N.Y. medical marijuana company: Google is retaliating by pulling ads

A Fulton County-based medical marijuana manufacturer sees retaliation in Google’s decision to reject two of its advertisements just hours after the New York company went public with complaints about the tech giant’s policies.

Google had previously rejected seven advertisements from Vireo Health of New York that contained the words “medical marijuana” or “medical cannabis,” but had allowed the company to run two ads without those phrases. After Vireo released a statement Friday complaining that Google’s decision prevented it from marketing its products, Google pulled the two ads it had previously allowed.

“We are shocked and dismayed that Google chose to retaliate instead of engaging in a constructive dialogue,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York.

Google did not respond Monday to an inquiry about its latest decision regarding Vireo’s request to run paid ads. The California-based company said in an email Friday that its policies restrict a variety of medically related ads, including prescription drugs, medical devices and sexual enhancement products, in addition to marijuana.

Hoffnung said Vireo has spent the last month or so trying to discuss the advertising issue with Google. According to Vireo, Google’s stated policies prohibit the “promotion of substances that alter mental state for the purpose of recreation.” He said Vireo’s products are not meant for recreation, but sold in compliance with New York law to treat a restricted list of debilitating ailments.

To read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/N-Y-medical-marijuana-company-Google-is-6935305.php

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