The grim outlook is shaped without needing to consider the typical worries regarding popular social media apps, namely harassment, privacy and security. While those are pressing issues, cannabis brands, influencers and fans alike more often run into other social media stumbling blocks. They include account suspensions, deletions and content suppression.
Why Aren’t Cannabis Companies Welcomed on Mainstream Social Media?
The rationale behind the bans is vaguely justified in that federal law in the U.S., where most prominent social media companies are headquartered, still considers cannabis a Schedule I narcotic. As such, social media and advertising platforms like Meta, Google and others continue to ban just about any plant-related brand from paying to play on their marketplace and use its ad space.
Under the current circumstances, cannabis-focused accounts continue to be banned outright or face shadow bans. In the latter case, user content can still be published but only reaches an infinitesimal fraction of an account’s followers.
While one app or another could be pinpointed as the problem, the truth is that the entire social media landscape is unwilling to play with cannabis to some degree or another. Posting a photo of the plant in any fashion, from a still image on a table to doing some substantial dabs on camera, can all land you in social media prison or exiled outright.
If your account posts about sales or attempts to “boost” a social media post for advertising, then you can likely kiss your account goodbye soon after.
In short, social media isn’t messing around.
The ban is just one of countless hurdles the industry faces as it pushes towards legalization and online acceptance. Thankfully, the minds behind the cannabis industry have long been creative and adept at finding solutions when none are meant to exist.
Several attempts have been made at creating a dominant cannabis-focused social media platform. However, many have fallen short of the followers or longevity to stay viable. Today, cannabis social media offerings are improving, with tech-savvy leaders converging with community input to shape a future cornerstone of cannabis tech potentially.
One of the newer entrants to reach the public, My Ganja, takes examples from popular social media while embracing the unique demands of the cannabis space. With a pedigree of cannatech success already, its founders hope to be the first to truly crack the social media user ceiling and thrive, creating a lasting place for cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to unite.
Providing a Solution for the Digital Cannabis Community
Tech industry veteran Joshua Hatfield saw an opportunity to use his experience to help close critical information gaps in the cannabis community. Admittedly, he isn’t a plant connoisseur, but he is avid in helping improve landscapes for all involved.
Hatfield, who helped architect Super Bowl ads at one point in his career, had experience building the infrastructure and getting the public to engage en masse. He proved successful in the cannabis space once before, as the mind behind The CBD Registry, an online database of over 23,000 CBD businesses that provide consumers transparent information about brands and products.
With My Ganja, Hatfield and his team aim to provide cannabis with a friendly photo and video sharing app. In doing so, it seeks to provide a hub for fans and businesses to connect. It also strives to help enterprises get the word out about their products and the events they’ll soon be.
In doing so, My Ganja hopes to see the cannabis community grow its network with confidence rather than walking on eggshells like it does today.
My Ganja likely won’t confuse users with its familiar interface. But it may take cannabis fans a moment to realize they’re working with a plant-friendly social app.
An interface that reminds users of Instagram but with a cannabis twist makes My Ganja an easy-to-learn new app. Behind the scenes is where the app truly stands out from mainstream social media offerings. It boasts several standout components users don’t currently experience on mainstream social media.
Beyond the noticeable cannabis acceptance, My Ganja offers users an array of value propositions. All too often, popular accounts on major platforms find themselves throttled of sorts. If account deletion or shadow banning won’t stop the momentum, a cap on new followers certainly will.
In these cases, an account won’t receive the promotion as a suggested account to follow or similar promotions curated by the platform. Rather than stopping the rise of cannabis content, My Ganja encourages it. The platform states that it won’t cap or restrict growth in most cases.
While cannabis is readily accepted on the site, content that promotes hatred, violence, data manipulation, scams and other illegal or immoral acts are not tolerated.
Unlike other major social media apps, My Ganja also has a responsive staff willing and able to provide clarity to users. On too many social apps, a user can’t reach customer support to clarify policies, give feedback or address account hacks or deletions. In any case, the user often receives no reply, and if they do, it’s usually a copy-paste-style response received after days or weeks.
Hatfield said his company is proud to have a 48 hour or less turnaround time for questions and comments. The quick response time comes as the app values its early-stage users and their opinions. Without their insights about the app’s UX, My Ganja would not be as user-friendly as it intends to be.
A significant portion of that valuable product feedback has come from businesses looking to stand out rather than be shut down by social media. A critical complaint has centered on business promotion and targeting ads. Due to the current regulatory restrictions, cannabis companies are more likely to see their accounts closed than increase sales when using a social platform’s suite of business tools.
After paying thousands of dollars for expo booths and product developments, companies want to get the word out on what they’ve got going on. They want to see a return on their investment. Still, tech companies can’t or won’t get involved with cannabis brands, leading to drastically diminished hopes of hyping upcoming product drops or events.
With a business account, My Ganja users can promote their work, upcoming events and other consumer-facing information. Companies can also target specific markets, allowing brands to hone in on the area and the people most likely to attend.
Thanks to community feedback, My Ganja and Hatfield are planning the subsequent short-term and long-term company offerings as the app matures. The company is working on a blockchain-backed NFT option at the moment.
The app will also enter the virtual trade show space, allowing cannabis consumers to soon tap into bustling meetups. There, they can get to know vendors, learn about products, meet plant enthusiasts and even buy products from the comfort of their homes. The yet-to-launch endeavor plans to run quarterly.
The My Ganja team is enthused about the value they believe they can bring to the cannabis space, especially as mainstream social media lags on cannabis. After four years of development and refinement, the app now hopes to secure the regular users and sustainability that has so often evaded prior cannabis social apps.