If you went on Facebook in the last year or so to try to connect to a dispensary in your area, you would have had a hell of a time finding one, thanks to Facebook’s rules banning dispensaries and other cannabis companies from showing up on search results on the social media platform. Now, that is changing, Forbes reports.
Canada legalized recreational cannabis on the 17th of this month, which is changing the market in all kinds of ways, including how the industry does business on social media. The night before Canada’s market officially went live Facebook decided to change their rules. The company will now show cannabis companies in their search results, as long as they have been verified by the social media platform first.
Facebook users will now see checkmarks next to verified businesses, very similar to the blue checkmark verified users are given on Twitter. This is a huge victory for the legal cannabis industry, where businesses are already very restricted as far as marketing goes. How is a business expected to survive if they can’t make customers aware that they exist?
Some companies had found ways around ways around advertising restrictions. One such company is LA dispensary chain Med Men, who just unleashed a subtle, but bold advertising campaign in an attempt to appeal to a higher end (no pun intended) clientele.
Will Facebook’s change of heart carry over to other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, which have not been friendly to cannabis in the past? It’s entirely possible, especially as the industry continues to grow.
Will this help the industry, or will the difference be negligible due to other advertising restrictions? Tell us in the comments!