With the cannabis industry struggling to advertise and market products due to restrictions on social media sites, a new petition is aiming to encourage social media giants to change their policies.
Over 4.6 billion people use social media, with companies across the globe using the sites to reach potential customers. However, media giants such as Google and Meta have included cannabinoids in their prohibited content and have implemented blanket bans on the advertising of cannabis-related products.
With the global CBD market projected to reach around $47bn by 2028 from $4.9bn in 2021 according to Vantage Market Research, the popularity of cannabinoid products is growing. However, these social media advertising bans mean that companies are unable to tap into their consumer base through usual advertising routes.
Cellular Goods says the ban is also strengthening misconceptions around CBG and CBD, and hampering the public’s ability to access verified information, making it more difficult for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and learn about their wellness benefits.
To tackle the problem, Cellular Goods has launched the petition in partnership with seven leading CBD companies, which together comprise ‘The CBG and CBD Brands Coalition’, to raise awareness of what it describes as “the unjust policies around the marketing and sale of CBG and CBD-based products on Google, Facebook and Instagram”.
The ‘Stop the ban on advertisement of CBG and CBD products on social media and search engines’ petition calls on Google, Meta and other leading technology and social media companies to remove CBG and CBD from their list of prohibited content, and to allow brands to sell and advertise these products on their platforms.
It states: “As the dominant players in the market, we believe that leading technology and social media companies such as Google and Meta are well placed to play a positive role in tackling misinformation by revising their current broad-brush approach, as allowing information from legitimate companies to appear on their platforms will serve to improve the quality of the information around CBG and CBD online – to the ultimate benefit of consumers.
“Cannabidiol and cannabigerol are non-addictive and non-psychoactive, which means that they don’t cause a high, compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant.”
In a recent conversation with Cannabis Wealth, Cellular Goods CEO, Anna Chokina, commented: “It’s very hard for us as manufacturers and producers, not only to sell our products, but also to deliver truthful information to the customers about what the industry is and what the products do.
“With Google and Meta having taken the position they have, I think there is an opportunity for us, as an industry, to team up and perhaps get our voices heard so that they could take responsibility effectively for some of the misinformation.
“That’s happening right now because people have to use word of mouth – it is people talking to people, and that’s how consumers understand what’s happening in the marketplace.
“I think if there is one side effect of meta and Google not taking a more proactive approach to allow companies to advertise freely or to trade freely on their platforms, is that consumers do not know the difference between CBD or CBG – they don’t know the promises the ingredients can bring. So, we as the brand would like to become that voice that drives clarity.”
Cellular Goods highlights that a growing body of scientific and anecdotal evidence has shown that CBD and CBG have a variety of wellness effects. The company’s recent white paper ‘Cannabinoids for the Prevention of Aging‘, for example, has shown that CBG has a host of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ingredient with immense skincare potential, preventing visible signs of aging caused by UV-light exposure and inflammation.
With different regulations on CBD products across countries, the petition highlights that social media giants taking a blanket ban approach to advertising these products demonstrates that these companies have not caught up with increased consumer appetite for CBG and CBD in key markets within Europe and the US.
Chokina stated: “CBD and CBG are increasingly accepted by society as well as across multiple jurisdictions worldwide. Despite this, some leading technology and social media companies, such as Google and Meta, have implemented blanket bans for cannabinoid brands on their platforms.
“This anachronistic policy is limiting access to verified information about CBG and CBD, as well as affecting legitimate businesses and preventing the sector from reaching its full potential.
“Through this industry-backed petition, we are inviting leading technology and social media companies to remove the blanket ban on the sale of CBG and CBD. Not only will this support the industry’s growth, but it will also enable the industry to raise awareness so that more people can take advantage of their wellness benefits.”
The petition is hosted on Change.org and is available here.