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Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner to Facebook: “Stop Hassling Hemp Businesses”

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Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner to Facebook: “Stop Hassling Hemp Businesses”

January 10, 2019

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner to Facebook: “Stop Hassling Hemp Businesses”

By Vox, Jan. 7, 2019

Facebook and Google account for 57 percent of the U.S. digital advertising market, according to eMarketer, yet sellers of CBD and related hemp products often find themselves banned from promoting their businesses on these two dominant online advertising platforms. Moreover, some CBD and hemp extract companies are seeing their Facebook pages shut down entirely, as Facebook has been categorizing CBD and hemp businesses as “prescription pharmaceuticals, reports Vox.

Now, the online social media giant is facing blowback for its restrictive policy when it comes to CBD and hemp businesses. In an email this week, according to Vox, Facebook admitted that its team had erroneously removed CBD and hemp pages. “We mistakenly removed Pages for hemp and CBD oil that do not violate our policies and we are currently working to restore these Pages,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

According to Facebook’s Pages-Specific Policies, company pages “must not promote the sale of prescription pharmaceuticals.” Pharmaceuticals are allowed to have Facebook pages, but must first obtain permission from the social media company. Facebook said it did not believe hemp or CBD companies violated any of these terms, but it did not further explain why its team had removed a number of CBD business pages.

In related news, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles wrote a letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on behalf of his state’s CBD businesses whose pages were taken down. “America’s hemp farmers and businesses should be celebrated and supported – not hassled – by Facebook and other social media companies,” Quarles wrote in a letter to Zuckerberg dated January 4. “Because hemp products are legal, it is baffling to me that Facebook would attempt to interfere with hemp business owners’ efforts to advertise and communicate with the public about their products,” Quarles wrote.

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