Facebook shut down numerous CBD brand pages in December, claiming they were selling prescription drugs, rather than natural supplements made from legal hemp. The Facebook CBD company shut down has affected about three dozen hemp-derived CBD Facebook pages, both within the United States and across seas in the United Kingdom.
As mentioned, this happened just before the holiday season. There are CBD companies out there who sell most of their products over the internet. Social media plays a key role in online marketing. Facebook shutting down CBD pages during such a vital period of time could have severely affected sales.
Small businesses of all kinds count on social media to develop brand recognition and draw customers to their storefronts, brick and mortar or virtual. Customers search social media profiles for their website links, hours of operation, directions, contact information, sales, and events.
Facebook has become such an integral part of our society that in some cultures it is “the internet.” So it’s absurd to think that having your page “shadow banned,” or for it to disappear completely, even for a short time, doesn’t do quantifiable harm.
According to Facebook’s Community Standards about what can and can’t be posted to the platform, the company states that it “prohibits attempts by individuals, manufacturers and retailers to purchase, sell or trade non-medical drugs, pharmaceutical drugs and marijuana.”
The company’s Pages-Specific Policies also notes that company pages “must not promote the sale of prescription pharmaceuticals.” Pharmaceuticals are allowed to have Facebook pages but must obtain permission from the social media company first.
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 these pages in the first place. Last week, Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles even penned a letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on behalf of his state’s CBD businesses whose pages were taken down.
Several CBD companies told Vox that they don’t believe that Facebook deleted their pages by mistake.
Although the newly passed farm bill made hemp and CBD legal, the state of non-psychoactive cannabinoid is murky at best. After the bill was passed, the FDA issued a statement that its opinions had not changed and that all CBD companies must obtain FDA approval. The association also sent out warning letters to several CBD companies last month, demanding they file with the FDA.
It is our hope that when the laws change, the stigma will change.