She posts photos and videos of herself using cannabis on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter under the brand name Koala Puffs.
- Being a cannabis influencer on social apps like Instagram and YouTube can be lucrative. But creators say their accounts often get shut down by both tech platforms.
- Business Insider spoke with three cannabis influencers who said they charge anywhere from $300 to $1,500 for a sponsored post.
- Because of the threat of having an account on Instagram or YouTube shut down, these influencers said diversifying into other revenue streams like touring, merchandise, and consulting was important for cannabis creators.
Koala Puffs didn’t plan on becoming a cannabis influencer.
She discovered the potential for marijuana fame three years ago when she uploaded a photograph of herself holding a bong that was reposted by a bunch of cannabis meme pages. She then began posting skits and funny videos that helped her build an audience of hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.
“It started with pictures and taking bong rips,” she said. “I really just found a way to connect with so many people all over the world.”
Her cannabis-centered brand, Koala Puffs, has over 900,000 followers across Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter. Because her content is all about using cannabis, a federally classified Schedule I drug in the US, her accounts are in a tenuous position on social platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
“Instagram deleted me seven times in 12 months,” she said. “I never really heard from them about why my account went down. I really don’t think I’m doing anything wrong, and then you wake up and your page is gone and you don’t know for how long.”
She isn’t alone in facing uncertainty and confusion about the longevity of cannabis-themed accounts. Business Insider spoke with three other popular cannabis creators who all said their accounts had been shut down at various points by platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
Published: February 18, 2020
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News