Updated: May 8
At this point, it's no secret that cannabis businesses are susceptible to all kinds of digital fuckery. To quickly list a few:
Instagram: shadowbanning, account hacking, de-platforming without warning.
Stripe/Paypal/Square/Etsy: account denial, account suspension, account termination.
LinkedIn: de-platforming, post-removal, lack of explicit rules.
I was motivated by these obstacles in 2019 when I began building the Hi-Curious Platform. I knew that I had to diversify my channels because the traditional means of community building and monetizing are not available to the cannabis industry.
The biggest dissent I receive from people who decline to partner with us is that "they don't have enough time" to devote to another platform.
You're wasting 100% of the money you spend on social media if access to your your community or your payment provider can be taken away with one click.
I have been beating my chest about this for 3 years. But, people are finally starting to listen. So, I will continue.
If you had started building a community off social media 3 years ago, today you'd have:
A thriving community where cannabis users who love your brand are free to talk about and share how they use it.
Direct communication with your most important consumers.
Risk-free payment solution for digital subscriptions, pay gates, events, workshops & other premium content.
A content management system where your precious social media content would be carefully archived and available for your community to learn more about you at their pace (rather than the algorithm's).
A monthly livestream chat (and subsequent podcast, video clips, podcast) with your community to provide them with updates about your business and make content to promote your business.
It's not too late to start.
Of course we can't stop fighting for our voices to be heard on mainstream social media. But, it's time to stop pretending that the laws are going to change tomorrow and start building a sustainable community to support your business on a platform that was created FOR the cannabis industry.