• Social media platforms are rushing to update their advertising policies on cannabis
  • Meta was the most recent platform to do so
  • Australia’s TGA is clamping down on CBD advertising in Australia


With regulations on cannabis moving fast, social media platforms have been forced to update their policies rapidly.

In general, the new updates are seen to be more relaxed compared to previous ones amidst growing acceptance of medicinal cannabinoids and in line with less strict government regulations.

Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram) is the latest to make changes to its rules around how CBD advertisers need to conduct their promotions on the platform.

Effective yesterday, Meta renamed its ‘Hemp & Related Products’ ad policy to ‘CBD & Related Products’ – a move that will cover a broader scope of legally permissible CBD products.

Under the updated policy, advertisers on Meta will no longer need specific permissions to run ads which promote the sale of hemp products that don’t contain CBD or >0.3% THC (e.g. hemp seed and hemp fibre).

Advertisers are also not required to educate, advocate, or give public service announcements related to CBD and related products, provided that such ads don’t offer any prohibited products for sale.

Meta however says that advertisers will still be prohibited from running ads that promote THC products, the psychoactive component of a cannabis.

Meta’s update comes a few months after Google relaxed its own ad restrictions.

Google Ads has lifted its ban on promoting FDA-approved pharmaceutical products containing CBD, and hemp-derived topical CBD products with less than 0.3% THC.

Companies marketing topical CBD products on Google however must be LegitScript certified, which involves submitting the products to laboratory testing and providing a third-party Certificate of Analysis.

Google also said that any mention of cannabis-related terms such as ‘marijuana’, ‘weed’, ‘cannabis’, ‘rolling papers’, or ‘dispensaries ‘will trigger its algorithms to lower the ads, or even impose penalties’.


Australia’s TGA also clamping down on CBD advertising

Under Australia’s TGA rules, prescription medicines in general are prohibited from being advertised to the public.

That includes advertising on medicinal cannabis regulated as prescription medicines, which is prohibited under the Act (subsection 42DL(10)).

Further, TGA has also banned advertising medicinal cannabis products to the public that are not included in the ARTG (Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods).

The regulator has recently been issuing more and more medicinal cannabis advertising fines.

In November last year, the TGA issued 10 infringement notices totalling $133,200 to Biologics Research Institute Australia, and eight notices to the Australian Institute of Medicinal Cannabis for $106,560.

The TGA alleged that advertising by these two cannabis companies ‘included unapproved references to serious diseases or conditions, including cancer and epilepsy’.

“Some advertising also allegedly suggested or implied that particular medicinal cannabis products were recommended or approved by a government authority,” it said.


To ASX Weed Stocks ….

Here’s how the ASX weed stocks have performed, sorted by winners over the past week.

Code Company Price % Year % Six Month % Month % Week Market Cap
ME1 Melodiol Glb Health 0.01 -74.36 -52.38 11.11 42.86 $17,475,599
RNO Rhinomed Ltd 0.06 -57.14 -45.45 -14.29 25.00 $17,143,182
BP8 Bph Global Ltd 0.00 -77.22 -77.22 -14.29 20.00 $4,004,189
LGP Little Green Pharma 0.20 -39.06 14.71 14.71 18.18 $59,874,468
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.05 -32.84 -32.84 12.50 12.50 $39,325,927
IHL Incannex Healthcare 0.12 -42.68 -39.74 11.90 11.90 $182,506,191
AGH Althea Group 0.05 -48.91 -27.69 4.44 9.30 $18,301,852
IDT IDT Australia Ltd 0.07 -56.13 -9.33 4.62 6.25 $20,711,671
HGV Hygrovest Limited 0.04 -31.75 -39.44 -6.52 4.88 $9,043,356
EPN Epsilon Healthcare 0.02 -32.35 0.00 15.00 4.55 $6,908,142
RGI Roto-Gro Intl Ltd 0.22 0.00 0.00 1900.00 0.00 $4,333,920
ECS ECS Botanics Holding 0.03 13.64 4.17 31.58 0.00 $27,668,267
CTV Colortv Limited 0.01 33.33 0.00 0.00 0.00 $1,236,985
WOA Wide Open Agricultur 0.33 -39.25 71.05 0.00 0.00 $46,566,576
AC8 Auscann Grp Hlgs Ltd 0.04 -6.98 0.00 0.00 0.00 $17,621,884
MDC Medlab Clinical Ltd 6.60 -48.24 -7.82 0.00 0.00 $15,071,113
EVE EVE Health Group Ltd 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $5,274,483
CGB Cann Global Limited 0.02 -19.23 0.00 0.00 0.00 $5,436,345
WNX Wellnex Life Ltd 0.05 -17.19 -23.19 0.00 0.00 $22,203,352
EXL Elixinol Wellness 0.01 -62.86 -45.83 -13.33 0.00 $5,940,888
MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals 0.01 -72.22 -54.55 -16.67 0.00 $20,104,158
WFL Wellfully Limited 0.00 -90.48 -73.33 -55.56 0.00 $1,971,777
ZLD Zelira Therapeutics 1.55 -21.72 47.62 -9.36 -3.13 $17,361,147
BOD BOD Science Ltd 0.09 -15.06 -37.14 87.23 -3.30 $13,168,448
LV1 Live Verdure Ltd 0.09 -51.43 -50.00 -37.04 -3.41 $7,204,520
BOT Botanix Pharma Ltd 0.13 85.71 124.14 32.65 -3.70 $170,891,076
EOF Ecofibre Limited 0.18 -23.91 -31.37 -12.50 -5.41 $61,112,546
ALA Arovella Therapeutic 0.05 104.35 88.00 2.17 -6.00 $43,159,186
DTZ Dotz Nano Ltd 0.23 -23.33 -9.80 -8.00 -6.12 $107,231,202
EMD Emyria Limited 0.13 -38.10 -25.71 0.00 -7.14 $40,085,411
CAN Cann Group Ltd 0.13 -56.55 -41.39 -9.99 -7.41 $48,518,108
AVE Avecho Biotech Ltd 0.01 -58.33 -68.75 -16.67 -9.09 $10,810,818
VIT Vitura Health Ltd 0.53 165.00 -8.62 39.47 -10.92 $294,961,998
TSN The Sust Nutri Grp 0.01 -95.00 -70.83 -12.50 -12.50 $985,340
IRX Inhalerx Limited 0.04 -53.33 -37.50 -18.60 -25.53 $7,970,212
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Melodiol Global (ASX:ME1)

Melodiol rose 40% on Thursday after delivering a record revenue quarter, with group sales up 105%.

Unaudited net sales for the combined Melodiol group was $4.74m, a 105% gain on last quarter and a 202% increase on the PCP.

Q2 sales take H1 CY23 net sales to $7.06m, a 64% uplift on H1 CY22 ($4.31m).

Revenue momentum was highlighted by a material contribution from Health House International, a leading global supplier of medicinal cannabis, which was acquired in mid-Q2.


Little Green Pharma (ASX:LGP)

Little Green Pharma was awarded a commercial tender to supply up to $1.6 million (€1 million) of its CBD50 product to a French government medicinal cannabis trial.

LGP has been supplying the CBD50 to this trial, and remains the largest supplier with over 85% of the 3,000 participants expected to trial the product.

The company said it was very pleased to be selected by the French Government to continue supplying its GMP manufactured medicinal cannabis products, and views the French medicinal cannabis market as a highly prospective opportunity for the company.


Neurotech (ASX:NTI)

Neurotech has received HREC (ethics) approval and Clinical Trial Notification (CTN) scheme clearance by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for its Rett Syndrome clinical trial.

The Phase 2 clinical trial will examine the effects of daily oral treatment of NTI164 on 14 Rett Syndrome patients initially and will be conducted across three centres in Australia.

Rett Syndrome is the second leading cause of intellectual disability in girls, with an urgent medical need to develop safe and effective therapies to treat this progressive neurological disease.

Patient recruitment is expected to begin in early Q3 CY2023 and the preliminary (top-line) results of the trial are anticipated in Q1 CY2024.


Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHL)

Incannex has also received ethics approval for Phase 2 Clinical Trial assessing IHL-675A for use in the treatment of pain and function in rheumatoid arthritis.

The Phase 2 trial follows a successful Phase 1 trial where IHL-675A was observed to be well tolerated.

Incannex says results from Phase 2 will contribute to the combination rule assessment in a 505(b)2 new drug application dossier with the FDA.

Separately, the company said this week that it was on the move, with plans to redomicile its shares on to the Nasdaq.


Bod Science (ASX:BOD)

Bod Science provided a ‘landmark update’ on its Phase IIB insomnia clinical trial for a new Schedule 3 cannabidiol (CBD) product for the Australian market.

Bod announced that all patients have now completed the Phase IIB clinical trial – officially completing the final step in R&D (research and development) of the new product.

The trial was being undertaken by Australia’s leading sleep research organisation, the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, and assessed the efficacy of a uniquely developed Schedule 3 CBD formulation on symptoms associated with insomnia in 198 participants over an eight-week period.

BOD said this was a milestone that has put the company in pole position to have the first Schedule 3 CBD product in the Australian market.


Now read: How Bod Science pulled ahead in the race for Australia’s first over-the-counter CBD


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Incannex Healthcare, Neurotech and Melodiol Global are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.