420 with CNW – Facebook May Shift its Position on Marijuana

March 7, 2019 16:20:30

Cannabis businesses and those affiliated to the industry have grown used to waking up and finding that their Facebook pages have been deleted or suspended due to being flagged for carrying unacceptable content (read marijuana). However, this may soon change if the internal discussions going on within the platform bear the desired fruit.

The social media platform is reportedly thinking about amending its rules so that Facebook users can promote the cannabis products that they sell. The existing policies don’t permit the sale of marijuana and other controlled substances on the platform.

If the changes are made, the sale of medical and recreational marijuana products in jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis will be permitted by the social media giant.

One of the big issues that Facebook has to work out is how the platform can decide whether a Facebook page belongs to an entity that is legal within the jurisdiction where it is based or operates.

Another dilemma for the platform is how it can stop access to minors if legal businesses or entities are allowed to sell cannabis or its products on the platform. This issue is compounded by the fact that different jurisdictions define their own minimum age at which someone can use weed legally.

Facebook also has to think about how a policy shift regarding marijuana will be perceived by the users of the platform in the different regions of the world. For example, some regions are strongly opposed to cannabis, and these areas may pushback against the platform for allowing companies to promote or sell marijuana on Facebook.

The task of thinking through all these issues has been assigned to an internal working group. This group will propose new rules for the platform and assess how practical it will be to implement those new rules.

If the policy shift is approved and implemented by the social media giant, it will mark a paradigm shift for the platform that had for long punished marijuana-related pages with blocked searches or outright bans.

Last year, Facebook lifted its “moratorium” on cannabis the day Canada legalized recreational weed. Cannabis is widely sold online within Canada, so Facebook may have had no choice if it didn’t want to risk losing a significant portion of its users in that country.

Previously, the social media platform didn’t stop companies and organizations from opening cannabis-related pages. However, the platform enforced its restrictions on marijuana so rigorously that government cannabis regulatory agencies and policy advocates often found themselves locked out.

It remains to be seen what form the changed policy will take given that the company insists that it will not allow paid ads and other methods of promoting cannabis content on the platform. SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) and Sproutly Canada, Inc. (OTCQB: SRUTF) (CSE: SPR) (FRA: 38G) hope that Facebook wakes up to the changes in the world regarding cannabis and it stops putting unnecessary roadblocks to the industry.

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