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Cannabis companies are doing a terrible job on social media. I don’t know how many times I’ve searched for my favorite weed brands on Facebook or Instagram only to find out the company is no longer listed. Today we’re excited to talk about some of the top reasons why cannabis social media accounts get banned.
By now, we have all heard about Attorney General Sessions plans to revamp the war on drugs across America, including cannabis. The marijuana industry is not federally legal here in the United States and each brand has to be extra careful with their social media accounts. All that hard work can quickly go down the drain and there’s almost nothing you can do about it.
So let’s try to prevent that happening. Every day we look at cannabis company’s profiles who are committing one of the following infractions that typically leads to getting banned. Since your cannabis company is working in an illegal industry and there are guidelines for each social media platform that clearly state cannabis content doesn’t really belong, it is only a matter of time before most accounts get banned. The cannabis industry has so few avenues for advertising so using social media and leveraging local websites like ours is a necessity to maximize marketing opportunities. Learn how to keep your social media accounts active by simply following some of the rules.
Reasons your Cannabis Social Media Accounts Get Banned
Anything that promotes cannabis sales online is a violation of federal law and specifically, the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) where Marijuana (Cannabis) is still listed by the DEA as a Schedule I drug. This violation of federal law then violates the social media networks terms of service and many states that have legalized cannabis do not allow specials to be advertised online too.
When in doubt, call your LCB agent.
We’d love to help but it is best to follow the letter of the law when it comes to advertising and marketing online.
Trying to Sell Online
Same as above and most states that have legal cannabis do not allow online sales.
So how does Leafy, Weedmaps, and certain retailers get away with it? None of these sites and apps actively engage in selling cannabis. Companies like Leafly, Weedmaps, and other influencers do not hold the product and they don’t generate a commission based on the sales of the product. They are merely hosting bunches of user-generated content. So, in theory, they are shifting the blame and responsibility to the users generating the content.
No retailers should be engaging in online sales. Taking orders online is compliant as long as the exchange of funds is handled at a certified cannabis retailer. No product can be shipped or delivered from retailers in Washington state.
Showing Cannabis Consumption
No social media network allows its users to show the consumption of cannabis. Period end of discussion. You cannot show people consuming marijuana and that includes but is not limited to eating cannabis-infused foods, using vape carts, smoking joints, pipes, bongs, and dab rigs.
If you’ve had your account banned multiple times, we can almost guarantee that you’ve been showing consumption on your profiles. Cannabis social media accounts are getting shut down every day because of this simple oversight.
Let’s think about this logically.
Can you find any current ads showing the Marlboro Man smoking?
In a Budweiser ad are people drinking Bud Light?
Have you ever seen people taking shots of Patron in an ad or a sponsored post/video on social media?
So why does that Cannabis Industry think its OK to show people smoking or consuming marijuana. It is not OK and brands need to seriously stop it for your cannabis social media account to stay active.
Violating Terms of Service
Everytime someone or an entity becomes a part of a social network you agree to not violate their terms of service while you use their platform. By paying attention to your social media networks Terms of Service you help prevent your account from being shut down and banned.
If you search “Facebook Terms of Service” or whatever social media you’re looking to utilize, you should find what you’re looking for. If not, send us an email and we’ll help you get a better understanding.
Advertising to Minors
Your efforts on social media must include the effort to do everything possible to prevent advertising to minors. Most do nothing to control the audience, say 18+ or 21+ (depending on the state), and even fewer attach the proper or required warning labels about the intoxicating effects of marijuana.
To make matters worse, our industry has even named items, that could be described as, clearly targeting a younger audience. The strain Girl Scout Cookies is just one example, plus that one is also a blatant copyright infringement.
Promoting Over Consumption of Marijuana
This one happens quite often in one of two ways. Someone who is already clearly stoned is shown using marijuana again and again. The other includes someone who is clearly holding larger amounts of weed and they say something like I would love to smoke all of this. Both of these are examples happening daily on too many social media accounts. Also, this item goes hand in hand with examples we used above of stating that you would never see Marlboro, Budweiser, and Patron doing these items in their social media campaigns.
It also goes without saying that a photograph of someone holding larger quantities of cannabis is evidence enough that someone possesses more than the legal amount of cannabis.
Account is Flagged and or Reported
This one is really outside of your control but being a good citizen in the cannabis industry and social media does help to lessen the likelihood of this reason. Haters do exist and we have seen accounts get flagged by the competition. We know this is a black market industry growing into a huge legitimate industry and we need to leave these black market tactics behind. Everyone should focus on supporting each other so that more and more cannabis can collectively be sold to more consumers year in and year out.
We hope you enjoyed our list of top reasons why cannabis social media accounts get banned. If we missed anything please let them in the comments below.