Don’t try to Google the terms “medical marijuana” or “medical cannabis” and expect to find ads for dispensaries in New York.
The operator of one of five new medical marijuana providers in the state recently learned that the hard way.
When he tried to advertise with the search engine giant he found that ads with those terms — “medical cannabis” or “medical marijuana” — were rejected.
While Google accepted other ads without those terms, it was akin to, say, Ford running a search engine ad without the term “car” or “truck,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York, one of five providers recently licensed under the state’s Compassionate Care Act which allows limited use of medical marijuana.
“We are confident that our advertisements comply with Google’s policy,” Hoffnung wrote in a letter to Google co-foundersLarry Page and Sergey Brin on Tuesday.
“Our products are sold strictly and exclusively for medicinal purposes and in conformance with New York State law.”