Despite restrictions, recreational cannabis companies use marketing that appeals to adolescents

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Cannabis and social media. Credits: Rutgers Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies

According to a new study by, many recreational cannabis companies sell their products in ways that appeal to children and teens, even though state-based regulations prohibit it. A journal of research on alcohol and drugs. This marketing is easily visible to people of all ages on social media platforms.

“We expected the cannabis company to be unlikely to be fully compliant with existing guidelines,” said Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, lead author of the Department of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. .. , MPH says. “Some cannabis companies have produced dozens of cannabis Social media Posts per day, there is no current system to monitor or enforce these regulations. But it was surprising to see how the existence of guidelines made a difference between states. “

In their study, Moreno and colleagues evaluated a year’s posts published on Facebook and Instagram by retailers in four states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington) where the use of recreational marijuana is legal.They looked for both limits content (Brand promotions and discounts, overconsumption modeling, youth-focused messaging, health benefits, etc.) and necessary warnings (limited to 21+, avoidance of driving disabilities, health risks).

In total, researchers rated 2,660 posts from 14 companies. Despite being banned, discounts and promotions were found in about 35% of all posts. Overconsumption was found in 12% of all posts. Also, content with warnings was present in less than half of all posts, even though it was mandatory.

For example, in Washington, you can buy branded products such as T-shirts and hats. society logo. About 1% of posts on social media from Washington state cannabis companies still contained this content. However, in states without this regulation, these types of posts appear 5 to 10 times more often. Therefore, regulations do not guarantee compliance, but they appear to affect how often companies share content that may or may not be restricted.

Content designed to appeal to youth culture (young models and recognizable characters) and budget limits (promotions, discounts, etc.) by Moreno and colleagues is clearly still in use despite current regulations. Say you are.

“As a pediatrician, I know marketing and advertising have a strong impact on children and teens,” says Moreno. “Previous studies have shown how the marketing of alcohol and tobacco companies is associated with young people who use these products.”

Moreno emphasizes that parents need to be aware that their children may be exposed to this type of content.

“Given that the majority of young people and adolescents use social media, parents should be aware that cannabis companies are actively sharing restricted content for young people in these locations. Is important, “says Moreno. “Parents need to discuss with their children how the cannabis company is trying to influence them using a youth-friendly approach, such as using cartoon characters and memes.”

The findings are just as important to policy makers, she says.

“It’s important for them to know that the restrictions and requirements on how cannabis companies use social media make sense,” says Moreno. “Steps to making these rules more influential include deploying a monitoring system and specifying the outcome of violations of these restrictions and requirements.”

The authors of the study also recommend a strong approach to consider banning cannabis companies from using social media altogether.

“There are plenty of other marketing channels available to cannabis companies, and cannabis is still illegal. Federal law Therefore, the First Amendment’s protection does not apply (the State Constitution may have similar provisions), but the state has far more regulations to protect young people. You can test permission restrictions, “the author writes.


Survey: Most teenagers in legalized states see marijuana marketing on social media


For more information:
Moreno, Massachusetts, Jenkins, M. , Binger, K. , Kelly, L. , Trangenstein, PJ, Whitehill, JM, and Jernigan, DH, content analysis of cannabis company compliance with marketing requirements in four states, Journal of research on alcohol and drugs (2022). DOI: 10.15288 / jsad.2022.83.27

Quote: Despite the restrictions, the recreational cannabis company acquired from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2022-01-restrictions-recreational-cannabis-companies-appeals.html on January 20, 2022 ( I am using marketing that appeals to (January 20, 2022)

This document is subject to copyright. No part may be reproduced without written permission, except for fair transactions for personal investigation or research purposes. Content is provided for informational purposes only.

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