Google To Allow Limited Advertising Of CBD Products

Google To Allow Limited Advertising Of CBD Products

The internet giant has decided to lift the ban on advertising specific hemp and CBD products but only in a few limited markets.


According to recent reports, Google has decided to allow the advertising of certain hemp and topical CBD products in California, Colorado and Puerto Rico. The internet and information goliath announced the change to its policies on “Dangerous Products and Services and Healthcare and Medicines” via a blog post. As a result, CBD will no longer be cited on the company’s Unapproved Pharmaceuticals and Supplements list.


The change is a dramatic, albeit confusingly narrow, shift from Google’s past reticence to allow any advertising for the controversial hemp-based product offerings. Advertising of CBD for internal consumption will still be prohibited, including those for “supplements, food additives, and inhalants.”


Additionally, hemp-based pharmaceuticals approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be allowed to advertise on Google’s platform in those areas. The only beneficiary of that change is Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Their high-CBD Epidiolex is the sole product to receive approval by the agency to date. It is prescribed to treat severe seizures from Dravet syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in children. Recently, Jazz Pharmaceuticals filed a lawsuit alleging that a group of generic drug companies infringed on its patents for Epidiolex.


The changes to its advertising policies concerning hemp and CBD topicals take effect on January 20th, 2023. Starting on that date, advertisers can officially request certification with Google to begin advertising their products.


To aid them in the accreditation process, Google has engaged with LegitScript, a Portland, Oregon-based internet and payments compliance company known for providing certification in high-risk sectors, to serve as a validator in assessing a product’s advertising eligibility. As a result, only those offerings that pass LegitScript’s rigorous process will be allowed to promote via Google.


Companies pursuing certification approval will have to submit samples of their products for THC testing. In addition, they will have to provide third-party certificates of analysis to LegisScript as part of the overall process.


“In an industry that is still seeing widespread problems with products that are tainted, substandard, or illegal, it’s more important than ever to give consumers confidence that the CBD products they’re purchasing have been properly vetted,” said LegitScript CEO Scott Roth.


"In an industry that is still seeing widespread problems with products that are tainted, substandard, or illegal, it’s more important than ever to give consumers confidence that the CBD products they’re purchasing have been properly vetted.”

- Scott Roth, CEO of LegitScript


The continued ban on all CBD products designed for internal consumption persists due to the numerous warnings from the FDA over certain products shown to be tainted with harmful contaminants such as solvents, heavy metals and the potentially deadly delta-8 THC variant cited as the cause of a Virginia toddler’s death last year.


The policy change is expected to have a minimal impact on the hemp and CBD industry in the short term. However, it represents a move in a positive direction for a sector that has taken some mighty hits recently. Hopefully, this limited “experiment” will lead to further expansion of advertising and business opportunities for the hemp industry over the coming years.


As oversight, regulation and enforcement measures take hold and hopefully improve the quality and safety of these products, the economic prospects for hemp and CBD should begin to head back in a more promising and abundant direction.