Marijuana has always been a shared experience. As a prohibited substance, users gathered together, sometimes in the shadows. Because it was once relatively scarce and expensive, it was passed around in private. And, because use enhanced experience, the smokers needed someone to listen.
That’s the story of how the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo began as well. From about 400 people in Denver four years ago, to more than 10,000 last week. Cannapreneurs are feeling good about the prospects of legalized cannabis, despite the ambiguity on what will happen with the next presidential administration.
Fundamentally a social experience, the cannabis market was ready for a social application in technology, applications that would share the impressions and preferences, that would introduce people to others of like mind, and that would provide extensive current information on product and potential.
Apple once banned social media apps for a marijuana focus. As Adweek put it, “Apple is notoriously arbitrary in choosing the apps that will grace its digital store, and that store controls a major share of the mobile market and can make or break companies.”
Under immediate pressure, Apple reversed its position in just weeks. As the market driver, it opened the floodgates for hundreds of apps to follow. After all, social media is ruled and powered by the generation that is making marijuana use legal. These six hot apps are leading technology’s rush to support cannabis’ social world.
MassRoots, one of the first and continuing successful apps, helped Apple change its mind. Aiming to support the legalization of cannabis, it promotes the economic, health and social benefits of marijuana use. The app seeks to build a community that empowers consumers and providers. Their goal is to “develop the leading technology for consumers and businesses in the emerging cannabis industry.”
Publicly owned, MassRoots offers a platform for users to post blogs about their personal experience, likes, and dislikes. Members recommend strains, dispensaries, and advocate for causes.
KushCommon calls itself the by invitation only “International Cannabis Community.” KushCommon does not emphasize any specific political agenda. Instead, it focuses on user social exchange. The exchange itself builds and extends the community that posts blogs, photos, videos and music. Members recommend user accessories and review strains and sources.
Duby is a way to metaphorically pass a blunt among friends. What Duby does differently is add gamification elements. The game is to score big by getting your photo passed around so much it goes viral. It is free, anonymous, secure and open to those 17 and over. And, it posts news, strain reviews and swag for sale.
GrassCity presents forums for open discussion of cannabis issues from product recommendations, favored dispensaries and retailers, and many more. The forums also recommend trending topics. But, the sight has more going for it. For example, a tab for Recent News updates members on hundreds of new strains. There is a GrassCity Headshop promoting sales of bongs, pipes, apparel and more.
GrassCity Magazine is as current an eMagazine as you’ll find on news, politics, product, and lifestyle.
5. High There!
High There! Is the inevitable dating app for members of the marijuana community. Unabashedly a social app, it links people according to their weed strain or preferred device. High There! posts your picture, and members can swipe photos right or left. A brief 420-character profile lists your interests, moods, and likes. The app is home to those who have been scorned for their habits and want a community of similar mind-sets. But, the app does not work in cities or states where use is banned.
6. 420 Singles
420.singles is a social dating app that connects you with marijuana users. Since 2011, they have set the pace for apps dedicated to weed smokers. Its global membership introduces consumers to people and practices in other cultures, all free of charge. App customers at StonedGirls find it a nice respectful place to chat about their use and experiences, but they also feel dates are more likely to be found in the real social world.
The most popular social apps listed have similarity to other social media and match sites makes them familiar in use, and that’s an attraction itself. With the official novelty to legalized marijuana use and the potential economic market, we should anticipate greater mobile app innovation in the future.