(This Feb. 15 story has been corrected to clarify that Curaleaf reduced payroll by 10% not workforce in the last paragraph)
By Mrinalika Roy
(Reuters) – Twitter on Wednesday became the first social media platform to allow cannabis companies to market their brands and products in the United States.
The company had earlier only allowed advertising for hemp-derived CBD topical products, while other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok follow a “no cannabis advertising policy” as pot remains illegal at the federal level.
However, more states in the United States are moving towards allowing the sale of recreational cannabis, with 21 already on board.
Twitter said it will permit cannabis companies to advertise, as long as they have proper license, pass through its approval process, only target jurisdictions where they are licensed to operate and most importantly, do not target people below 21 years.
“This is a pretty massive win for legal cannabis marketers,” multistate cannabis and medical marijuana company Cresco Labs said.
Most pot companies were quick to embrace the changes suggested by Twitter. Trulieve Cannabis Corp already launched a multistate campaign on the platform on Wednesday.
“This change speaks to the growing acceptance of cannabis as a mainstream wellness category, and we are hopeful it will serve as a catalyst for other social media platforms to follow suit,” said Kate Lynch of Curaleaf, the biggest cannabis company operating in the United States.
After enjoying a sales surge during the early stages of the pandemic, the U.S. cannabis industry showed signs of slowing in the face of regulatory and economic challenges, including falling prices and an illicit market poaching its customers.
Curaleaf recently reduced its payroll by 10%, which equated to less than 4% of its workforce, and exited the majority of its operations in three U.S. states.
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)