SAN FRANCISCO – For a heavily networked industry like cannabis, the lack of in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating. Virtual trade shows and Zoom mixers have sprouted up here and there, but nothing has had the same impact as the real thing. Technology issues and an absence of a true sense of community have plagued these placeholders, leaving attendees even hungrier to a return to the conferences and after-parties we’ve all come to know and love.
However, a new social media platform has entered the narrative and it may finally be filling a void, unlike other digital options. Clubhouse, an audio-only app, is the fresh, hip place for cannabis professionals, thought leaders, and newcomers to meet and mingle. Quickly becoming a must-download, Clubhouse is an invite-only platform currently only available to iPhone users but already filled with some of the biggest names in marijuana and hemp.
Here’s how it works: users create rooms on any subject of their choosing. If the room is “open,” anyone can drop in to listen to the conversation. The creator of the room — the moderator — can then designate others within as speakers and/or moderators. People in the “audience” are able to “raise their hands” if they something they would like to contribute. Moderators can notify their followers within the room and also schedule rooms in advance.
There is no chat function — users must simply listen and pay attention, something lacking on other platforms. This return to the basic building blocks of human interaction is something Clubhouse fans state is the app is so popular, especially among the cannabis community.
From personal experience, this author has already gained several followers and quality connections from the Clubhouse app. Other early adopters agree.
Heidi Groshelle, a cannabis public relations professional, has only been on the app for a week but has already found it to be incredibly useful.
“Clubhouse is a fascinating platform and a new tool in my toolbox,” Groshelle told Highly Capitalized. “The opportunity to communicate with others in real-time opens up a whole new paradigm for advancing and debating ideas. I keep current with the trends in the industry, exchange knowledge, and build my brand.”
Stephen Eigenmann, a budding cannabis entrepreneur from Minnesota, agrees.
“I value the platform as someone who is trying to carve out a niche in the cannabis space, but who has not yet been able to dedicate their entire personal brand to cannabis,” he said. “It lives in this unique space above podcasts and has come at an ideal time when we’re desperate for events, conferences, and speaker series.
“Clubhouse has entered into the zeitgeist by offering you a unique alternative to the all to familiar but somewhat exhausted methods of conference calls, podcasts, and or zoom calls. It’s helping me reignite my passion for networking by providing a simple way to be present and meet new people without having to leave my house or brush my hair.”
For now, Clubhouse seems to be the place to be for cannabis insiders. If you want to join the fun, secure an invite from a friend and tap in!