Twitter Allows Cannabis Companies to Advertise 

Last week Twitter became the first social media giant to allow cannabis companies to advertise. Previously, only hemp-deprived topical products could advertise. Twitter is the lone wolf among social media companies allowing cannabis companies to advertise. Other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have a no-cannabis advertising policy. A statement from Twitter said only cannabis companies in the legal states would be permitted to advertise. As well, the ads can’t target anyone under 21 years old. Is This Elon’s Doing? […]

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Trulieve Makes History as First Cannabis Brand to Advertise on Twitter

When Elon Musk bought Twitter in 2022, speculation about looming company-wide changes made worldwide headlines. Every controversial decision Musk made, from “ending” political censorship to charging for verification checkmarks, gave journalists and media outlets salacious opportunities to evaluate his choices. The announcement from the social media platform that it will change its cannabis advertising policies has the industry applauding the bold decision.

The new policy will lift advertising bans on cannabis advertising and related content, allowing for greater promotion of previously restricted ads. According to the policy update announced on February 15, Twitter will immediately allow advertising and promotional content related to legal cannabis products and services. The new rules will make concessions for content that promotes education and research about the plant and allow advertisers to promote brands, products and services.

Specifically, according to the Cannabis Ads Policy, CBD and similar cannabinoid products, THC and related products and cannabis-infused products and services—including delivery services, labs, growing technology, search engines and more—are now allowed to advertise on the platform. Additionally, to incentivize businesses to advertise, Twitter is offering to match every cannabis or CBD advertising dollar spent up to $250,000 until March 30, 2023.

Under the social media platform’s policy change, on February 15 behemoth multi-state operator Trulieve made history as the first company to launch an advertising campaign on Twitter.

“The plant really provides an opportunity for the world outside of traditional medicine that can bring great changes and benefits to all and Twitter is an important platform to educate within,” Gina Collins, chief marketing officer at Trulieve, said. “But there’s also a business reality that nobody talks about—especially in the macro-economic conditions we’re all facing—there’s ad revenue to be had. It has mutual benefits for more than just two key players or one small industry. It seems much bigger than that.”

Collins says she hopes the groundbreaking update from Twitter will encourage cannabis advertising policy reform across other social media platforms, believing the news to be a “catalyst.”

“If there’s bravery on a platform such as Twitter to come out and say this is an untapped industry and allow a credible business to come forth, then the rest will have to reconsider their policies too,” Collins says. “Twitter has been evolving its policies and products since they had a leadership change. Elon Musk is a huge advocate of the plant itself, and I suspect there were pretty active conversations around the decision.”

Potential advertisers will have to contend with an arduous approval process to ensure they follow the updated guidelines and are educated on the platform. Once cannabis executives pass that hurdle, they’ll have new tools with Twitter’s advertising products, such as in-stream videos, promoted tweets and product opportunities, to name a few. While that’s a win for cannabis marketers, the promotion of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and content that promotes drug use are still prohibited.

Joe Hodas, chief marketing officer for cannabis MSO Wana Brands, says that the new Twitter policy will change the company’s financial commitment to its 2023 marketing plan.

“Strategically, I still need to reach the consumer and drive them into a dispensary to purchase the product,” Hodas says. “And this has offered me another chance to do it. This potentially gives me another more targeted approach to reaching the consumer I can’t get through programmatic ads.”

Will Other Advertising Platforms Follow Suit?

Search engine giant Google quietly announced it was making some adjustments to its restrictive advertising policies around CBD and hemp products beginning in January 2023. However, it didn’t go nearly as far as Twitter and by all accounts, the updated policies are an excessively costly, burdensome process of paying a certification provider thousands of dollars in application, monitoring and website fees before paying for the advertising costs itself.

While Google did remove CBD from its list of unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements list, its policies are still highly restrictive, only allowing hemp-derived topical CBD products with less than 0.3% or less THC ad content.

Hodas agrees that, as it so often is the case, education is key to progress and that we’re still contending with a lack of understanding.

“This question of hemp and CBD, it’s an issue for the cannabis industry in the sense that I think there’s a lack of education,” Hodas says. “In the early days, some platforms said CBD was permitted, but not allow THC. Well, now that’s all getting blurred as well. I think this further reinforces that we need better education.”

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Twitter To Allow THC, CBD, and Related Ads in U.S.

In a seismic shift away from the way nearly all major social media platforms handle cannabis ad-related content, Twitter announced it will be the first to allow cannabis-related ads based in the U.S. 

Twitter announced that it will allow advertisers to promote branded and informational cannabis-related content under the following categories: CBD and similar cannabinoid products; THC and similar products; as well as cannabis-related products and services such as delivery services, labs, growing technology, search engines, and events.

The cannabis ad policy move changes everything for businesses with the money to advertise. Toronto, Ontario-based AdCann in Canada was the first to break the news.

“Up until now, only CBD topical brands were permitted to advertise on Twitter’s platform,” AdCann wrote on its website. “Moving forward—the social network will allow for the promotion of regulated THC and CBD-containing cannabis products, accessories, services and more.” 

AdCann continued, “American cannabis companies, brands, and purveyors will need to pass through a Twitter advertiser approval process to ensure they are legitimate and educated on the platform. Once approved, industry marketers will have access to Twitter’s entire suite of advertising products including promoted tweets, promoted product opportunities, location-specific takeovers, in-stream video sponsorships and partner publication features.”

AdCann reiterated that in Canada, cannabis has been legal at the federal level since 2018, so Twitter already allows for cannabis advertising in the country.

Cannabis Companies React to Policy Change

Leading cannabis company PAX, makers of industry standard devices like the PAX Pro and PAX Era, is among the first brands to advertise cannabis-related content on Twitter. 

“This is a big moment, as a major advertising platform is making the decision to treat cannabis like any other consumer products category,” Luke Droulez, VP of Marketing at PAX said in a statement obtained by High Times. “We’re excited to be among the first of Twitter’s cannabis advertising partners and be able to engage customers more directly. After decades of prohibitionist propaganda, there is an opportunity to destigmatize and normalize the plant and its use.”

Twitter posted the policy update on its Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia section of the website, which outlines the process for advertisers promoting cannabis products.

“We permit approved cannabis (including CBD – cannabinoids) advertisers to target the United States, subject to the following restrictions:

  • Advertisers must be licensed by the appropriate authorities, and pre-authorized by Twitter.
  • Advertisers may only target jurisdictions in which they are licensed to promote these products or services online.
  • Advertisers may not promote or offer the sale of cannabis (including CBD – cannabinoids)
    • Exception: Ads for topical (non-ingestible) hemp-derived CBD topical products containing equal to or less than the 0.3% THC government-set threshold.       
  • Advertisers are responsible for complying with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and advertising guidelines.
  • Advertisers may not target customers under the age of 21.”

Elon Musk and the New Twitter

Twitter owner and billionaire Elon Musk is in an ongoing game of chess: It’s the latest major change on the platform under his watch, among many, including the decisions to launch paid verification and reinstate accounts like Donald Trump’s.  

Meanwhile, on Feb. 4, Twitter owner Elon Musk cryptically tweeted “420,” which assuredly is a jab back at a previous 2018 tweet about 420 that landed him in trouble with government and aerospace officials.

In 2018, Musk rounded up Tesla shares from $419 to $420, announcing his plan to go private in a tweet. “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” Musk tweeted on Aug. 7, 2018. “Funding secured.”—sending officials from The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into a tailspin. Musk denied the tweet was about cannabis in a California court.

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Elon Musk Denies 420 Tweet Was About Weed

During a California court appearance Monday, when questioned about a 420 tweet, Elon Musk suddenly forgot the significance of the number in pot culture. The tech billionaire responded after being cornered by a prosecutor representing Tesla employees for a class action lawsuit alleging he tweeted and misled shareholders about the price of Tesla shares.

The fiasco began several years ago. In 2018, Musk rounded up Tesla shares from $419 to $420, announcing his plan to go private in a tweet. “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” Musk tweeted on Aug. 7, 2018. “Funding secured.”—sending officials from The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into a tailspin.

Musk said he tweeted the share price based on what he said was a “firm commitment” from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to take Tesla private. But about 10 days later, Musk admitted that the Tesla buyout he had envisioned wasn’t going to materialize.

After an investigation, the SEC fined Musk $40 million, forcing the billionaire to step down as chair of Tesla’s board. The SEC said that Musk misled investors. In the SEC’s complaint, Musk was accused of rounding up the share price to $420 from $419 “because he had recently learned about the number’s significance in marijuana culture.” 

Musk caused instantaneous uproar about a month later, sparking a blunt with Joe Rogan on his show “The Joe Rogan Experience” on Sept. 3, 2018, shocking Tesla investors and officials across the board. His troubles didn’t end there. High Times asked if it was “the most expensive blunt of all time” due to the fallout, with NASA- and SpaceX-associated officials reviewing his security clearance.

The Verge reports that Nicholas Porritt is an attorney for a class of Tesla investors suing Musk for millions of dollars that they say resulted from his failure to take Tesla private. 

The courtroom got tense: “You rounded up to 420 because you thought that would be a joke that your girlfriend will enjoy, isn’t that correct?” Porritt asked. “No,” Musk said, adding, “there is some, I think, karma around 420. I should question whether that is good or bad karma at this point.”

Musk said that 420 wasn’t a weed joke, but a roughly 20% premium on the $419 stock price at the time. “420 was not chosen because of a joke,” Musk testified. “It was chosen because there was a 20 percent premium over the stock price.” Musk also claimed that it was a “coincidence.”

The jury will decide if Musk should have to pay out up to billions of dollars in damages to Tesla shareholders for the money they lost due to his tweets.

Judge Edward Chen ruled that the jury should be aware that Musk’s 2018 tweets are false. Jurors will now need to decide whether Musk deceived Tesla shareholders because of his tweets.

Musk said that he was not relying on a commitment for the Saudi PIF when he tweeted “funding secured,” adding that his shares in SpaceX would also help fund the deal to take Tesla private. “Just as I sold stock in Tesla to buy Twitter… I didn’t want to sell Tesla stock, but I did sell Tesla stock,” Musk said. “My SpaceX shares alone would have meant that funding was secured.”

Musk has also been sued by a group of former Twitter employees after a mass firing. Musk recently became the CEO of Twitter after buying the platform for $44 billion in October 2022. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz is Twitter’s second-largest shareholder after Musk. 

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Twitter Files & Cannabis

Full disclosure: there is no cannabis censorship in the Twitter Files. For all its problems, Twitter has been good on the weed file compared to tech companies like Facebook or Instagram. But there are lessons here for cannabis connoisseurs in the Twitter Files. But first, what are the Twitter Files? Twitter Interfered with the 2020 Election  On Friday, December 2nd, Elon Musk tweeted, “This will be awesome,” referencing an info dump about to happen. Since taking over the company, Musk […]

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Four Years After Smoking Blunt, Elon Musk Buys Twitter

Billionaire and self-described free speech champion Elon Musk will acquire Twitter, Inc. according to an April 25 press release. The move will make Twitter private and set off a firestorm of speculation—ranging from whether or not Musk will allow Donald J. Trump to return, to the possibility of an edit button.

Twitter, Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion.

Musk is the world’s richest person, according to Forbes and most other lists. Bloomberg estimates he has $3 billion in cash, give or take. Musk described $13 billion in bank financing secured by Twitter and the $12.5 billion backed by a pledge of Tesla stake, but it’s not clear how he’s going to come up with the remaining $21 billion to complete the transaction.

The billionaire is citing the move as a victory for free speech, while others disagree on the ethics of the deal and its implications for the future of social media.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” said Musk. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential—I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

With 85.2 million followers and counting, Musk ranks number 8 in the list of the Top 10 Most Followed Twitter Accounts, trailing people like Justin Bieber and former president Barack Obama. He’s gained millions of followers just in the past week or so. But his use of the micro-blogging social media app has been scrutinized and analyzed. The Guardian criticized Musk’s use of Twitter, calling the relationship “chaotic and crass.”

Per the agreement, Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction. The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s latest closing stock price.

“The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing,” Bret Taylor, Twitter’s Independent Board Chair said. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”

Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO said, “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”

Elon Musk and Cannabis

Does the 420 in the share value sound familiar? On August 7, 2018, Musk tweeted he was mulling over taking Tesla private, quoting a price of $420 per share for the buyout.

He told the New York Times that he’s aware of how popular weed is, but he’s not sure how it could help productivity, to be candid. “It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419,” Musk said. “But I was not on weed, to be clear.” That all changed a month later on a podcast appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience.

On September 6, 2018, Musk smoked a blunt on episode #1169 of The Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan himself became embroiled in the topic of free speech due to his Spotify fiasco, over concerns the podcaster was sharing information that wasn’t medically sound.

Due to the fallout of Musk’s many investments because of the blunt stunt, Jimi Devine asked for High Times, “Did Elon Musk smoke the most expensive blunt of all time?” Even Musk’s NASA-associated security clearances came into question.

With the power of Twitter at his fingertips, a lot could change in the world of social media, and inevitably, politics and free speech will intersect.

The transaction, which was approved by the Twitter Board of Directors, is expected to close in 2022, pending the approval of Twitter stockholders.

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Elon Musk Embraces Potential of Psychedelics at CodeCon

Enter a long, strange trip into the mind of a genius. Elon Musk—who on September 27 became the world’s richest person, surpassing Jeff Bezos—said people should be “open to psychedelics” at a CodeCon event on Tuesday.

Ronan Levy, executive chairman of Field Trip Health hosted conversation with Musk during an interview at CodeCon 21, a celebrated tech development event, confronting him about whether or not he supports psychedelics for therapeutic purposes.

“I think generally people should be open to psychedelics,” said Musk. The session continued. 

“You’ve spent a lot of time talking about outer space, and I want to ask you about inner space. What role do you think psychedelics may have in addressing some of the more destructive tendencies of humanity?” Levy asked Musk.

“A lot of people making laws are kind of from a different era,” Musk replied. “As the new generation gets into political power, I think we will see greater receptivity to the benefits of psychedelics.”

Field Trip Health provides psychedelic-assisted therapies. In an August 31 press release, Field Trip announced new programs, including one that gives eligible therapists the ability to provide ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) to their patients at Field Trip Health Centers. They will use Field Trip’s medical teams for screening, prescribing and administration of ketamine. 

Field Trip’s programs will also provide both didactic and experiential training to therapists and medical professionals on KAP. Therapists who complete Field Trip’s training programs will automatically become eligible to join the KAP Co-op program.

It’s not the first time that the SpaceX founder and multibillionaire has spoken in favor of psychedelics.

On November 14, 2020, Musk tweeted three statements: “You can’t win; You can’t break even; and You can’t stop playing,” then tweeting in the thread, “Unless you’re on DMT.” Twitter couldn’t handle the statement, and commenters guessed whether it was an admission that the billionaire had tried ayahuasca or DMT.

Why is this important? Because so much weight is often put on Musk’s opinions—given his stratospheric wealth and influence. Musk’s powers are evident in the way his comments significantly influenced and tipped the value of Dogecoin and Bitcoin.

Elon Musk on Cannabis

Cannabis—itself a mild psychedelic—is also a recurring theme in the billionaire’s life. In 2019, Musk smoked a blunt on The Joe Rogan Experience—and High Times’ asked if it was “the most expensive blunt of all time?”

Few people in the world are as scrutinized as deeply as Musk when it comes to personal habits like smoking pot. Smoking a blunt live set off a firestorm.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned Musk. There was an active petition to get Twitter to deplatform him—and pop stars even dragged him on Instagram. Even Musk’s SpaceX assets were not safe. NASA investigated Musk also, after his debacle on the podcast. According to three unnamed sources who spoke with the Washington Post, NASA launched a safety review of SpaceX shortly after his spot on The Joe Rogan Experience.

Given the level of investments that NASA pours into SpaceX, to them, smoking a blunt was a big deal. At the time, NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs did not comment on whether Musk smoking a blunt was what triggered the review. But he did mention the importance of SpaceX adhering the rules of a drug-free workplace.

On another episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Musk suggested that most CBD experiences are “fake” and mostly hype. Rogan immediately schooled him, scolding him for dismissing the compound as a benefit for people around the world.

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Friday, November 22, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily Newsv

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, November 22, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// License revoked for California vape maker Kushy Punch after state seizes $21 million worth of products (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Boeing faced only ‘limited’ safety review from NASA, while SpaceX got a full examination (Washington Post)

// Despite the threat of bans, vape companies are doing surprisingly well (Fast Company)

These headlines are brought to you by MJToday Media, publishers of this podcast as well as our weekly show Marijuana Today and the most-excellent Green Rush Podcast. And check out our new show Weed Wonks!

// Steven Hoffman is ‘pleased’ with the state’s first year of pot sales. Here’s what he expects from year two – and beyond. (

// First Year of Adult-Use Marijuana Retail Operations in Massachusetts Tallies $393.7 Million in Gross Sales, Sets Benchmarks for Growth (Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission)

// In 6 Months, About 57 Tons Of Smokable Medical Marijuana Was Ordered For Florida Patients (WUSF News)

// Virginia Attorney General Hosts ‘Cannabis Summit’ To Advance Reform In New Democratic Legislature (Marijuana Moment)

// Legal Weed Is Making An Impact On The Billion Dollar Sleep Market (Fresh Toast)

// California marijuana taxes will increase New Year’s Day (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Senators Push USDA To Adopt Five Changes To Proposed Hemp Regulations (Marijuana Moment)

Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
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Photo: Neeta Lind/Flickr

Did Elon Musk Smoke The Most Expensive Blunt of All Time?

According to a new report on SpaceX’s safety review following Elon Musk hitting a blunt on Joe Rogan’s podcast, it may have been the most expensive blunt of all time!

Politico national security reporter Jacqueline Feldscher dug up some contracting records revealing that NASA ended up paying SpaceX $5 Million to conduct the review. While the review was widely publicized a year ago when it was first ordered, this is the first time it’s been reported that taxpayers got the bill for it. 

Boeing, SpaceX’s rivals in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to outsource trips to the space station so the agency can focus its time on more distant efforts like mars, were also forced to go through a review. Politico reported unlike SpaceX, Boeing did not get additional funds to cover the process. 

The Washington Post reported last fall that the reviews would take months and involve hundreds of interviews that would dive into the workplace culture at SpaceX and Boeing. 

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told the Post the whole point of the reviews was to assure public confidence in the two companies about to make their first test flights. 

“If I see something that’s inappropriate, the key concern to me is what is the culture that led to that inappropriateness and is NASA involved in that,” he said. “As an agency we’re not just leading ourselves, but our contractors, as well. We need to show the American public that when we put an astronaut on a rocket, they’ll be safe.”

The National Security Institute’s quarterly publication Employee Security Connection is for the defense industry and government employees, and is distributed at NASA by the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Protective Services. This spring, in the wake of the Elon Musk uproar, it covered the impact of cannabis on security clearances for staff and contractors.

“Here’s the problem: In connection with SpaceX, Musk holds a security clearance. In the wake of his televised toking, an investigation was launched (pardon the pun) into whether he should retain that clearance,” the article said of Elon’s puff. 

The NSI emphasized that federal agencies and defense contractors definitely weren’t treating marijuana like alcohol regardless of the number of states that have legalized or decriminalized. “This is true regardless of the amount of pot or the form in which it is ingested,” the article read. 

The next part was a bit more interesting. With cannabis only being criminal in 15 states at the time of publishing, the article addressed whether the use of cannabis impacting someone’s security clearance could change in the future. 

“Many experts say it will—but for now, marijuana use can still harm your chance at obtaining or retaining a security clearance,” the article read.

NASA, SpaceX, and Elon Musk

The NSI next noted that all marijuana use isn’t the same level of a red flag. Use that “happened so long ago, and so infrequently, that it does not cloud a candidate’s judgment or trustworthiness” isn’t the kind of thing that will prevent you from getting clearance. They mentioned guidelines specifically written so that candidates who can demonstrate measures they’ve taken to disassociate themselves from past drug use would not be ruled out.

Finally, when addressing cannabis questions these days, you’re likely to get some questions about CBD. They had that covered too. It’s in the exact same boat as pot with federal law, and would definitely impact someone’s chances of getting a security clearance. 

SpaceX only has one more in-flight abort test to complete before the first Dragon test flight to the international space station with crew members on board. 

We reached out to NASA and SpaceX for more details on the review. 

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