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A cashier rings up a marijuana sale at the Essence cannabis dispensary, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Facebook shut down several pages promoting marijuana shops in Alaska



Facebook has shut down several pages promoting marijuana shops in Alaska, hurting business owners' prospects for new customers.

In June, Facebook announced more initiatives to help keep violent material and hate speech off the social media platform. According to Facebook's standards, site users are not allowed to promote marijuana sales.

Leah Levinton, owner of a legal weed shop called Enlighten Alaska, was upset that her business's Facebook page was taken down.

"It's just frustrating," she told the Associated Press. "We're already so limited that when something else that is almost like a privilege is taken away, it's just like, what do you do?"

Levinton fears that she will lose customers and new potential customers.

Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, empathizes with Levinton. She said her organization has tried to contact Facebook in an effort to obtain clear guidelines.

"In some cases, people never hear back. In other cases, they get their accounts back, fully restored," West said.

Although weed is legal for recreational use in eight states, it still remains illegal on the federal level.

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