Alphabet Inc.’s Google is taking steps toward ending its prohibition on advertising for cannabidiol products through a trial program that allows select companies in the budding hemp sub-industry to purchase ads on its platform, according to one CBD retailer that was asked to participate.
Shedrack Anderson, co-founder of the CBD-infused skincare line Chilyo LP, said Thursday that Google approached him to be part of a “trial realm” of companies that could purchase advertising on the site through its Google Ads portal. He declined to say when Google made its overture or how many other CBD retailers are in the program.
Advertising on Google is currently prohibited for companies selling products containing CBD. The tech giant lists cannabidiol under its unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements for its ad platform, so CBD brands have to rely on search engine optimization to appear higher in search engine results.
Under the program, Anderson said Chilyo has been able to submit ads for review for a number of Google’s platforms, from paid search to YouTube, but there are some restrictions. Advertisements for CBD can’t use the word “CBD,” for example. Anderson said Google encouraged him to use phrasing such as “full-spectrum hemp” on his all-topical products instead.
Google is also heavily monitoring Chilyo’s website, Anderson said, such as watching click-throughs. He declined to say how long the test program would run.
Google did not respond to a request for comment.