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Cannabis Curious? How marijuana brands are leveraging influencer marketing to shine light on their industry

Cannabis Curious? How marijuana brands are leveraging influencer marketing to shine light on their industry Image

The first thing we all do when looking to find out more information about something is go to the internet. Even though the cannabis industry is extremely established, recreational and medical marijuana use is still a relatively new and even taboo concept to many. Further, the differences in legality across various US states and territories adds another level of potential confusion for consumers.

So how are cannabis curious consumers learning more about medical and recreational marijuana use? Through influencers.

While marijuana use has become increasingly mainstream as more states vote to legalize its use, cannabis is still technically illegal under federal law as a Schedule I psychoactive substance. This makes advertising exceptionally challenging for marketers in the cannabis industry.

All the major social media platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others all adhere strictly to federal regulations when it comes to prohibiting the advertisement of drug-related products. So even though marijuana may be completely legal to purchase and use in a certain location, it’s still illegal for cannabis companies to advertise to consumers on social media.

This presents quite a paradox: cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in existence, and yet it’s illegal to advertise the product via traditional advertising methods.

Enter: Cannabis Influencers.

The cannabis influencer marketing industry goes far beyond the stereotypical images consumers might have, appealing to a wide variety of interests. From reviews of different varietals of bud, to cooking and recipes, to how to grow your own plants - the interests and expertise of cannabis influencers is as varied and nuanced as any other vertical.

For example, take “Jeff the 420 Chef”. Dubbed “The Julia Child of Weed” by Daily Beast, Jeff invented Culinary Cannabis, odorless smokable cannabis flower, and "tasteless" canna-oil and cannabutter. Jeff has also developed a cookbook and is the owner of Monica’s House, an edibles consumption lounge in Los Angeles.

Or Morgan Leigh English, the founder of “Stoned and Toned”, an online gym promoting the benefits of smoking cannabis while working out.

Or Natalie Nicosia whose diagnosis of a rare liver condition gave her no option but to turn to medical cannabis, and whose blog GanjapreneurGal helps demystify medical marijuana use.

Want more examples? Here are 15 Cannabis influencers spreading awareness and information on Marijuana.

Consumers are able to learn about their desired use for marijuana through the expert opinions of cannabis users and proponents on social media. By partnering with creators in this space, marketers are able to get their message across to the public without going the traditional route of paid advertising.

Beyond giving companies a legal way to reach customers, influencers can inspire trust in cannabis brands and products. Recent studies have shown over and over again that consumers trust the opinions of influencers, even over those of their friends and family. Much of this can be attributed to an understanding that an influencer has expertise in a certain area after trying many products and building a reputation over a number of years. It’s the same with cannabis influencers; when it comes to using a substance that may be unknown to us, we naturally want to hear from someone who has tried it before.

Both influencer marketing and cannabis are among the fastest-growing industries in the world; it’s no surprise that they’re a perfect match.

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