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Google Loosens Restrictions on Hemp and CBD…Kind of

Google recently announced an update to its Dangerous Products and Services and Healthcare and Medicines, which will now allow the advertising of particular hemp and CBD products in Colorado, California, and Puerto Rico.

Google ads announced that starting from January 20, 2023, they will begin serving ads for FDA-approved CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico as part of their updated policies. This includes topicals and pharmaceuticals containing CBD. However, formats, such as YouTube Masthead ads, will not be eligible for serving.

These changes are being made to allow advertisers to promote certain approved prescription drugs that contain CBD available only in those states. Advertisers outside these states are left to continue complying with all applicable laws and regulations regarding promoting CBD products where they operate.

Google is restricting its policy change on CBD products to just two U.S. states and one U.S. territory, but it’s unclear why they’re doing this. The federal government has made hemp and its derivatives like CBD legal, so it’s surprising that Google would restrict the policy change to just those three places—especially since such products are advertised throughout the U.S.

Google is restricting its policy change on CBD products to just two U.S

CBD-based topicals can only be advertised on Google if LegitScript approves them. To be approved by LegitScript, products must be eligible for advertising. Requirements for eligibility include testing samples of the products to see if they comply with the THC limits and a LegitScript third-party certificate. Additional certification by Google will also be required before advertising starts. 

LegitScript CEO Scott Roth spoke on how cannabis products can sometimes be “tainted, substandard or illegal” and highlighted the need for consumers to receive products they can trust are safe to use.  

The announcement is a step in the right direction for the company, especially considering their previous announcement to ban marijuana products from Google Play in 2019, which faced criticism. Limiting the advertising to three places leaves a lot to be desired and shows there is still much to be done. It seems to run against common sense that both hemp and CBD products, which are legal at a federal level, cannot be advertised across the vast majority of the U.S. At the same time, more dangerous pharmaceuticals are seen everywhere.

The announcement is a step in the right direction for the company

The cannabis industry is growing fast, and it’s not slowing down soon. New laws are being passed every day, and more restrictions are loosened. But while we see huge steps forward in the industry, we still have a long way to go before we see full legalization and acceptance nationwide. 

Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!

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