The Social Media of Cannabis

The Social Media of Cannabis
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Contributor: B. O’Neal

There is no doubt that, with the cannabis industry being in this gray area of legalization, many questions are still left unanswered. Employers aren’t clear on drug testing and hiring standards. The media isn’t sure how to cover things in a balanced way, without favoring one side or the other. Often, any negative claim that is made isn’t backed by any valid sources whatsoever. Despite all that, the laws are changing regarding the ways that cannabis can be advertised, and how it should (or shouldn’t) appeal to various age demographics.

The Social Media of Cannabis

This also raises questions about the various social media platforms that are available today. Most inquires are about how they are governed, or policed. Also, with so many platforms out nowadays, and with so many states in the midst of legalization, there really isn’t a clear cut answer to any of these inquisitive questions at the moment.

It should come as no surprise, however, that social media is an essential tool for the success of any new business today. I would be interested (and surprised) to see a startup company earn any sort of success or notoriety without utilizing the power of social media nowadays. Especially if said startup is dependant on an online presence in any way, shape, or form. It is almost an absolute must.

The capacity to keep people informed and up to date on the inner-workings of a business, all for free, is a supremely priceless tool. Sure, one can pay to run ads and promotions on various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but the platforms themselves are free to use.

Before the dawn of social media, companies would have to pay to advertise in magazines, newspapers, and billboards. And many still do. But this is a vastly different landscape than it was just a decade ago. The game has undoubtedly changed, and the advertising industry has been hit hard because of it. The massive ad revenue that these social media giants are bringing in is simply astounding. With their power to capture the attention of so many people, and garner so much attention, one can easily see why it is so valuable.

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The Social Media of Cannabis

So how does this all pertain to the cannabis industry?

Well, with all these new canna-businesses trying to get up and running, they are attempting to do the same thing any other startup would do. They want to promote themselves by utilizing the power of social media. But for these businesses it is not so simple. 

For a company to amass a decent (and loyal) following on social media is difficult – even without any “red tape” or additional complications. Which is exactly what these new burgeoning cannabis companies are battling against.

Everyone has heard of the controversial Facebook ads that ran prior to the 2016 election. Also, there’s plenty of ads that are continuously removed from social platforms regarding hate speech and/or racism. These social platforms have needed to adapt overnight, as these issues were brought under the microscope.

Mark Zuckerberg, himself, has had to testify in front of Congress multiple times regarding these various issues, as well as others. These platforms have power – a lot of power. They have the ability to sway the masses and, perhaps, even sway an election. Which is exactly why these tech giants have had to answer to Congress so many times. In their eyes, these social media behemoths can sway the masses with too much ease, so they have attempted to step in and regulate their methods.

Controversial issues like marijuana, which is only legal in some states, has fallen prey to the same constructs. Cannabis businesses that are attempting to grow and utilize social media have had trouble running ads on these various platforms, solely because it goes against their “guidelines” on the sale of illegal and/or regulated goods. Content that has been labored over is often removed for unjust reasons. Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by the same company, are well known for these practices, while Twitter is a bit more lenient in its content.

When it’s all broken down, one can see the dire need for cannabis to have a platform of its own. A place where the cannabis community, culture, and lifestyle are not discriminated against.

Introducing Puffy, which according to their website is, “The Biggest Cannabis Social Media Community.” How big, you ask? Well, the Puffy App boasts 4.2 stars with 866 reviews on the App Store. That doesn’t exactly tell us the size, per se, but for a new app that quantity of reviews isn’t exactly terrible.

The Social Media of Cannabis
The platform looks strikingly similar to Instagram in its layout. However, instead of the well-known heart shaped “like” button, Puffy has replaced it with the fire flame emoji. Which also portrays Puffy’s sense of humor surrounding the subject of marijuana.

Even the icons adjacent to the flame are identical to the Facebook-owned juggernaut of social media. One would think this could have the potential to draw some sort of legal recourse, but then again, look at how Instagram blatantly ripped off Snapchat when they introduced “Instagram Stories.”

Puffy is described themselves as, “a mobile platform for users to puff, connect, and meet up with new friends. Our app allows users to choose their preferences of who they’d like to connect with, so you don’t get people you don’t like. Puffy App provides users with unlimited swipes, and it is FREE to download on the Apple Store and Google Play.”

Puffy is described themselves as, “a mobile platform for users to puff, connect, and meet up with new friends. Our app allows users to choose their preferences of who they’d like to connect with, so you don’t get people you don’t like. Puffy App provides users with unlimited swipes, and it is FREE to download on the Apple Store and Google Play.”

The app is available on both iOS and Android, as well as for the iPhone and iPad, which is impressive. Because, if you know anything about application development, those are two separate design interfaces. Which essentially means their developers had to configure the app for multiple platforms, and that is no rudimentary task, by any means.

The app allows users to share photos and send messages. And just like the new addition to Instagram, there is a live video chat feature, as well. It also allows users to create/host events, and locate other cannabis enthusiasts in their area.

This could become a very useful, but temporary tool for the industry. I say “temporary” because what happens when the U.S. reaches legalization on a federal level? What is stopping Facebook, Instagram, and other tech giants from changing their stances when cannabis is no longer illegal nationwide? In short, nothing.

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