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Some cannabis business owners say they face too many restrictions when trying to advertise online

Posted at 10:27 AM, Jan 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 11:27:11-05

CLAREMORE, Okla. — As medical marijuana dispensaries start to bloom in Oklahoma, business owners are wanting to get the word out, but many are realizing advertising their products on social media is not easy.

"I couldn't put cannabis. I couldn't put marijuana in there," explains Rachael Duggan, owner of Green Canopy Solutions in Claremore, "I can't list a strain of them even. They'll kick me out.”

Duggan says she spends a lot of time responding to individual messages on Facebook, when it could have taken one simple ad or post to get the message across.

"They want to know what flower we have, what different products, as far as vape lines and edible lines," says Duggan.

Many social media platforms don't allow companies to advertise cannabis, which remains federally illegal, even in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Facebook ads can't promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription or recreational drugs. Photos of either recreational or medical marijuana have to be avoided.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, follows the same guidelines.

On Twitter, advertising of any "drug dispensaries" or "illegal drugs" is not allowed.

LinkedIn also prohibits any ads related to "drugs or any related products or service."

Duggan says she relies on more traditional marketing techniques for now until there's a change in social media guidelines on promoting a cannabis brand.

"Word of mouth is our biggest thing," says Duggan.

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