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Top Cannabis Social Media Influencers
Marketing in the age of social media is a different beast. The days of distant brand identities are gone, and socially relevant, self-aware marketing is in. Platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat provide a more accessible way to reach consumers, but oversaturation means brands can't always get consumers' attention. That's where influencers come in.

Social media has made it possible for normal people to develop huge followings online. It also allows individuals to become marketers of their own brand and help market products for other companies, opening up entirely new advertising avenues. In the cannabis space, where traditional marketing is limited and sometimes risky, partnering with cannabis influencers can make or break a product.

Cannabis influencers have to find the delicate balance between getting their content to the masses and staying under the radar since social platforms aren't fully accepting of the cannabis use on their pages, so it can be hard for brands and consumers to find them. We spoke with seven of the top influencers in the industry about what it's like to be a cannabis influencer and how brands can best work with them.

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Trippy Trees influencer photo

An OG cannabis influencer, @trippy.treez knows the business. Her understanding of marketing in the cannabis space has allowed her to connect with her audience to grow her own following and give brands advice on how to do the same.

Instagram: @trippy.treez

YouTube: Trippy.Treez

When and why did you start your account/channel?

In the beginning, around 2015-2016, I was doing accounting for a bunch of different places, and just for extra money I was helping with grows, trimming, watering; just doing that on the side... At the time, people didn't think it was a good thing. They'd tell me, "You'll end up in jail" and "Your career is gone. You'll never get a job again." In hindsight, it's funny to think about, but at the time I was actually worried I was ruining my career...Back then, there were really no cannabis influencers either, it was just starting out. There were beauty influencers and certain YouTubers, which was where I took my inspiration. I would be watching all these fashion influencers, thinking, "Why can't I do this with weed?"

How did you tell your family/friends about being a cannabis content creator? How do they feel about it?

People always freak out when I say this, but my parents and family actually have no idea what I do. They think I still work in accounting. For me, I come from a traditional Russian background and my family is very old school...I don't think they'd be happy about me doing it so I'm hoping one day I'll have some kind of business to really show for it.

What's the worst thing a brand can do when working with an influencer?

I love this question; I'm just trying to think of the best way to answer it. If you're going to work with any kind of influencer, you want to see it from their standpoint. What I'm seeing with brands I'm working with is that with mainstream influencers, gifting cannabis is like a dream. It's unheard of. Whereas for cannabis influencers, we're given eighths, ounces, all the time, so it's totally different. It doesn't provide the same value as for a regular influencer...Brands could also try to make themselves stand out by offering to pay for an experience: a helicopter ride, a road trip, a nice dinner, an adventure. Something that's going to get people excited...Each influencer is totally different too; even though we're all in the cannabis space, we're all into different things.


Old Fat Lesbians influencer photo

With a name that catches your attention and a constant stream of lighthearted, queer, cannabis-filled video content, the 420oldfatlesbians are a bright spot in the crowded world of Instagram.

Instagram: @420oldfatlesbians


When and why did you start your account/channel?

We started our page as entertainment for our retirement. We then realized by using our name it might help open people's minds up to acceptance. There is prejudice around the sections of our name and hopefully by putting ourselves out there others can see we are who we are. We have lived life, functioning in society, long-term careers and now retired, fat and active, gay and proud, older and open weed consumers.

Besides sponsored posts for brands, are there other ways you make money as an influencer?

We also make money through sales of merch and the value in gifted product (the smokeable kind). We were restricted from traveling to events and seshes for the first 4 months due to Lee's heart attack, but now she's cleared and we have a few things planned.

How did you tell your family/friends about being a cannabis content creator? How do they feel about it?

Our family and friends love our platform...We have always "been who we are" so when this took off they weren't too shocked.

How would you describe your niche/brand within the cannabis space?

Good question -- Our niche in the cannabis/gay space has let others know it's ok to be out and proud whether it's consuming cannabis or being an old, fat lesbian. Many people have thanked us because they haven't seen many older lesbians being themselves and not hiding their love of ganja. It's amazing to hear people's stories and struggles, very humbling.

What's the worst thing a brand can do when working with an influencer?

We would say probably trying to control the content. I would hope a brand contacts an influencer because they like the influencer's form of entertainment or style.


MacDizzle influencer photo

Social media censorship struggles have only spurred on her passion for cannabis content creation, and her funny videos and relatable content are what keep her combined 500K + followers and subscribers coming back again and again.

Instagram: @macdizzle420

YouTube: Macdizzle420


How did you tell your family and friends about being a cannabis content creator? How do they feel about it?

I don't remember the exact conversation. I think I told my dad after it became really successful, we had gotten like 100,000 subscribers in 7 months on the YouTube channel, so at that point I was like, "Alright, this is going somewhere, I guess I'll share it," and I just kind of told my parents. Their biggest question was, "Are you keeping your clothes on?" So, they were pleased to find out it was a fully clothed show. I had to have a separate conversation with my little sister because she's nine and a half years younger than me. I had to be like, "Look, this is what I'm doing. If you smoke weed before it's legal, I'll beat the shit out of you, etc., etc."

What's your experience with being banned/shut down/limited by any platforms?

I had my YouTube channel deleted for several months and had to transition my entire career to Instagram. It was quite a drastic change for me; it was different to go from the full-length videos down to just a minute max. But I've definitely been shadow banned by Instagram millions of times. I was on the shadow ban for 49 days one time {editor's note: shadow bans normally last only two weeks}. Now, I don't know what's going on with the algorithm but no one's going on the Explore Page anymore... I'm grateful that I have the numbers that I have but at the same time I'm used to getting bigger ones.

What do you think when people who say cannabis influencers just smoke weed all day or don't see it as a viable career?

Honestly, I can' t blame them for thinking that. It's kind of crazy to live this lifestyle. Sometimes I'll have anxiety throughout the day because I'm like, "I'm not doing enough," but all my bills are paid, I have money in my bank account, everything's fine. There is a lot of hard work that goes into it and I think I take it for granted because I enjoy the work, but not everyone can do what I do...The only thing I'm concerned about is longevity. Nobody knows how long influencers can be influencers; this is the first generation to do it. I'm excited to see where it goes. But I feel like it could be a full-length career; you have @dabbinggranny who is of retirement age and has a successful career on Instagram. At the end of the day, I could do a lot of different kind of consulting and things like that because I've had a wide range of success across a variety of platforms, so I understand social media well.


Angela Manzetti influencer photo

If her tattoos and beautiful photoshoots don't already grab your attention, her artistic cannabis content certainly solidifies her spot as a top influencer.

Instagram: @angela_mazzanti

Is social media your main source of income or do you work another job?

Everything around Instagram is my job. I do side things like modeling and shoots, promoting clothing brands, hosting events, getting booked for guest appearances, but it's all related around Instagram.

What's your experience with being banned/shut down/limited by any platforms?

Four or five years ago, I got deleted, but got it back. I get shadow banned every so often, I get posts removed...I actually had something removed from my story this morning...One thing I've learned is it's more so people reporting your stuff rather than Instagram doing it. If a certain number of people report your stuff, that's when it gets taken down.

What's the worst thing a brand can do when working with an influencer?

The one thing I hate more than anything is when a brand hits me up and is just giving me product for the content I create. It's cool, but I realistically can't pay my bills with weed. It's kind of an insult too because I feel like I should be getting paid for the years I've put into creating a large following and the hours I spend creating content...Also, when brands don't let me be creative with how I want to do things. If they tell me, "We want you to say this..." It's like, you are hitting me up for a reason. Let me create content how I see fit for your brand and my page.

How do you feel about the word "influencer"?

I hate the term "influencer." I hate the whole thing behind it. I think there's a lot of ego in social media that needs to be cut back...A lot of people just want to put their phones up and record a video...of them just smoking weed again, but that's creativity in it. But the people who actually put in work to their videos, I stand behind that.


The Joya Ride influencer photo

Self-described as a "weed smoking womanist," @thejoyaride makes sure her content is inclusive for everyone to enjoy. After seeing her funny videos, love-yourself beauty shots, and truthful captions, you can't help but feel confident and lifted looking through her page.

Instagram: @thejoyaride

YouTube: Joya G


How would you describe your niche/brand within the cannabis space?

I'm equal parts confidence advocate, cannabis advocate, equality advocate. I completely melt when people tell me that I inspired them to be more comfortable with themselves.  I also love cannabis and I want to help bring about normalization regarding its use -- but I will make sure that everyone around me understands how cannabis laws have disproportionately affected people of color, long before I simply say, "legalize it."

What's your experience with being banned/shut down/limited by any platforms?

Censorship is the biggest issue that we deal with as cannabis influencers. I've never been deleted - *knocks on wood* - but I have definitely been limited in my access to my audience. It's honestly just frustrating to be treated differently than other types of influencers.

What do you think when people who say cannabis influencers just smoke weed all day or don't see it as a viable career?

I usually don't entertain people who say things like that because they're most likely ignorant as f*ck. Are your bills paid, sir? I'd hope so, especially if you're talking about whether or not I have a real job. My bills are paid, and I'm learning more and more about business by the minute. Also, I WISH I could smoke weed all day. I'm not one of those functioning stoners (lol).


Yola Youtube influencer photo

If you're in the mood for a pick-me-up, @yola_youtube's Instagram and YouTube channel (Dope As Yola) are always bringing the laughs, smoke, and positivity.

Instagram: @yola_youtube

YouTube: Dope As Yola


When and why did you start your account/channel?

I started Instagram in 2013 and got a really big following on there. And then in 2016, Instagram started erasing me and I've been deleted now 21 times. Totaling almost eight hundred-something followers all together they just take from me. It's very discouraging because there's so much work in those videos; it's not just nug shots. It's skits, this, that, so that's really why we started {YouTube} because we kept getting deleted…That was 7 months ago we started YouTube really... I mean, I started doing Instagram just for fun, it was just fun, and I didn't even really know that there was a weed world at all. I knew there was High Times Magazine -- that was it. I didn't know there were events, I didn't know about companies, I knew there was dispensaries but that was it. But yeah, that's really how it started. Just having fun and then it caught on and it got bigger and bigger and we just started doing it every day.

Is social media your main source of income or do you work another job?

I've actually never charged {for sponsored posts} before. I've done this for free since I started. I didn't know people were charging until recently -- I was like "Why would I charge people I know?"... come to find out, hey, man that's what you should be doing. You could charge them for all these videos you're putting together. I was just doing it because it was fun...But I own Push Trees clothing, so that's how I've been making money since I started Instagram. I started Push Trees about a year after I started Instagram and its really just been good...It's fun; if I can make money on the clothes enough to fund me making my videos then we'll do it. But now it's more like oh maybe I should think about money and the future and stuff.

What's the worst thing a brand can do when working with an influencer?

Honestly, the only thing that's ever pissed me off is when someone is not nice or not friendly. Being normal is fine, you don't have to be overly nice, but when someone's not friendly and they're trying to work with me, I think maybe they haven't seen a video from me before because I'm fucking nice -- I don't want to just sit there and it just be, "Well, do this."...The number one thing that's ever pissed me off in the world is when people try to make me sign a contract that's not the one I've read before. They try to dupe me into some shit... That's people being dishonest...That's my number one thing: just be nice.


QueenNYCN influencer photo

@queenncyn is the place to go to see the cannabis and beauty worlds collide. Gorgeous shots, artistic videos, and huge clouds are a staple throughout her beautifully curated page.

Instagram: @queenncyn

YouTube: Queencyn


When and why did you start your account?

I started my Instagram account @queenncyn 2 years ago but have been in the Instagram/social media space with my boyfriend (@ceo) for about 5 years now. Before starting my personal account @queenncyn we actually owned and grew meme pages for a living.

Is social media your main source of income or do you work another job?

Social media is my full-time job it has been for over 5 years.

How did you tell your family/friends about being a cannabis content creator? How do they feel about it?

My parents were totally against weed. They hated it, like most Mexican families. But by educating them about it, they were able to open up their minds. I actually just filmed a video with my mom where she talks about how she felt when she came across my page.

What's your experience with being banned/shut down/limited by any platforms?

It's horrible! I've been disabled about five times now for Instagram, and it does not get any better. Like I mentioned, Instagram is my full-time job so when that get deleted it puts everything on pause. It's so frustrating to me cause I feel like other niches on IG like beauty for example don't have to fear this.

What's the worst thing a brand can do when working with an influencer?

I think the worst thing they can do is treat all influencers the same. Nothing I hate more than an email I can tell was just copied and pasted. I want the brand to actually like me and know me.

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