Meta Relaxes Restrictions, Allowing Limited CBD and Hemp Advertising on Apps Such as Facebook and Instagram

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Meta, the umbrella company encompassing Facebook, Instagram, and the emerging social network Threads, has revised its stance on cannabis advertising. The policy update now permits the promotion of non-ingestible CBD products with certain limitations, and it has also relaxed restrictions on hemp-related ads.

Meta has established that CBD products containing up to 0.3 percent THC, in alignment with the federal definition of legal hemp, can be advertised. However, such advertisements must adhere to specific conditions. Businesses seeking to advertise the sale of CBD products must first obtain written approval from Meta. Additionally, the promoted items must be certified by the payment compliance company Legitscript and conform to local regulations. Importantly, the ads must not target individuals below the age of 18.

Simultaneously, Meta’s policy on advertising non-ingestible hemp products, such as hemp fibers or seeds, has been revised. Businesses are no longer required to obtain written approval to promote the sale of these items in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This is contingent upon strict adherence to relevant local laws, as well as industry codes and guidelines.

Furthermore, Meta has now permitted the dissemination of hemp-related ads that serve educational, advocacy, or public service purposes, as long as these ads do not offer any prohibited products for sale. The intention behind these changes is to facilitate the discovery and understanding of new products and services within the Meta technology ecosystem.

However, it’s worth noting that the prohibition on running ads promoting THC products or cannabis products containing psychoactive components remains in place. Additionally, ads for CBD products that are allowed must avoid making claims that suggest the products can treat, cure, prevent, mitigate, or diagnose diseases or medical conditions in humans or animals.

Michal Conley, the General Manager of Certification and Compliance Solutions at LegitScript, expressed that their existing CBD certification program, also employed by Google, offers the advantage of reaching potential customers in the U.S. through select Meta Platforms.

This policy update aligns Meta more closely with other social media entities that have adjusted their cannabis rules in response to the federal legalization of hemp derivatives and the expansion of the marijuana legalization movement. However, Meta has encountered some criticism due to a feature in its new text-based app Threads. This feature prompts users with a “get help” message concerning federal substance misuse resources when they search terms like “marijuana” and other controlled substances. In contrast, searches related to alcohol and tobacco are exempt from this prompt.

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