Facebook will not allow cannabis sales on its platform
Social network’s internal policy team elects to keep global ban on promoting pot sales or selling marijuana outright, after months of debate
MENLO PARK, Calif. — After roughly three months of internal and external deliberations, Facebook Inc. decided Tuesday to continue attempting to block the sale of marijuana on its platform.
At its weekly product policy meeting, executives and staff in Ireland, Washington D.C., Kenya, Los Angeles and Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park — roughly 60 people total — ran through the relative merits and concerns with allowing content touting cannabis sales and selling weed directly, with a MarketWatch reporter in attendance. Ultimately, they determined that Facebook would not alter its policies, but staffers plan to make several changes to the way it handles the platform’s current marijuana content rules.
Facebook FB, +0.76% currently bans any mentions or displays of pot that attempt to sell, trade or barter the drug, which is legal for recreational use Canada and some states, though it is prohibited by the U.S. federal government.
But the current Facebook policy allows for content pushing products derived from cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants. Also acceptable are posts, pages and non-advertising content touting the sale of cannabis seeds and items such as bongs, rolling papers, vaporizers and accessories that are often found at legal smoke shops.
Staffers presented material that specifically applies to what Facebook broadly calls community content. It has separate advertising rules for tobacco, drugs and other regulated products such as guns and CBD. Accessory ad rules are tighter too.
Published: May 22, 2019
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