A recent study has concluded that the cannabis legalization wave sweeping across states and countries has triggered “drastic changes” in the way marijuana is advertised on Instagram. The research found that women are now more noticeable as “marijuana influencers,” and they drive cannabis marketing by posting about the way marijuana can be incorporated in one’s lifestyle.
This study is in stark contrast to pre-legalization years in which men where the more expected face of advertising illicit marijuana. The profiles of marijuana influencers now are also authentic, while those of the previous lot of marketers were anonymous or almost identifiable as fake because of the prohibition of marijuana in the target markets.
The study, whose findings were published in April, analyzed the profile pages of 60 apparently black-market sellers as well as 70 profile pages of cannabis influencers based within the United States. The researchers focused a great deal on any notable text or visual differences.
The study findings indicate that Instagram is enabling marijuana influencers to flip the stereotypes about the illicit marijuana sector as being built around men. Today, cannabis is gaining the persona of a female user who wants the substance to meet a certain need in the female lifestyle. Such marketing is making it normal for women to use marijuana in the jurisdictions where it is legal.
The authors of the study note that such changes in the ways through which marijuana is marketed can influence consumption habits as well as shape the debate as people discuss the possibility of legalizing this plant.
The research team was also quick to observe that the current federal prohibition of marijuana had made it harder to market cannabis on social media platforms. This is because those platforms were actively censoring content in a bid to avoid being penalized by the federal government. This censorship takes place even in states where cannabis is legal.
It is now common to find cannabis influencers adding disclaimers to their posts, clarifying that the influencer isn’t in any way attempting to sell marijuana; instead, they note that they are only providing an explanation of the different ways in which they incorporate cannabis products in their lifestyles.
The study also notes that the female-dominated cannabis influencers in the United States largely focus their attention on how marijuana products can be used as lifestyle accessories while the previous generation of marketers tended to focus more on the marijuana itself, rather than its benefits. This shift in marketing now presents cannabis not as something hippie but as a substance that is compatible with motherhood, working out, and enjoying good health.
These evolving trends in cannabis marketing are likely to be followed closely by sector actors such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) in a bid to stay abreast of the latest trends that can help attain the objectives of the firms.
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