Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram delete cannabis-related accounts for policy violations, leaving cannabis companies with limited advertising opportunities. After rapper and cannabis entrepreneur Berner had his business accounts deleted from Instagram, he teamed with cannabis tech company Weedmaps to launch their social media platform on marijuana.com. As of now, when you enter that URL into a search engine, it redirects to Weedmaps “Latest News” page of their website. Berner will serve as brand ambassador for Weedmaps and as executive director for the new social media platform.
“Both social networks view cannabis as a ‘drug,’ and many marijuana businesses have lost valuable accounts and followers because of this crackdown. I was fortunate enough to get my account back, but many other community members have not been so lucky,” said Berner. “This community is special to me, and we believe in this plant, and now Marijuana.com will unite and bring our people together.”
Because Berner is also the founder and owner of Cookies cannabis brand, Weedmaps.com Co-Founder and CEO Justin Hartfield say this makes him “a perfect partner” for the company.
“He’s not just a rapper looking to profit off the industry. He is deeply passionate about marijuana legalization and someone that has known, loved, and respected marijuana since long before there was even a ‘cannabis industry,'” said Hartfield.
Users complain there is no consistency with regulation and enforcement on Instagram and Facebook. Both entities remind users that the system isn’t “perfect” and hide behind promises of reform. Compared to other online communities, the cannabis community is small, which provides no incentive for change by Instagram or Facebook. They stand to lose large mainstream (i.e., more conservative) advertisers if they allow the cannabis industry to infiltrate their algorithms.
Because cannabis is federally illegal, social media giants maintain any promotion of the sale or use of any federally illicit substances violates company policy, regardless of the cannabis company’s state’s regulations. Neither Instagram nor Facebook has issued any guidelines or consistent behavior for blocking content or deleting profiles. Postings that went unnoticed a few years ago now result in a deleted account.
Users on the new social network can create free profiles and post cannabis-related content without censorship. The platform will also include a “Powered by Weedmaps.com” rating and review system for artists, brands, dispensaries, shops, and strains. Whatever your cannabis business entails, be it futuristic cartridge filling machine designs or the frostiest buds in the land, you should be able to be advertise and communicate on this platform.