Facebook has recently launched an aggressive campaign to rid its sites of some cannabis-related material, deleting or suspending dozens of accounts operated by marijuana businesses, most of which had operated for years without so much as a warning about offensive material.

“We tried to log into Instagram, and a message said we violated their policy, but they won’t say what that violation is,” said Rick Scarpello, CEO of Incredibles, a Denver-based edible company. “I’ve written them every day, saying I’m not doing anything illegal and please reinstate my account.”

Over the last five years, social media has become essential in the movement to legalize marijuana and as an advertising tool for the industry. Large groups of pot-loving activists on the sites can be mobilized during an election or marketed to by a galaxy of startup companies.

So shutting down accounts can be a significant setback for the companies – not just dispensaries, but also ancillary businesses.

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