Where to Turn When Social Media Sites Ban Your Cannabis Page

Dixie Elixirs, a cannabis product producer, is just one of the latest pot related business to have its Facebook page shut down. Joe Hodas of Dixie Elixirs says their Facebook page, which had 11,000 followers, completely vanished.

Facebook offered little explanation, simply displaying a notification that read “We remove any promotion or encouragement of drug use.”

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There have reportedly been dozens or even hundreds of similar page shutdowns. Cannabis related companies that operate legally within their respective states have lost thousands of followers—which in some cases took years to develop. “Facebook and Instagram were critical for us from a marketing perspective and for keeping in touch with our customers,” said Hodas, director of marketing at Dixie Elixirs. “It really cuts off an arm, so to speak.”

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The seemingly random account suspensions have stripped legitimate cannabis-related businesses of important advertising and marketing tools that business owners and industry advocates utilize.

But with this rash of page suspensions, new and innovative social network sites tailored specifically to the cannabis culture are cropping up. The pot industry is expected to generate upwards of $6.7 billion in the U.S. this year alone and has the potential to grow into a $21.8 billion industry by 2020.

MassRoots (ticker MSRT) is one of the cannabis-centric social networking sites that allow users and companies to create profiles, follow trending news, share media, and most importantly, advertise. MassRoots currently has over 725,000 users.

Though MassRoots was among the first to market a pot-friendly social network, it’s not alone. Social app Duby operates similarly to Instagram but for cannabis culture, allowing users to circulate image-based posts referred to as dubys–get it?

Also new to the scene is an all inclusive social networking site BudHubz, which currently has an app in development. BudHubz, “The Socialweedia™ Company” allows users, called “Buddies,” to create profiles and connect with other Buddies, seek out dispensaries, doctors, and even 420-friendly travel accommodations.

Many in the industry see this as a critical time for legal U.S. cannabis companies to demand that the broader technology industry take them seriously—as legitimate businesses and as a collective multi-billion dollar market.

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