Instagram Deleted Accounts for Massachusetts Marijuana Dispensaries the Day They Opened for Legal Sales

Last week many celebrated that Massachusetts finally began allowing legal marijuana sales. However there's one place where people were not celebrating: Instagram.

The week that legal sales began in Massachusetts, several dispensaries in the state found out that their accounts were banned from Instagram. Cultivate, a Leicester, Massachusetts dispensary that became one of the first two to begin legal sales, said on the very day they began selling recreational cannabis, their Instagram was deleted.

And this isn't a case of these dispensaries starting Instagram accounts for the launch of legal sales and immediately getting banned. Cultivate had used Instagram for months to help connect with customers when they were a medical-only dispensary. But for some reason the day recreational sales began, they were banned.

A spokesperson for Instagram noted that in their terms of service, they do not allow accounts to promote the sale of drugs, regardless of whether they are legal. And they said this is true of all states.

“Our policy prohibits any marijuana seller, including dispensaries, from promoting their business by providing contact information like phone numbers or street addresses,” the spokesperson said. “Because of the borderless nature of our respective communities, we try to enforce our policies as consistently as possible.”

The Instagram spokesperson said that accounts are allowed to promote marijuana legalization causes, they simply cannot promote the sale of cannabis.

So perhaps the fact that these dispensaries were promoting that legal recreational marijuana sales had begun was the reason Instagram decided to ban them. 

But if the sales are legal in Massachusetts, why does Instagram care? Yes, marijuana may be illegal in other states, but people would still need to travel to Massachusetts, where it's legal, to purchase products from these dispensaries.

Just another reason why we need to legalize cannabis federally.



Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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