PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Thinking they've been playing by the rules, the owner of an edibles company doesn't understand why Instagram shut down their pages.

We have covered this issue in the past with a different medical marijuana company.

[RELATED: Instagram shuts down, reinstates Mesa medical marijuana dispensary's page]

Nadeem Al-Hasan co-founded Baked Bros Edibles, which sells THC gummies and syrup, in 2014. They are now in 85 dispensaries in Arizona. At the height of their Instagram fame, he said they had 22,000 followers.

[WATCH: Phoenix medical marijuana shop upset with Instagram over page being pulled]

"We've spent thousands of dollars into social media managers, social media content creation, photography," Al-Hasan said.

But Nadeem said all that went out the window in late 2015 when their page @bakedbros_az was disabled for violating Instagram's terms.

"We got it back five months later, and we just had it removed six months ago," Al-Hasan said.

So they started a new page, @bakedbros_edibles, in January. In March that one got disabled, too. But after we went to Instagram, they said that the second account was "removed in error," and then restored. They maintain the original account was removed for violating their policies.

Instagram spokeswoman Stephanie Otway also said:

...When people report content or accounts to us, we have a global team of content reviewers who assess that content and take action on it in line with our policies. We receive millions of reports and at times reviewers make mistakes when assessing content and take down content or accounts in error. We give people the option to appeal mistakes here: https://help.instagram.com/366993040048856

"They have appeared, in our review, to have been following the guidelines," said attorney Todd Winter, who represents cannabis businesses in California and Arizona, including Baked Bros. He said this is not an isolated event.

"A majority of our clients are shut down regularly for no apparent reason," Winter said. 

Otway reiterated their policy to us:

Content that attempts to buy, sell or trade marijuana is not allowed on Instagram, regardless of state or country. We prohibit any marijuana seller, including dispensaries, from promoting their business by providing contact information – and we will remove accounts that violate these policies. We do allow marijuana advocacy content, and dispensaries can also promote the use and federal legalization of marijuana provided that they do not also attempt its sale.

"It's so subjective to what's violating the terms so who's to say who we're offending, if we are at all," Al-Hasan said.

He also said he would be playing it safe as much as possible on their page @bakedbrosaz on the social media platform.

"Fingers crossed we don't get removed," he said. "That's part of owning a business, risk, right?"

Award-winning journalist Lindsey Reiser is a regular contributor in the evenings on CBS 5 News at 10 p.m.
 
 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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(7) comments

Dean

Should be shut down completely.

sbx

Shut down really? Why because you do not approve of how others choose to heal themselves? What else do you feel you should have ruling power over? F in morons you think it is everyone else they shut down just wait until its your things they start hitting then you will all of a sudden speak up for yourself. You nor anyone else has the right to choose how anyone else heals themselves. Get a grip and worry about your own life not everyone else's.

Dean

Heal themselves? Right. Good excuse to get high. And of course become a danger to me and my family while driving a car while buzzed. Don't try to tell me you do not get high when you use the garbage.

MyOwnMind

Brilliant numb nuts. Now we have the new name to notify Instagram.

AZRepublican

Liberals shutting down Liberals ...you have got to love it !! LMAO

YoureAnIgnoramous

Instagram is owned by facebook. Facebook is as about as liberal as YOU, AZrepublican... don't be disingenuous.

Robs

Shut you down, what a dirty low down tunneled thing to do by that kind. [angry]

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