The Influencer Series; Which Influencers Should You be Listening to?

by Brittiany Ralls

Cannabis is an industry that is represented in many ways. Being that some people view it as medical and others as recreational there are a variety of ways for the community to be represented. Leaving you to ask, either as a patient/consumer or company, what influencers or public figures align with your beliefs or values. Then asking why you should be listening to them anyway.

As we discussed in the first part of the three part series on influencers, they are people who should be knowledgeable in their respective field and probably utilize their platform in a positive way.

Which on the surface can seem easy enough for determining if you should follow that influencer or not. But I can assure you, that is not the case. Even a basic knowledge of their respective field isn’t necessarily a determining factor for who you should or shouldn’t be following or allowing to represent your company. So, how do you know who you should or shouldn’t follow or hire?

Let’s delve into what types of cannabis influencers we should be listening to.

We mentioned knowledge, of course this is a huge factor and typically a quick way to see if an influencer is worth following or hiring. But, not the only factor to consider. For example, a common trend I have noticed is dispensaries hiring models as budtenders. Sometimes these models, or “influencers,” are knowledgeable and sometimes they are not. In my experience, a majority are not knowledgeable. These types of “influencers” have also caused problems for companies for misrepresenting the company and its mission. For example, a model/influencer may wear a schoolgirl outfit in a photo shoot for their social media site, does that cannabis company decide everything the model/influencer wears to a shoot that they didn’t pay them for?

Influencer

No, probably not. But, as a mother myself and an owner of a business also, I wouldn’t want one of my models dressing up like a “sexy” schoolgirl for a shoot. Even if it isn’t with my company, however that is only one persons opinion. Regardless, cannabis is an industry that has to learn to be more aware and conscientious when it comes to what they represent. The very fact that cannabis has been used to criminalize minorities begs for us to make right the injustices done in our community. Which should be leaving patients, consumers, and cannabis businesses all with the thought that we need to follow influencers with intention.

Blindly following isn’t an option for the safety of our health and the health of our families. Influencers come in all forms, being influenced is your choice though. By choosing what influencers you follow, you are choosing the very ideals you put into your head on a daily basis. The very word influencer is associated with power and authority showing how heavily we should be weighing who we follow/hire as influencers. With so many ways to represent cannabis, medically and recreationally, there are bound to be mishaps and adjustments that we all will make through our country’s legalization journey.

Which is okay, as long as we actually make the adjustments when needed so we are able to show that as a community we can influence other communities to rise up.

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