Strange Cannabis Trends on LinkedIn
LinkedIn Reveals Some Strange Cannabis Trends and Personalities
LinkedIn, the Facebook for Business, is getting into the cannabis game in a big way with thousands of new cannabis professionals listing their cannabis affiliations on their business profiles, but is the LinkedIn algorithm ready for this new niche? I have been in the cannabis industry for over 3 years and hit 3 to 4 trade shows a year, including the MJ Biz show in Vegas every year. I have hundreds of cannabis connections having run Cannabis.net and doing so much content on companies and people dealing with the plant. I did a test. I upped my game. I decided to friend hundreds of cannabis profiles over a month and see how the algorithm would treat me by adding so many cannabis-based professionals in a short time. A few surprising trends pop-up that I was surprises to see.
*Cannabis and Crypto Professionals – A surprising amount of cannabis-based keyword profiles that agreed to my request also were using crypto in their profile description, especially for those outside the US. I am not a fan of cryptocurrencies and cannabis being mentioned in the same breath, or as similar ideas or trends in life. Cannabis and blockchain? Yes. That makes sense. Blockchain is just a big accounting software more so than a new programming language. Its built on the premise that no records could ever be lost or manipulated. For a seed-to-sale tracking program, or for medical marijuana records, makes perfect sense.
Cryptocurrencies and cannabis are dead-in-the water already, sorry all you “crypto to facilitate cannabis sales anonymously” fans. Crypto is dead to cannabis for a few good reasons. One, the ICO reputation, or Initial Coin Offerings as they are called, are a non-starter now. ICO’s have been marred by so many scammers and thieves that to associate crypto or ICO’s with cannabis is going in the wrong direction the cannabis space wants to go in. Two, while the need for cryptocurrencies in general has been greatly debated, the SAFE BANKING ACT will end all cryptocurrencies for cannabis, as well as any type of specialty CBD or hemp banking set up. Once the SAFE BANKING ACT is passed, banks and merchant processors will be able to work with all legal cannabis and hemp companies free of worry about the US government yanking their banking licenses. That means good old Visa, Mastercard, and Amex processing at cannabis businesses just like you have now at other stores. That also means regular processing rates (maybe a bit higher until the actual Federal law is changed on the cannabis plant), but easy access for cannabis business to swipe credit cards and have funds land in a business bank account at the local bank.
What about the fact crypto will keep you anonymous when you buy weed? Not even close anymore. Recent rulings not only put the onus on the crypto holder to report gains and loses to the IRS, but also gives the IRS full access to subpoena crypto servers and user records. Basically, the US government realized keeping the country safe from terrorist acts and gun sales through crypto was more important than people anonymously buying weed or signing up at an adult site.
There will be negative incentive for businesses to use crypto in their model, as rates will be higher, and processing will take longer. If you are running a business setting up hemp and CBD merchant account, you better start to pivot now because Chase, Citibank, and Morgan Stanley are about to offer legal 1.5% swipe accounts to the industry.
*The Hemp Exchange Market in Colorado and California – Unless you are in the cannabis space, or more specifically live in California or Colorado, you probably had no idea there were so many profiles dealing with CBD and hemp “exchanges”, “brokers”, ”biomass”, “broker-dealer hemp” etc. There is a booming submarket to cannabis known as CBD from hemp, and the hemp farmers who grow the stuff are just trying to get their grown product to market. Like any commodities market, which this entire space will become in about 3 years, the farmer grows the product, he or she wants to sell their hemp at the highest price, the middleman either buys or sources a deal for the product to an isolate maker or hemp processor, and the hemp processor buys the raw product and then makes it into a form of CBD that can then be sold as oil, isolate, powder, or edible. The ecosystem is like a closed-end mutual fund because most of it, until recently, could not cross a state line, so the whole system had to be contained in one state. Even with the passing of the Farm Bill you are seeing stories about truckers who are hauling hemp being arrested by police who think it is cannabis. Mitch McConnell just spoke publicly about legalizing the whole plant to clear up these mistakes. Mitch represents Kentucky, a huge hemp growing state, and wants to make sure his farmers can sell products and ship them in an orderly fashion.
* Get-Rich-Quick Stock Scammers for Cannabis – It didn’t take long for the get-rich-quick scammers to hit the cannabis market. The scammers are preying on the desire that people all want to get rich on cannabis stocks. I have gotten more than one offer by direct message claiming 30% monthly returns on cannabis stocks, regardless on whether cannabis stocks go up or down that month. When I asked if they are using options to increase leverage to get those amazing returns, they say they can’t reveal their strategies. To put their claims in perspective, the US 10 Year Note is paying around 2.8% right now a year, that is one of the safest investments in the world. High-yield bonds, thedebt of riskier private companies in the US, pays about 5.4% a year right now. The marijuana scammers are basically saying they can return 440% a year, and they claim with no risk. Ummm, yeah. I’ll pass. One question I always ask is, if you can get that kind of return, why not just invest your own money for a few months and retire.
As the cannabis niche grows bigger the job profiles in LinkedIn will increasingly be using the words cannabis, marijuana, weed, and 420. The LinkedIn algorithm will adjust for those keywords and show you more and more similar people, but for now, certain trends for those keywords and people are “Buyer Beware”.