The company that opened the borough’s first medical marijuana dispensary, the Queens Patient Center in Elmhurst, in January is battling Google over the corporate giant’s refusal to carry its advertisements because it used the words “medical marijuana” or “medical cannabis.”
Vireo Health of New York at 89-55 Queens Blvd. sent a letter to the Internet search company last week urging it to change its policy and accept its submissions.
“It is hard to understand where they are coming from,” Vireo Health of New York CEO Ari Huffnung said. “Google’s policy is that they will not accept ads that promote recreational drugs.”
After the letter was received, Google rejected two advertisements that had been accepted because they did not include the terms ‘medical marijuana’ or ‘medical cannabis.’
“We are shocked and dismayed that Google chose to retaliate instead of engaging in a constructive dialogue,” Hoffnung said. “We continue to call on Google to stay true to their ‘do no evil’ corporate values and lift those restrictions preventing us from freely communicating with New Yorkers suffering from life-threatening and debilitating conditions like cancer, ALS and HIV/AIDS.”