In the age of the social network, the cannabis industry is in a unique predicament. Advertising, marketing, and – most importantly – networking cannot be done across the usual channels. Cannabis businesses cannot easily advertise products or even co-mingle with one another when many of their operations are still considered illegal in over twenty states.
It’s high-time for new social media sites and software platforms to launch and meet the growing network needs of the cannabis industry.
What kind of social networks are we talking about?
The kind where entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry can connect, educate, and share resources and ideas with each other. A lot of the money in social media lies in blockchain development, but not every web developer is heading in that direction. Social networking is its own niche, and one, Michigan-based Cannabiz Connection, offers a very distinct solution.
Connecting cannabis entrepreneurs with one another and the resources they need is at the core of Cannabiz Connection’s mission. First and foremost it is not a money-making or even money-managing app. It’s a social network exclusive to business owners in the cannabis industry.
According to their website, the online community intends to build long-lasting business relationships between owners and service providers across the industry. Their biggest contribution to the medical cannabis sphere is their educational resources. Cannabiz founder and CEO Jamie Cooper recently told Green Market Report, “I created the all-in-one Cannabiz Connection platform to help people learn, grow and build successful cannabis careers.”
Learning is key. The community will start hosting networking events next quarter, and Cooper is already planning to host educational webinars that will air every Tuesday afternoon. The intention is to educate the members of the cannabis industry in every corner of their business, from insurance, to legal woes, even marketing.
Right now, the social network is only for Michigan-based businesses. But there are plans to expand by the end of the year. Michigan legalized medical marijuana back in 2008 and has since collected over $7 million in revenue from applications for their medical marijuana program alone.
Are there more social networks for canna-business owners?
In 2018, there are only a handful of websites that cater to the networking needs of the cannabis industry. While Cannabiz Connection offers a business directory and educational resources, another – Cannabis Associates Network – acts as a LinkedIn-type community that is exclusively tailored for cannabis entrepreneurs.
Career building is a big part of social media in the cannabis industry. In a semi-legal professional space where it can be hard to find the right employees, social networks can act as a liaison between the business owners looking for a dependable staff and the cannabis professionals looking to start their careers.
On the Cannabis Associates Network, creating a profile gives users access to post resumes and apply for jobs via the website. Along with the opportunity to blog and network, applying for jobs is one of the key ways the social network can better serve this emerging industry.
What about blockchain and social media?
Blockchain technology still has a stronghold on the cannabis industry. Because of its transparency, it makes doing business more lucrative and verifiable for emerging start-ups and growers. It’s also one of the best ways for dispensaries to manage their money amid the lack of support from big banks.
MassRoots is one such cannabis company that is trying to combine social networking with blockchain technology. The website still caters to users, with content that connects cannabis connoisseurs with edibles, new strains, and nearby dispensaries. But on top of that, MassRoots wants to extend their reach by using blockchain technology to connect advertisers with their ideal consumer.
Blockchain technology can simplify anonymous data collected from social networks and give it to businesses looking to build a customer-base or social media following. Moving beyond cryptocurrency and applying blockchain to social media information can really give cannabis social networks an edge in the industry.
With this technology, the cannabis industry has the opportunity to transform social media. Blockchain may have been formulated by finance, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Combining blockchain technology with P2P payment platforms is one ways industries are changing the game, but social media can take it a step further.
By removing the need for third party verification, blockchain technology can turn social networks into a one-stop shop for cannabis entrepreneurs. When payments or contracts are being processed between businesses over a social network, the site’s own blockchain can verify the transaction and streamline the customer experience.
Right now, this is a radically new implementation of blockchain technology. But if social networks like Cannabiz Connection and Cannabis Associates Network can seize this opportunity, the potential for growth is exponential.