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Cannabis companies are trying the metaverse as a new marketing platform

Big brands such as Miller Lite, Wendy’s, Estée Lauder and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have also experimented with using digital worlds for marketing, but cannabis marketers believe the metaverse could offer some benefits that are of particular interest to them. .

Since the Metaverse works on Web3 principles, in which decentralization replaces corporate control on the Web, cannabis marketers might be able to talk about their products more freely than on platforms like Facebook. , said Lisa Buffo, founder and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association.

“It’s a big open space in Web3…regulators haven’t figured it out yet,” Ms. Buffo said.

Higher Life CBD Dispensary LLC opened a store in December at Voxels, a metaverse-like platform that was called Cryptovoxels until a name change in May. The company partnered with Saucey Farms & Extracts LLC in February to take over the store’s second floor.

Virtual visitors cannot order Higher Life’s CBD products directly from the virtual store, but they can click on a fake cash register to visit Higher Life’s website and order CBD products there.

About a thousand people visit the store a day, said Brandon Howard, chief executive of Higher Life.

Saucey’s floor features another cash register, which again leads to a website where visitors can shop, in this case for non-cannabis products such as grinders.

Saucey hasn’t sold many items to visitors who click on its cash register, said Alex Todd, the company’s co-founder. But Saucey expects that to change when more people join the metaverse, he said.

The metaverse may be within five years of being able to sell cannabis, Todd said, predicting that US federal regulations banning the sale of the product could ease in that time frame.

Meanwhile, NFTs can help Saucey build brand awareness, especially as more people join the metaverse and search for clothing and accessories for their avatars, he said.

“It will be a great tool for the cannabis space,” he said.

Cannabis brand Kandy Girl, known for selling THC-infused gum that can be shipped to all 50 states, acquired land in Decentraland in December to promote the business and sell NFTs. He sold and gave away virtual wearables with NFTs, including wings that look like marijuana leaves. Its NFT sales in Decentraland have totaled around $30,000 so far, Kandy Girl said.

But there aren’t enough users right now to take the effort to the next level, said Ben Boyce, chief marketing officer at Kandy Girl, which is owned by Boyce Capital LLC.

“When there are a million people connected to a metaverse at any given time, that’s when it makes sense for staff. [a virtual] dispensary with a real, living human being,” Boyce said.

For now, cannabis brands are enjoying the relative freedom of the metaverse, where they can use tactics often prohibited on mainstream digital advertising platforms such as Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook and Instagram and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Meta’s Community Standards prohibit content, whether paid advertising or unpaid organic content, “that attempts to buy, sell, trade, give, or give or ask for marijuana “. Its advertising policies state that companies “must not promote the sale or use of illegal or recreational products.” drugs.”

Metaverse platforms have varying rules regarding cannabis. Roblox Corp. states in its terms of use that its video game platform “prohibits users from discussing, describing or promoting illegal or highly regulated activities”. any material or content that is… illegal.” On Meta’s Horizon Worlds platform, any content depicting marijuana is prohibited.

But Decentraland and Voxels said they work with cannabis companies.

“We have supported various NFT cannabis communities, as long as they adhere to the terms and conditions,” said Adam de Cata, Head of Partnerships at Decentraland.

Cannabis companies that open to Decentraland must follow legal regulations, including not serving users in countries where the product is banned, said Sam Hamilton, creative director of Decentraland Foundation, which builds tools for the platform. and manages its marketing.

But “as a decentralized platform, it’s not the Foundation’s role to curate user-generated content or police community philosophies,” Hamilton said.

Voxels prohibits the sale of cannabis on its platform, but has no objection if its users open mock dispensaries on its platform, said company founder Ben Nolan.

This story was published from a news agency feed with no text edits

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