Just as Alaska’s Cannabis businesses start to grow, another hurdle has appeared for the budding industry.
Facebook, the social media giant, shut down almost every Alaskan pot shop’s business page in one large swoop over the 4th of July holiday.
Many Cannabis businesses say this is a shot in the leg.
Advertising regulations in the state are strict, so it can be difficult to use traditional outlets like television and newspaper.
For the marijuana industry, Facebook is an avenue where users 21 and under are blocked, and people can opt in or out of seeing cannabis industry information.
Every local shop’s page has been shut down, along with a majority of the statewide shops, forcing many to restart their pages.
Facebook sent out a response to the businesses saying (quote) “We remove any promotion or encouragement of drug use.” (end quote)
The Executive Director of the Alaska Marijuana industry association, Cary Carrigan, says this unfairly targets Alaska businesses, and that it has not been done in other states like Oregon.
“A lot of what is going on is not allowing businesses to have any kind of general exposure. As a rule right now, the marijuana control board does not allow for advertising for marijuana businesses. So the only way to really get out there is to use Facebook or other social media. Now as a result of that we are kind of hamstrung, so it’s very difficult to run a business when you can’t even talk to any level of client base at all because that’s what happening we are being denied any ability to communicate.”
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