Since the first official legalization effort passed in Colorado, cannabis businesses have had a cold welcome from online companies. Google still refuses to allow cannabis-related websites from running on any of their advertising platforms. The same rules apply to Facebook’s ad services, as well. Just to make matters worse, the Facebook-owned sharing site Instagram recently purged several major cannabis brands from their site.
The world’s largest outdoor organic medical cannabis competition The Emerald Cup lost their Instagram, Twitter and Gmail accounts on the same day they planned to announce Damian Marley will perform at their 2016 Cup in December.
Prominent Bay Area cannabis analysis laboratory SC Labs also faced Insta-deletion last week, reports from CCTV state. SC Labs had 10,000 followers — a vital form of currency in the social media age.
“On a personal level, now I don’t have access to the five or six years of history documenting our process, our interactions with the community and the story of our company,” an SC Lab employee told Cannabis Club TV — an interest news outlet.
SC Labs, like many brands has endured multiple account closures, and had reached 18,000 followers in the past. Sometimes, pot brands will flag their rivals for deletion.
“I guess the Cannabis science and education was a bit too much for some of our followers we never like to see our social media accounts flagged or removed (4x now) but we also won’t let it stop us,” SC Labs stated.
Mainstream social media apps’ ongoing purge of content related to cannabis — which is legal for medical use in 36 states and legal for adults 21 and over to use in four states and the nation’s capital Washington D.C. — has spurred the development of social media safe havens like Mass Roots (Facebook for weed lovers), Toke With (Periscope for smoke sessions) and CCTV.
As the cannabis market quickly becomes the most innovative industry in the country, it will be interesting to see how these marketing voids will continue to be filled. Until then, cannabis businesses continued to be shunned from the normal ways of advertising and promoting a business.