An online campaign, born in Minnesota, is asking Google to allow advertising on the world’s biggest search engine about cannabis-derived medicine and clinics that provide that type of products.
Vireo Health, a company based in Minnesota, works with a group of scientists, physicians and healthcare professionals that are driven to create cannabis-derived medication to attend different types of patients with different diseases. It is an important enterprise in the medical cannabis industry since Vireo makes an important effort to involve specialists and scientific expertise in their products and clinics.
The company has tried in several opportunities to convince Google to accept ads for a product line and clinics that provide medical marijuana. However, the answer to every petition has been a strict no, since Google’s policies on ads have a statement about the nature of the products, and they state the company can not promote “dangerous products or services.”
Vireo tried then a different strategy.
In the petition platform, Change.org, the company circulated a campaign directed to Google to make them reconsider about the advertising on cannabis-derived medication. The arguments are mostly related to existing advertising on dangerous products and services, like alcohol, high-risk medication, sites promoting infidelity. According to Vireo, medical cannabis could be the safest option for several patients and putting the information in Google Ads may impulse the use of this type of solution instead of traditional chemical-based products.
To Dr. Kyle Kingsley, founder of Vireo, this is not about Google as a company but it is about patient access to different (and safer) solutions. The campaign got more than 13,000 signatures, but Google has not responded. For the medical marijuana industry, this ban is almost a “Google blackout” that is probably hurting the clinics’ reach.
And why do they want this?
The main goal of the company is to create a comprehensive frame in the cannabis-derived medication. According to Vireo, working against moral and intellectual barriers that usually focus on myth-driven perceptions about the industry is important in order to encourage pharmaceutical practice to provide patients safer solutions, by clearly defining best practices and creating networks of scientific and pharmaceutical expertise with the cannabis production process.
Medical marijuana is legal in 24 states, however, the use of cannabis-derived medication is still under the microscope by authorities and is widely rejected in important medical communities, considering that the federal government still considers it illicit. Google’s policy so far has been the ban on marijuana, same ban the company puts on tobacco, explosive and recreational drugs.
If Google allows Vireo to advertise about their clinics and products, it can bring a lot of new customers to the company flux, which can translate into lower prices and drop on the painkillers use. However, if Vireo is going to get Google change the policy on marijuana, considering allow advertising on medical cannabis products, is still to be seen.