When Facebook Rejects Cannabis Advocacy Ads

On June 12th, we’re hosting an event in LA about the future of medical cannabis in California. Given that adult use is legal, as voted by citizens in the state of California in November 20216, and the regulated adult use market comes online in January 2018, we believe it is important to evaluate what will happen to patients who rely on cannabis as a medicine. Will there be dispensaries nearby to dispense their medicine? Will the medicine they currently rely on be available? Will it increase in price?

I tried to run an ad on facebook to create awareness for the event to those who live in the LA area, are over 21, and and are interested in cannabis.

Facebook rejected my ad.

First off, here’s the event if you want to attend. It includes a doctor from UCLA who runs the UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group (CAG),¬†which brings together a group of multidisciplinary UCLA basic, translational, and clinical investigators to map out research into how cannabis and cannabinoids affect the human body and interact with the human endocannabinoid system, and the¬†president of the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association, which has been working with the governors office as it tries to reconcile and regulate the medical and adult use markets.

Here’s the ad I posted.


Here’s facebook’s rejection. Evidently, I’m promoting illegal drugs, which they frown on.


Here’s my response.

I argued that the event is a medical event related to a legal medicine in the state where facebook is headquartered. In fact, I bet many facebook employees have legal medical cannabis prescriptions. I certainly believe that our event falls within the advocacy bucket. It’s a discussion on a topic at a location where cannabis will not be consumed. I’d argue that it’s a first ammendment right to talk about a topic. The ad isn’t encouraging anyone to smoke anything.

Still rejected.


June 9th Update

Props to Twitter. After getting rejected by Facebook, I decided to try to run a twitter ad for our medical cannabis educational event. After a few days in review limbo, the ad was finally approved this morning and is currently live and running. Interestingly, I used the word “cannabis” in the actual twitter text copy, rather than just in the photo.

Here’s the ad, in all its glory.


And the approval, which made my morning.