ALASKA POT SHOPS’ PAGES TAKEN DOWN

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

●●● JUNEAU, ALASKA» Face­book has shut down pages set up by sev­eral busi­nesses li­censed to legally sell mar­i­juana in Alaska, sev­er­ing what some shop own­ers con­sider a crit­i­cal link to their cus­tomers.

The so­cial me­dia gi­ant said its stan­dards de­scribe what users can post, and con­tent pro­mot­ing mar­i­juana sales isn’t al­lowed. The is­sue has popped up over the last few years in states that have le­gal­ized recre­ational and med­i­cal pot, in­dus­try of­fi­cials said.

Cary Carrigan, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Alaska Mar­i­juana In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, said the in­dus­try has been forced to fight the same bat­tles re­peat­edly as mar­i­juana gains broader ac­cep­tance na­tion­ally.

It wasn’t clear why the crack­down in Alaska hap­pened within the past cou­ple weeks or what specif­i­cally prompted it.

But it comes as so­cial me­dia sites grap­ple with set­ting bound­aries for what users can post.

Jana Weltzin, an An­chor­age­based at­tor­ney who works with the cannabis in­dus­try, said pulling Face­book pages of mar­i­juana busi­nesses “has an in­cred­i­bly neg­a­tive, chill­ing ef­fect on the com­mer­cial speech of these com­pa­nies.”

TV and ra­dio sta­tions of­ten do not al­low mar­i­juana ad­ver­tis­ing, so so­cial me­dia is a way for busi­nesses to com­mu­ni­cate di­rectly with their con­sumers, she said.

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