OKLAHOMA CITY- Some Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensaries say they are being targeted by Facebook and it's hurting their business. They have filed a lawsuit against the social media giant.
It has been just over a year since Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana. With dispensaries popping up everywhere, business owners are trying to market any way they can. Some say one of the biggest advertising platforms on the planet is no longer an option for them.
"It's frustrating. It's irritating. It's aggravating," Monica Green, owner of Green's Bakery Dispensary, said about her struggles with Facebook.
Monica Green says her shop, along with other medical marijuana businesses, has been targeted by the social media giant.
"I'm currently in Facebook jail for sharing a post," said Green.
They say Facebook has taken down their business pages, not allowing them to interact with their customers.
"Sometimes Facebook is an easy way for people to look without having to call every dispensary in town to find out who has what," said Green.
Green's Bakery, along with 36 other dispensaries, have filed a lawsuit in Tulsa County against Facebook and its owners citing, "a pattern of targeting the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Industry."
The lawsuit alleges that Facebook has made a point to "discriminate, censor and harass," and is "purposefully causing financial harm."
"When our pages go down, it shows trends that our business goes down as well. People just assume that we went out of business," said Green.
"Once your page is gone, you can't do anything. You can't contact them and say, 'What did I do wrong?" said Patrick Allmond.
The social media expert says Facebook jail can hurt a business. He says since marijuana is a federally illegal drug, Facebook has been slow to move but has relaxed its crackdowns in states where marijuana and medical marijuana have been legalized.
"The whole medical marijuana thing, it just slowly, it takes a long time for Facebook to accept it. They tend to be more on the conservative side and block those things," said Allmond.
The suit itself is for $75,000. Businesses say that's pennies for a multi-billion dollar company like Facebook.
"We are just trying to make a stand and get their attention and let them know that we, unfortunately, count on them. We use them to market our business," said Green.
Green says that Facebook has not responded to the lawsuit. The social media giant hasn't responded to News 4's emails either.