to connect with their target audience and has limited their ability to grow and expand.
Twitter and its more than 330 million monthly active users cracks open a significant avenue for cannabis brands in the United States to reach a wide audience. The real beauty, though, is in the type of open-minded users who gravitate toward the social media platform.
To put this in perspective: AdCann, which first broke the change in Twitter’s ad policy, reported on sources from inside Twitter citing more than 20 million tweets about cannabis topics in 2022. Twitter emphasized that the cannabis conversation is even surpassing tweets about other mainstream industries ranging from coffee and pets to liquor and golf.
With more and more people using cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes, Twitter is opening the door to connecting these target audiences in the U.S. with quality cannabis products in a safe and responsible way, further destigmatizing cannabis and its use.
Laying the Brand Experience Groundwork
This ad policy change signals that it is safer to talk more openly about your cannabis brand on Twitter, full stop. Essentially, this paves the way for all marketing by cannabis businesses on Twitter to leverage the platform and nurture direct relationships with their community without fear of losing the investment in time, energy, strategy, and financial resources.
Creativity will be the key to leveraging the Twitter platform holistically across your brand’s consumer relationships. Fear of having your cannabis business accounts suspended or removed with little-to-no recourse can start to subside as you engage with new consumers in ways you couldn’t during the cannabis prohibition era on Twitter.
Now is the time to streamline your consumer’s brand experience across the social media platform. Get active! Build direct to consumer (DTC) brand communities to bolster brand engagement, increase sign-ups for newsletters and email marketing, and promote blog content.
What Cannabis and CBD Brands Can Advertise on Twitter
Even with the excitement of the policy update, many cannabis businesses are wondering what they can and can’t advertise on the Twitter platform.
Take a look at Trulieve’s new Twitter campaign. They were one of the first cannabis brands to launch an ad campaign on Twitter that is hyper-focused on brand awareness. The copy and imagery is artfully crafted, taking care not to promote specific products.
All cannabis brands will need to ensure that their advertising is targeted correctly and avoids many product promotion themes. For example, the ads must reach only age-appropriate audiences in the state(s) in which the brand is licensed to conduct business. Additionally, advertisers will need to be careful about the language and imagery used in all ads submitted to Twitter to ensure they comply with stringent rules.
Navigating Twitter’s Cannabis Advertising Rules
It’s important to note that there are still many regulations that affect the advertising of cannabis brands. Our reading of the policy change in favor of topical CBD and cannabis is that although a brand cannot outright advertise the sale of cannabis products, formally taboo words directly referencing the cannabis industry will be allowed.
Per their official blog, “Twitter is allowing advertisers to promote brand preference and informational cannabis-related content for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services.”
Here’s an excerpt from Twitter’s updated Cannabis Advertising Policy:
We permit approved Cannabis (including CBD – cannabinoids) advertisers to target the United States, subject to the following restrictions:
- Advertisers must be licensed by the appropriate authorities, and pre-authorized by Twitter.
- Advertisers may only target jurisdictions in which they are licensed to promote these products or services online.
- Advertisers may not promote or offer the sale of Cannabis (including CBD – cannabinoids)
- Exception: Ads for topical (non-ingestible) hemp-derived CBD topical products containing equal to or less than the 0.3% THC government-set threshold.
- Advertisers are responsible for complying with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and advertising guidelines.
- Advertisers may not target customers under the age of 21.
Even with these restrictions, Twitter’s approval of cannabis advertising is a clear sign that the industry is moving toward greater acceptance and recognition. Advertising via Twitter will help cannabis industry businesses reach a wider audience and promote their brands and services in a safe and responsible way.
Launch Your Twitter Cannabis Advertising Strategy
Twitter’s decision to allow cannabis and CBD advertising is a major milestone in the normalization of the industry as cannabis legalization gains momentum across the United States and other countries. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on further Twitter announcements and tips on how to navigate this everchanging cannabis marketing landscape.
Our clients will be among the first to seize this opportunity. As a regulated industry-focused adtech platform, MediaJel is fully equipped to assist cannabis companies with Twitter ads starting today. Please don’t hesitate to book some time with us to leverage advertising solutions for your cannabis business on Twitter.
Looking for other ways to advertise your cannabis business online? Learn how to launch geotargeted programmatic ad campaigns, put together a fully integrated digital marketing strategy for your dispensary, and make sure your business stays compliant with our State by State Cannabis Advertising Regulations ebook.