Elon Musk has lengthy been thought-about cannabis-friendly for his many 420 jokes (the quantity is slang for marijuana) and for famously being videotaped during a podcast whereas smoking a mixture of marijuana and tobacco, referred to as a spliff.

Now, simply months after shopping for Twitter for $44 billion, he’s taken his largest step but in help of the cannabis business by opening his social media service extra broadly to cannabis ads—past that any rival platform. On Wednesday, Twitter up to date its ad policies to allow licensed cannabis-related companies to run ads—with many restrictions—in states the place the ads are authorized.

“As of today, in certain US states we have taken measures to relax our Cannabis Ads policy to create more opportunities for responsible cannabis marketing – the largest step forward by any social media platform,” Alexa Alianiello, who handles U.S. advert gross sales and partnerships for Twitter, mentioned in a blog post.

Twitter’s higher embrace of cannabis ads is a serious departure from different main social media firms like Fb-parent Meta, which have long banned such ads. The closest Meta comes is permitting cannabis ads are for political campaigns and elections, and so they should include a disclaimer, together with who paid for the advertising and marketing messages.

Twitter’s extra lax guidelines come as extra states legalize cannabis gross sales. Leisure cannabis use is at present authorized in 21 states; it stays unlawful on the federal degree. Twitter’s resolution additionally comes as the cannabis business faces extreme financial turbulence that’s pummeling the inventory costs of many publicly traded companies and inflicting others to fail. Many cannabis firms, together with retail shops and wholesalers, are struggling due to competitors from unlawful sellers and the excessive value of doing enterprise.

Nonetheless, the affect of Twitter’s coverage change is unclear. The brand new guidelines include restrictions that considerably restrict the sorts of ads allowed to the level that almost all ads for many cannabis merchandise are nonetheless banned on the service.

For instance, advertisers can not “promote or offer the sale of Cannabis (including CBD– cannabinoids).” An exception is for topical, or non-ingestible, hemp-derived CBD topical merchandise “containing equal to or less than the 0.3% THC government-set threshold.”  

Alianiello hinted as a lot in her weblog submit by citing examples of cannabis ads which might be extra basic. “Going forward, Twitter is allowing advertisers to promote brand preference and informational cannabis-related content for CBD, THC, and cannabis-related products and services,” she wrote.

Ads for cannabis supply providers and equipment like vaping pens seem to be permitted below the new guidelines.

Moreover, below Twitter’s new guidelines, cannabis ads can not goal anybody below 21, present individuals utilizing cannabis merchandise, or function people who find themselves intoxicated. Entrepreneurs are additionally barred from claiming any well being advantages or together with celebrities or sports activities figures of their messages.

Lastly, to promote, firms should undergo a Twitter verification course of and be permitted. It’s unclear how lengthy that course of will take.

However, Alianiello pitched Twitter as a protected area for its common customers to tweet about cannabis and talk about the matter with others. She additionally revealed how Twitter customers tweet extra about cannabis, as a subject, than some others that ought to be well-familiar to anybody who has a Twitter account.

“As the cannabis industry has expanded, so too has the conversation on Twitter. In the US – one of the most influential markets for cannabis – it is larger than the conversation around topics such as pets, cooking, and golf1, as well as food and beverage categories including fast food, coffee, and liquor,” Alianiello mentioned.

She continued: “The cannabis space on Twitter is fun and engaging with users Tweeting about their experiences using cannabis – whether medicinally, for wellness, or recreation – as well as recommending brands, products, and retail locations. The conversation also reflects where the cannabis industry is currently heading: legislative/policy reform, business development, and community impact.” 

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