“Facebook Jail” Is a Thing, and Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Companies Do Not Want to Be In It

Locke Lord LLP

Seven Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensaries are suing Facebook after the platform allegedly booked them into “Facebook jail.” “Facebook jail” is when Facebook temporarily disables a page or profile for allegedly violating community standards.

The lawsuit was originally filed in May by Ye Olde Apothecary Shoppe. On July 18, six other Oklahoma dispensaries joined as plaintiffs: (1) Flowercraft Co. of Tulsa and Coweta; (2) The Greens Bakery of Tulsa; (3) Tribal Nations CBD Outlet; (4) Stoned 4 Survival; (5) Top Shelf Growers Inc.; and (6) Cannabis Island.

Oklahoma is one of many states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana. According to the plaintiffs, reaching new clientele is essential for their dispensaries, since the medical marijuana market is saturated and there is a lot of competition. The dispensary owners are frustrated over being banned from one of the biggest and least costly advertising platforms. What is especially frustrating, according to the complaint, is that Facebook appears to have a “pattern of targeting the Oklahoma medical marijuana industry” while not bothering companies operating in fully legal states such as California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Per the complaint, “Facebook has an arbitrary, subjective, discriminatory and archaic policy and their policy does not apply to all…It is just random. Or at least it appears to be random. There is no way for an individual or a business to contact anyone within Facebook to get assistance. They hide behind their keyboards and mete out whatever punishment they feel if they find that you have committed an infraction to their subjective community standards.” The dispensaries are asking for a court order that would prevent Facebook from further targeting their pages, as well as $75,000 in economic damages.

Facebook has not yet responded to the complaint or made comments through the media. Facebook’s community standards “prohibit attempts by individuals, manufacturers, and retailers to purchase, sell, or trade non-medical drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, and marijuana.” Stay connected to our blog for further updates on this and other cannabis-industry developments.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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