DENVER — Colorado’s legal marijuana businesses have had their struggles with the federal government and now Facebook can be added to the mix.
Many dispensaries and other marijuana-related pages have been disappearing from the popular social network with little explanation beyond a violation of “community standards.”
Starbuds Marijuana Dispensary on Brighton Boulevard is open for business, but if you try to visit its Facebook page, you’ll begin to wonder if it ever existed.
“Our pages started getting shut down maybe 11 days ago,” said Chante Rivera, director of marketing for Starbuds.
Rivera said all of the company’s Facebook pages for its six locations were shut down within a day.
“It makes absolutely no sense,” Rivera said. “We don’t post people using our product or anything like that. We just post anything that you see on Facebook.”
Starbuds is far from the only business dealing with the problem. Many large companies, including The Green Solution and LivWell Enlightened Health, which operates 14 dispensaries, have had their pages taken down.
“A little disappointing,” LivWell’s Matthew Givner said. “Certainly frustrating.”
Frustrating because the businesses say they aren’t getting an explanation why. A Facebook spokeswoman declined an interview, but issued a statement.
“In order to maintain a safe environment on Facebook, we have Community Standards that describe what is and is not allowed on the service,” the statement read. “Anyone can report content to us if they think it violates our standards. Our teams review these reports rapidly and will remove the content if there is a violation.”
“We would certainly appreciate further clarification from Facebook,” Givner said.
Instead of waiting for an appeal from Facebook, LiveWell decided to create a new Facebook page. The company eliminated any ads and promotions specifically showing prices and other details. In the process, Givner said the company also lost more than 10,000 likes it had on the old page.
Starbuds opted to appeal the decision by Facebook. So far, two of its six pages have been reinstated with no explanation.
“It`s more like you have an ‘appeal’ button and you can click it,” Rivera said. “It’s random. We don’t really know why those pages are back up vs. the other pages and we’re just waiting to see.”