Facebook burns cannabis companies

Starbuds originally opened on Brighton Boulevard.

Starbuds originally opened on Brighton Boulevard.

Facebook and Colorado’s cannabis industry are no longer friends.

The social media giant, which has been closing pages for dispensaries nationwide in the last few weeks, has shut down the pages of at least two Colorado cannabis stores.

Denver-based dispensary Starbuds, which operates six locations, was one of those companies .

“A couple weeks ago one of our pages got shut down and then it was like a domino effect,” said Chante Rivera, a spokeswoman for Starbuds. “We have six pages, one for each of our stores.”

Facebook spokesperson Arielle Aryah, who answered BusinessDen’s request for comment via email, said  the pages were taken down for breaking Facebook’s terms of use.

The company’s website states that it prohibits “any attempt by unauthorized dealers to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, or firearms.” Cannabis companies such as Starbuds are in violation of that rule, Aryah said.

But Rivera doesn’t buy it.

“They said we violated their rules and regulations, but we’re not trying to sell our products on Facebook. So I’m not sure which rules we would have violated,” she said.

Rivera said two of Starbuds’ six Facebook pages eventually were reinstated, but she wasn’t told why. She said she tried to get in touch with Facebook, but the company was difficult to contact.

“It’s kind of impossible to talk to anyone at Facebook,” she said. “They give the option to appeal – it’s a big red button you press – but there’s no phone number to call.”

While it is possible for Starbuds to remake its former pages – some of which had more than 2,000 followers – there’s no guarantee that Facebook won’t delete the new pages as well.

Instead, Rivera said, the company will focus on utilizing other forms of social marketing, such as Instagram.

On Jan. 27, Facebook also suspended the page of Denver-based Mary’s Medicinals, which makes cannabis edibles and extracts.

“I’m yet to get anything more than an automated response back from them,” said Graham Sorkin, spokesman for Mary’s Medicinals. “Their lack of communication and clarity has been the most frustrating part of this situation.”

The company is using a new Facebook page that it created, Sorkin said.

Mary’s is running into problems on other social networks as well. Instagram suspended the company’s account Tuesday night, Sorkin said.

Since early February, Facebook has deleted pages for three of New Jersey’s five cannabis businesses, according to High Times.

 

Starbuds originally opened on Brighton Boulevard.

Starbuds originally opened on Brighton…

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