MN Med Parent Company Battles Google Over Rejected Ads

From Star Tribune, 3/23/16:  A Minnesota-based medical marijuana company says Google is blocking its attempts to advertise online.  Vireo, the parent company of Minnesota Medical Solutions, tried to take out a series of online ads in New York, where it operates four clinics and is one of several companies chosen by that state to grow and manufacture medical cannabis. Each time, Google rejected the ads, citing its policy against promoting “dangerous products or services.”  On Monday, the company expanded its online advertising efforts to include the two Minnesota clinics operated by Minnesota Medical Solutions. Enrollment in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program remains relatively low — 1,133 patients since legalization last July. But Vireo announced that it would also attempt to place “Minnesota-targeted Google ads to make it easier for Minnesota patients to learn about using our medicines.”  Google did not respond to calls and e-mail inquiries Tuesday, but the company draws a line between acceptable and unacceptable online advertisements: “We want to help keep people safe both online and offline, so we don’t allow the promotion of some products or services that cause damage, harm, or injury,” the guidelines begin. The list of products Google will not advertise runs from explosives to tobacco to “recreational drugs and drug-related equipment.”  Read entire article here.