Facebook Continues Fumbling Enforcement of Cannabis Ads

Facebook’s ad policies continue to be unevenly enforced when it comes to cannabis-related organizations, according to a story by Global News.

Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), a Canadian non-profit campaigning for the elimination of taxes on medical cannabis, had its Facebook account shut down while trying to reach potential voters on social media. Facebook does not allow marketing for anything that promotes the sale or use of cannabis. Under those guidelines, however, ads for a specific issue such as tax law changes should be allowed.

Facebook disallowed several specific ads at first and eventually shut down the entire ads account for CFAMM. This has been Facebook’s strategy for many cannabis-related businesses, even those that are not producers or involved at all in the sale or use of cannabis products (including Ganjapreneur).

CFAMM reached out to Facebook’s moderation team to determine which rules they had violated or what they needed to do to be compliant. Facebook responded with a message nearly devoid of details, aside from the statement, “We don’t support ads for your business model.” The response to the appeal ends, “Please consider this decision final.”

“It’s a non-profit organization. Just the term ‘business model’ makes it seem like they’re almost conflating us with a licenced producer. They’re seeing ‘cannabis’ and not looking into it.” — CFAMM Spokesperson Max Monahan-Ellison, via Global News

However, when reporters reached out to Facebook for comment, the decision wasn’t actually final and was reversed.

“The ad account was disabled in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate,” an unidentified Facebook spokesperson told Global News.

Facebook has exactly this record of stonewalling small cannabis organizations while making concessions for those who can manage to get large news organizations on their side.

Facebook did not respond for comment on the greater issue. It’s clear, however, there is little that can prompt the social media giant to take action on the issue except for significant negative press.