It all started a few years ago. . . I guess more than just a few.
The year was 2013 and cannabis was still very much taboo online.
Close friends of mine used VPN’s just to discuss the latest strain or way to increase yield.
Paranoia was real. SWIM was still a thing.
IC Mag was the place to be back then. Hidden behind usernames and our monitors, cannabis users were able to discuss cannabis. Relatively free from any prying eyes or law enforcement.
We were also able to gather and join forces on various projects that focused on spreading the legalization movement.
One of these projects was a Facebook network of pages that would ultimately become just a few major cannabis media players.
As time went by, these pages grew and grew, but at the same time Facebook would ban the pages with no reason, stating these pages were ‘promoting unacceptable drug use.’ . . It was clear early on that Facebook was under political pressure from states that wanted to keep voters from voting pro cannabis.
Even as early as 2012 Facebook had a strict stance on advertising E -cigarettes, papers, cigarettes, hookahs… Or any other type of device that may be used for vaporizing or smoking any herb or plant.
Fast forward to today.
The cannabis industry has changed dramatically. The projected annual growth rate of the industry is estimated at a whopping 29% annual compounding! The Arcview medical research suggests $21.8 billion in total annual sales by 2020. (By comparison, at that point, the legal marijuana market could be bigger than the National Football League, which saw roughly $12 billion of revenue last year but is aiming to reach $25 billion by 2027.)
But still Facebook bans any cannabis related ad, no matter how targeted it is to your demographic or legal state. And as such these large Facebook pages are the only ones with a decent amount of influence on the platform.
We own some of these pages and are connected to some of the other fastest growing pages, but how long until Facebook removes bans them again.
This is only one of the reasons we began work on a decentralized solution.