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Weedmaps and Berner working to combat anti-weed platforms with cannabis-friendly site

african american man smoking weed

Berner once had his own business account on Instagram blocked.

Rapper and cannapreneur Berner has teamed with Weedmaps to give people a place to feature cannabis on social media without fear of getting shut down. According to Ganjapreneur, the rapper who founded the Cookies brand and stores reports that Facebook and Instagram have been cracking down on cannabis-related posts by closing multiple accounts. That leaves the providers and their followers out of touch, potentially having a negative impact on businesses both now and going forward.

Indeed, Berner reported back in 2014 that his business account had been deleted from Instagram, Hip Hop DX reported at the time.

“I was fortunate enough to get my account back, but many other community members have not been so lucky.”

Being blocked out in part provided the rapper-turned-cannabis entrepreneur with the push he needed to pursue the new network.

Teaming with dispensary review site Weedmaps, the idea is to level the playing field by making the “Instagram of Marijuana,” a safe destination for cannabis businesses, key figures and enthusiasts.

In a tweet earlier this month, Berner asked, “Are you sick [of] being silenced ?? Have you lost your account for posting weed ?? Don’t worry … me & @weedmaps have something special in the works.”

In another tweet, this time from Weedmaps: “Together with @berner415, we’re creating a space where cannabis brands, retailers, creators and consumers alike can share and enjoy cannabis content more freely. The grass will be greener over here. Stay tuned.”

The problem comes down to platforms like Instagram and Facebook viewing cannabis as a drug, as does the U.S. federal government. As a Schedule I drug, marijuana shares company with heroin, LSD and ecstasy as a substance “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

Facebook’s Regulated Goods page specifically bans posts of “content that attempts to buy, sell, trade, donate or gift or asks for marijuana.”

Twitter, for its part, “prohibits the promotion of drugs and drug paraphernalia.” Examples of drugs and drug paraphernalia include illegal drugs, recreational and herbal drugs, accessories associated with drug use, drug dispensaries and depictions of hard drug use,” company information states.

“I think I speak for the whole industry when I say promoting new drops, flavors or just business in general has been a challenge on social media platforms,” Berner notes in a statement on Instagram, per LMC on Youtube.

“Our goal is to create a home for all of us that allows us to get back to normal in real time, and create a platform for cultivators, brands, connoisseurs and stores,” he writes. “We shouldn’t feel like we’re doing something wrong anymore.”

Beyond business, though, Berner has dived into social equality issues. Earlier this year, he and former NBA great Chris Webber decided to try to help level the cannabis playing field by ensuring that members of marginalized communities who want to enter the industry are well-equipped, properly trained and ready to go.

Following the protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the rapper signalled that some things are simply more important than others. After a Cookies store was damaged, his focus was on justice, not griping about damage to a store.

Money not being the primary focus was likely never more clearly demonstrated than when Berner passed after reportedly being offered $800 million for his Cookies clothing and cannabis business.

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