Marijuana Legalization ‘Drastically Changed’ Cannabis Marketing On Instagram, Study Finds

Marijuana Legalization ‘Drastically Changed’ Cannabis Marketing On Instagram, Study Finds
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The marijuana legalization movement has “drastically changed” the social media landscape for cannabis marketing, according to a new research paper that focused on Instagram trends. While male-dominated, anonymous profiles have been a hallmark of illicit markets, that has largely shifted in the U.S. as more states have legalized marijuana. The researchers found that women are becoming the key “influencers” promoting cannabis through lifestyle-driven posts. The study, published last month in Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal, compared the profiles of 60 seemingly illicit sellers in Switzerland to 70 “cannabis influencer” profiles in the U.S., analyzing the visual and text-based differences. “Our findings show that cannabis influencers on Instagram are changing the stereotypical characteristics of illegal cannabis culture as being almost entirely dominated by men, to one where cannabis is represented as a desirable accessory in certain feminine lifestyles,” the researchers said. “Influencers’ role in transforming cannabis culture to become more mainstream and acceptable for women could potentially effect cannabis cultures globally, as well as ongoing legalization debates,” they wrote. “Marketing of cannabis on social media have drastically changed as a result of legalization. Social media like Instagram allows for cannabis influencers to spread their messages about cannabis as an accepted consumption product to millions of people of diverse ages, genders, and nationalities.” The authors acknowledged, however, that marketing marijuana on social media networks like Instagram is still a challenge under federal prohibition because companies are wary of being indirectly involved in illegal commerce, even if products are being promoted to people living in legal cannabis states. Unlike illicit sellers who try to obfuscate policies banning direct sales, cannabis influencers in the U.S. have adapted, with disclaimers frequently explaining that they are not selling marijuana but simply showing how they incorporate the products into their lifestyles. “When cannabis is marketed by…

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Source : Marijuana Legalization ‘Drastically Changed’ Cannabis Marketing On Instagram, Study Finds

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