No matter which side of the fence you sit on, there’s no denying that the cannabis industry is a force to be reckoned with. Did you know that there are more dispensaries in Colorado than McDonald’s, 7-Elevens, and Starbucks COMBINED? Due to federal vs state legislation, there are different rules that can break down all the way down to the county level, and this impacts not only your ability to sell recreational vs medicinal marijuana, but also how you can advertise.
Social media marketing is the go-to for any entrepreneur, especially because it’s (often) a less expensive option than traditional advertising. So how can you effectively market your dispensary or product without breaking the “rules”? You may have heard that social media channels like Facebook and Instagram have shut down cannabis-related accounts for misuse of their terms and conditions. In doing some research, page and profile deletion seems pretty random, as some pages (the largest cannabis-friendly accounts) are fine, and other, smaller businesses are not. Anything posted on social media relating to marijuana has the potential to be shut down, and sometimes that applies to the entire profile. But, there are solutions!
- First, understand what the terms and conditions are for the services you are using, and weigh the risk.
Here’s Facebook’s terms on marijuana: “We prohibit any attempts by private individuals to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms or ammunition. If you post an offer to purchase or sell alcohol, tobacco, or adult products, we expect you to comply with all applicable laws and carefully consider the audience for that content. We do not allow you to use Facebook’s payment tools to sell or purchase regulated goods on our platform.” Facebook Pages should be able to implement age restrictions, like 21+, which might help (but don’t guarantee) against deletion.
Instagram in particular has a stricter stance on marijuana, saying: “Offering…illegal or prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region) is also not allowed.”
Facebook and Instagram are the biggest social media channels, so it makes sense that you would want to create an engaging presence there. By understanding the risks and what they MAY delete your account for, we can post effectively with minimal, if any, disruption.
- Seek out other platforms to communicate with your audience and customers.
- Videos and YouTube