Reefer Madness is a 1936 feature-length film purportedly showing the negative effects of marijuana consumption. Normal, mild-mannered American husbands turned into paranoid, schizophrenic lunatics from smoking a joint.

The film had a longer-lasting run after reappearing in the 1970s as a cult film popular due to its obvious errors. The film became a parody of itself.

This is not to say that cannabis is so far removed from those admittedly false assumptions.

Today, Cannabis brands (and fans) attempting to use social media to communicate brand and build customer awareness run into Reefer Madness troubles as their accounts are deleted, banned, or otherwise suppressed. As a result, Cannabis brands that attempt to connect with customers must jump from platform to platform.

There may be one location that, if not exactly friendly, at least is not unfriendly to Cannabis businesses.  Many industry insiders consider LinkedIn as the most cannabis-friendly choice at the moment. There are few metrics or measures to help quantify that perspective, demanding a reliance on anecdotal feedback.

LinkedIn and Cannabis

Karina Karassev, co-founder, and COO of cannabis packaging brand Stori said LinkedIn does a good job recognizing cannabis industry professionals. “LinkedIn does an excellent job removing negative stigmas surrounding the cannabis industry,”. Alice Moon, a cannabis PR and social media professional, says it’s great for connecting industry professionals.

“It’s more so for people and not brands, but it is a great place for brands to share their latest press coverage and news,” Moon said.

Moon also said Twitter tolerates cannabis content, but the search feature connects the term cannabis with substance abuse messages (hello Reefer Madness).

“LinkedIn remains one of the only platforms that allows for organic reach as it relates to cannabis content and groups, and industry pros and businesses don’t have to worry about potentially being penalized or ‘shadow banned’ from their networks,” says Brooke Benavides, director of marketing for CMW Media.

Other Potential Social Media Options

YouTube in recent months has lessened restrictions on cannabis, which we can hope sets a precedent for the other major outlets. It remains to be seen how viable YouTube will be as a source to raise brand awareness or connect with consumers.

There are newer cannabis-dedicated platforms like TheWeedTube, Leafwire and MJLink. These startups are attempting to provide a social platform solution specific to the cannabis industry and consumers containing brand information, Cannabis 101 articles, and discussions. Though growing, are just a few startups aiming to provide a solution to the cannabis community and its businesses.

Regardless of the method used, community building is essential to building a brand. CMW’s Benavides said releasing press releases and offering quotes to the media helps build credibility.

“Releasing company news and providing quotes on trending stories is a way for brands to build editorial credibility while remaining top of mind – and top of a Google search,” she noted, speaking to the power of search engine optimization (SEO).

Liz Gottbrecht, director of delivery brand Lantern, said Reddit helps connect with fans by hosting AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions on specific subreddits. Lantern also focuses on platforms like the Alphabet Inc Class C (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube, Twitch, and Pinterest.

“They have strong cannabis-adjacent communities where we can explore and share relevant content within the guidelines – food, how-to’s, gaming,” Gottbrecht noted.

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