MJBizMagazine September 2021 - 65

encouraged McDowell to pivot from his
initial blog concept to an ecommerce
business. McDowell also participated in
a CBD-related business accelerator after
meeting one of its co-founders, Mike
Sibert, on the Clubhouse app.
" It's really important to find your tribe
and find out who you click with, but
don't just stick with them, " McDowell
said. " It's also important to step outside
your comfort zone and just look at other
industries. You never know who might
pop in a room. "
TIKTOK
TikTok offers a greater opportunity for
engagement to translate into sales because
of the viral nature of the app, Shute said.
The company revealed in August 2020
that the app had more than 100 million
weekly active users in the United States.
PufCreativ recently encouraged the
team behind smoking-equipment retailer
Bowlz to post on TikTok. " They had a
video go viral just out of nowhere and
sold out their inventory, " Shute said.
" Now they are blowing up: selling out of
every single inventory round that they
get and forming huge partnerships. It's
really cool to see. "
An April 23 video highlighting
how a Bowlz-branded glass rod could
be used for lighting pipes and other
smoking devices had garnered about
2 million plays by early June. Other
videos posted by @BowlzOfficial have
been played tens of thousands of times
and highlight the company's smoking
paraphernalia while popular songs play
in the background.
The company's posts cover related topics
such as, " Something we wish we knew
when we first started poking smot. " (The
wordplay reflects Bowlz' attempt to stay
on the right side of the app's regulations
governing cannabis, alcohol and other
substances.)
THE RULES
Cannabis companies have to be creative
when promoting marijuana consumption
or related products and services.
Yesenia
Garcia
" We'll definitely take sort of a deep
dive into each user's comments and content
to really understand what they're
trying to do and what they're about to
make sure that it aligns with our brand
and who we are as a company. "
After Moxie identifies an influencTikTok's
community guidelines " do not
allow the depiction, promotion or trade
of " cannabis. The app, which initially
launched in China, warns users that it will
remove any content that violates the rules
and suspend or ban accounts involved in
severe and repeated violations.
" Do not post, upload, stream or share
... content that offers the purchase, sale,
trade or solicitation of drugs or other
controlled substances, alcohol or tobacco
products (including vaping products), "
the guidelines state.
Searches for posts with the hashtags
#cannabis, #marijuana or #weed typically
yield zero results on the app. Videos
tagged with hemp- and CBD-related
hashtags, meanwhile, do not face the
same restrictions.
Because of the restrictions, marijuanarelated
posts frequently include coded
hashtags such as #oregano or #leaf to
avoid being flagged while still reaching
interested users.
INFLUENCERS
Influencers can also be helpful in protecting
a brand's account from being banned
on TikTok, said Tessa Adams, chief
marketing officer at California-based
cannabis retailer Moxie.
Moxie has worked with influencers to
promote its delivery service, HighNow,
Adams said. " It's authentic content that
speaks to our type of consumer without
screaming, 'Hey, we're cannabis, and
we're selling this.' "
The company finds users it wants to
partner with amid scans of cannabisrelated
hashtags, she said.
er to work with, someone from the
company will send the user a direct
message through the TikTok app or via
Instagram. If the influencer agrees they
would be a good fit for the company,
Moxie sometimes provides samples to
the user.
Most influencer partnerships are
driven by free products and discount
codes. The company occasionally offers
compensation when it wants to use the
content created by the influencer for its
own purposes, Adams said.
" We work with each respective influencer
on a custom package to make sure
they are able to test the products they
are most interested in, so the content remains
genuine and authentic, " she said.
" Moxie has products in every category,
so finding the right fit for each influencer
is easy and helps generate the best
possible working relationship. "
SELLER BEWARE
According to a Pew Research Center
report published in April, 21% of those
surveyed use TikTok. Among TikTok
users, 48% are 18-29 years old, the
report said.
Moxie sees TikTok as an avenue to
reach potential consumers in Gen Z,
which it considers " the up-and-coming
consumers for cannabis, " Adams
said. But the brand is careful about
marketing to those 21 and older who
are legally allowed to recreationally
consume cannabis in California. And
it looks to tap into trends popular only
among those in their 20s or millennials,
she said.
" We definitely never want to advertise
to the younger crowd, and we make sure
that we're specific and stating exactly
who it is that we're talking to when we're
speaking, " Adams said.
September 2021 | mjbizdaily.com 65
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MJBizMagazine September 2021

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