State marijuana regulators ask TikTok for content leeway

By Published On: May 26th, 2022Categories: Capitol Notes

TikTok has stymied the efforts of the state Office of Cannabis Management to share marijuana messaging on the popular social media site.

In a letter to top TikTok brass earlier this month, state marijuana czar Chris Alexander asked for the word “cannabis” to be used in public education advertisements from government entities hoping to promote public health and safety. The advertisements are not currently allowed under the site’s “blanket ban on advertising using the word ‘cannabis,'” according to the letter.

“To fulfill our legal obligation to establish education campaigns, our office has launched Cannabis Conversations2 to educate New Yorkers on who can purchase cannabis, where can you legally use cannabis, and how one can safely use cannabis, including protecting youth,” wrote Alexander, who is the OCM executive director. “We are airing ads from this campaign on broadcast television, on billboards across New York, and on various social media platforms.”

The full text of the letter is available below.

We recently talked about the ongoing marijuana outreach campaign with the state Office of Cannabis Management’s Lyla Hunt, who also touched on  how state regulators are responding to the proliferation of illegal marijuana dispensaries and advertising by out-of-state marijuana retailers.

Talking about their outreach campaign, Hunt told The Capitol Pressroom, “The idea is to reach New Yorkers in a in a neutral tone with this campaign, calling it cannabis conversations, to help invite conversation about cannabis and what it means to New Yorkers.”

In the letter to TikTok officials, Alexander describes the site as an important medium for reaching New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 21.

“Clear and truthful public health information is essential in our public information campaigns, and TikTok could be a valued partner in this fight for public safety. But that can only be the case if you allow us to run advertisements on your platform.”

Letter From New Yorks Office of Cannabis Management to Tiktok 5.23.22 by Capitol Pressroom on Scribd