Twitter now allows ads for cannabis and THC products

Published on February 15, 2023 · Last updated February 16, 2023
Elon Musk smokes weed on Joe Rogan podcast. (Joshua Titus illustration / Leafly)
(Joshua Titus illustration / Leafly)

While most platforms push back against cannabis content, the bird is now welcoming weed ads, and even offering financial incentives to new ad buyers.

Licensed cannabis brands can now market themselves on Twitter effective immediately, the social media company announced on Tuesday.  Twitter also will offer incentives to brands that take advantage of the new policy before March 31, and pledges to match up to $250,000 for new ad buyers.

Could Elon Musk’s Twitter end the cannabis social media ban?

AdCann reports that there were more than 20 million cannabis-related tweets in the last year. That’s more than coffee, golf, and the NHL, AdCann says. On February 4, Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “420.” Musk, who famously smoked a joint on the Joe Rogan podcast in 2018, is now responsible for making Twitter the most 420-friendly social media platform in the mix. Meanwhile, competitors like TikTok and Meta (Facebook, Instagram) harshly censor cannabis posts and flatly forbid advertising, even by legal operators.

Here’s what’s permitted under Twitter’s updated cannabis advertising guidelines

Advertisers can now promote the following on Twitter:

  • CBD and similar cannabinoid products.
  • THC and similar products.
  • Cannabis-related products and services, including delivery services, labs, events and more.
SAFE Advertising Act could bring weed ads to TV and radio

New restrictions cannabis advertisers must follow when advertising on Twitter

Twitter will still require cannabis advertisers to abide by the following rules:

  • “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.”

Here’s what industry insiders said about Twitter’s new cannabis policy

Rosie Mattio, CEO of cannabis marketing firm Mattio Communications, tweeted that her company will help Twitter with the transition. “Kudos to @twitter for being the first major social network to welcome Cannabis advertisements,” Mattio wrote in response to the announcement.

Amy Deneson on behalf of the Cannabis Media Council about Twitter’s announcement:

“We applaud Twitter for its decision to start working with cannabis brands. More advertising channels is a positive thing for our industry and it will give cannabis and cannabinoid brands another avenue to reach and grow their audiences. Welcoming the cannabis sector to advertise is a good business decision. We are confident it will prove to be a significant revenue generator for Twitter and will show other mainstream publishers and platforms reliant on ad income that cannabis companies have money to spend and should be treated like other adult CPG brands.”

Amy Deneson, Cannabis Media Council

“As a brand trying to change the overwhelming imbalance in public opinion about cannabis (especially vs. alcohol), this is a welcome and overdue moment for the industry. Advertising plays a significant role in our culture and Twitter’s announcement shows behaviors and conversations are trending in favor of normalization, legalization and frankly, ‘substance equality’ reflecting where cannabis vs alcohol can advertise. We’re thrilled with the announcement and Cann’s marketing will not only continue to push boundaries as we market our product, but also as we challenge norms, stereotypes, and outdated ways of thinking.”

Ashley Fields, SVP of Marketing and Communications at Cann

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Calvin Stovall
Calvin Stovall
Calvin Stovall is Leafly's East Coast Editor.
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