CBD will be removed from Google’s Unapproved Pharmaceuticals and Supplements List at the end of the month, as it updated its cannabis advertising rules. On January 20, 2023, the Dangerous Products and Services and Healthcare and Medicines Google Ads guidelines will allow for the advertisement of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing cannabidiol (CBD) and topical, hemp-derived CBD products with a THC content of 0.3% or less in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico.
Google announced that in the U.S., only topical CBD products that have been certified by LegitScript can be promoted on Google. LegitScript is an “internet and payments compliance company that provides services for merchant monitoring, platform monitoring, and certification in high-risk industries”.
Google wants to be compliant with the FDA’s current position on CBD. which violates the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act along with the strict assurance that its not advertise cannabis containing more than .3% THC. All ads promoting other CBD-based products, including supplements, food additives, and inhalants, won’t be allowed. And any product containing more than .3% THC (i.e., cannabis) certainly won’t be allowed on Google unless we see a change in federal law (despite state law to the contrary).
In sum, while Google is opening the door on some cannabis advertising for FDA-approved CBD and CBD topicals, it’s going to be a relatively heavy lift to get through LegitScript’s vetting process. Still, it’s progress. certified by LegitScript can be promoted on Google. LegitScript is an “internet and payments compliance company that provides services for merchant monitoring, platform monitoring, and certification in high-risk industries”. Certification requires that all advertisers must : (1) provide samples of their CBD product to test for compliance with legal THC limits (see below), and (2) provide LegitScript a third-party Certificate of Analysis. FDA-approved CBD pharma products won’t be certified by LegitScript. Applicants will all pay a fee to LegitScript to complete the process. Google will then certify all of the applicants that make it past LegitScript. Sounds pretty easy to engage in cannabis advertising on Google now, right? Think again.
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