Photo by Cottonbro / Pexels

Culture | 05.28.2022

TikTok Prohibits New York’s “Cannabis Conversations” Ad Campaign

The campaign promotes safe and responsible cannabis use.

TikTok has a problem. 

Many would argue that TikTok is a problem because of its effect on youth attention span and phone addiction. 

But the worldwide video application is putting its foot down on all cannabis content, even positive ad campaigns that promote legal, responsible, and safe use. 

The problem is especially relevant in New York state

New York Cannabis Campaigns

Photo by Vlada Karpovich

You might have seen a few cannabis ad campaigns around New York state recently. 

The New York Office of Cannabis Management rolled out its Cannabis Conversations ad campaign to help promote mindful cannabis use. This includes

  • Not driving high
  • Using cannabis if you’re 21 and older
  • Being aware of where you’re smoking/who you’re around
  • The effects of cannabis on pregnant women and their babies

Even if you haven’t seen a physical billboard with these ads, you’ve probably caught a pop-up on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

According to Rolling Stone Magazine, New York’s Office of Cannabis Management sent a letter to TikTok pleading for some wiggle room around its Cannabis Conversations ads. 

The letter was exclusively obtained by Rolling Stone, written by Chris Alexander, executive director of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management.

What's The Matter, TikTok?

If you’re familiar with TikTok, chances are you know about the platform’s strict content guidelines and advertising policies. 

Post a video smoking weed? It will be deleted, and your page will be temporarily shadowbanned. 

TikTok’s advertising policies don’t go hand-in-hand with New York’s ad campaign. 

Under its Drug & Paraphernalia rules, TikTok prohibits the “promotion, sale, solicitation of, or facilitation of access to illegal drugs, controlled drugs, prescriptive drugs, drugs for the purpose of recreation, homeopathy, enhancement, performance, including weight loss.”

Who Will Tell The Youth?

Photo by Cottonbro / Pexels

When the state legalized recreational cannabis earlier this year, it called for education campaigns to inform individuals about safe and responsible use. 

For that reason, Chris Alexander wrote a letter to TikTok asking to reconsider its decision on the Cannabis Conversations ad campaign. 

He wrote how the campaign touches on the dangers of driving high, a vital “message for this age group where decision-making often leans toward risk-taking.” 

Although Alexander and New York’s Office of Cannabis Management are hopeful the new letter will make an impact, it’s still too early to tell. 

TikTok is notorious for not allowing any kind of cannabis content onto its platform, so we’re curious to see the outcome. 

When the state legalized recreational cannabis earlier this year, it called for education campaigns to inform individuals about safe and responsible use. 

For that reason, Chris Alexander wrote a letter to TikTok asking to reconsider its decision on the Cannabis Conversations ad campaign. 

He wrote how the campaign touches on the dangers of driving high, a vital “message for this age group where decision-making often leans toward risk-taking.” 

Although Alexander and New York’s Office of Cannabis Management are hopeful the new letter will make an impact, it’s still too early to tell. 

TikTok is notorious for not allowing any kind of cannabis content onto its platform, so we’re curious to see the outcome. 

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