Facebook was categorizing CBD and hemp businesses as “prescription pharmaceuticals.”
Many CBD and hemp Facebook pages have been unpublished by the social media platform.
A few weeks ago,we learned that many CBD companies in North Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, and Kentucky had had their Facebook pages shut down. According to the Boston Globe, at least six CBD companies in Massachusetts saw their accounts on Facebook-owned Instagram shut down as well.
In an email on Monday morning, 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 spokesperson said.
CBD has been used for many things including soothing anxiety, pain, and stress, although there aren’t enough scientific studies on it to make any conclusive claims. The substance is also now a popular subject of discussion since hemp, a species of cannabis plant that CBD can be extracted from, became legal in December thanks to Congress passing the farm bill.
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.
FB is correlating CBD companies with big pharma now that hemp is legal. “Pharmaceutical companies pay big bucks to be on Facebook, and then there are little guys like who have pages. Once the farm bill passed, maybe Facebook saw an opportunity to move things around.”
Facebook says it’s working to reestablish all CBD pages on the platform soon, but its latest move shows how complex the world of CBD is.