Facebook Cannabis Crackdown in Alaska: Social Media Giant Shuts Down Marijuana Shops’ Business Pages

By Jeremy Kossen in Huffington Post

Since the 4th of July weekend, Facebook has suspended or entirely deleted the Facebook business pages of at least half a dozen legal cannabis retail dispensaries in Alaska.

While Google, Facebook, and Twitter have long prohibited cannabis businesses from advertising on their networks, Facebook has taken things a step further, suspending or deleting the Facebook business pages of legal cannabis dispensaries in Alaska.

Given the tight legal advertising restrictions in the legal cannabis industry, many dispensaries rely on organic (unpaid) marketing channels to build their brand and connect with customers.

Jana Weltzin, Esq., an Anchorage-based attorney specializing in recreational marijuana business law and regulation compliance, speculates the timing may have had to do more with Nevada officially going legal with recreational cannabis the July 4th weekend, than Zuckerberg’s visit to Alaska.

“While this is no more than pure speculation, some believe the timing has less to do with Mark Zuckerberg visiting Alaska, as it has to do with Nevada state opening recreational stores over the July 4th weekend,” said Weltzin. “Facebook wants to follow federal law, so periodically we see these crackdowns. Who knows? We didn’t see a crackdown on Nevada dispensary pages, so maybe Facebook wanted to deflect scrutiny by cracking down on a smaller market?”

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