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Herb Plus | 01.23.2023

Cannabis & The Metaverse: Everything You Need To Know

This is what cannabis companies interested in the metaverse need to know.

As technology evolves, cannabis companies must ask themselves: how can this benefit my brand? Cannabis marketing can be complex, given all the rules and regulations that vary from state to state and country to country. 

Finding unique ways to market your brand not only increases visibility and awareness but demonstrates that you bring something different to the table. Authenticity, originality, and innovation are essential for separating your brand from the rest, and the metaverse might help you do that. 

Cannabis companies might wonder: what implications does the metaverse have for cannabis businesses? Is it possible to market or even sell cannabis in the metaverse? What about regulations and restrictions? 

If your brand has considered setting up shop in the metaverse, you’re not alone. See below for our rundown on the metaverse and how cannabis companies can use it as a marketing channel. 

What Is The Metaverse?

You’ve likely heard the term “metaverse” before. Although it became popular when Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, it’s much more than that. 

In fact, the term “metaverse” comes from a sci-fi novel written by Neal Stephenson in 1992 entitled Snow Crash. He described the metaverse as some kind of digital parallel universe, which isn’t far from what it is today. 

The metaverse comes from the idea based on Web3, a new iteration of the World Wide Web where everything runs on a decentralized blockchain. 

Simply put, the metaverse is the next generation of the internet that presents one single, immersive, and shared 3D experience where humans can interact with others through technologies like VR and AR. They can go about their day and do human-like things, like go to the dispensary (on some metaverse platforms). 

There are various metaverse platforms, like Meta’s Horizon World, Voxels, Decentraland, and Roblox Corp., just to name a few. Some have restrictions against cannabis, while others don’t. Read on for more. 

The Metaverse And Cannabis Regulations

As mentioned, different metaverse platforms have different regulations regarding what you can do and what’s prohibited. 

Unfortunately, the following metaverse platforms have completely banned cannabis companies and content altogether:

  • Roblox
  • Meta’s Horizon World
  • Sandbox

Meta’s community guidelines regarding cannabis bans paid and organic content that attempts “to buy, sell, trade, donate or gift or asks for marijuana.”

Similarly, Roblox’s guidelines note that it “prohibits users from discussing, depicting, or promoting illegal or highly-regulated activities.” 

Sandbox notes that transmitting information about anything illegal or “instructional information about illegal activities” is banned. Considering cannabis is still federally illegal in the United States, it’s banned on Sandbox.

Can Weed Be Sold In The Metaverse?

The short answer is yes! Sometimes. As mentioned, it depends on which metaverse platform you use. Luckily the following two metaverse platforms accept cannabis companies and content:

  • Decentraland
  • Voxels (formerly Cryptovoxels)

Cannabis companies use these metaverse platforms to buy digital land and set up shop as they would in real life. In fact, some are even selling real-life products through NFTs and delivering products to the customer’s real-life door. 

Higher Life CBD Dispensary LLC was one of the first cannabis companies to enter the metaverse and set up shop. The company partnered with Saucey Farms and Extracts LLC to open a virtual dispensary in Voxels. However, you can’t purchase anything from the store in the metaverse. Instead, you can access the company’s online website by clicking the cash register button in the virtual shop. 

Another cannabis company named Kandy Girl was the first cannabis company to actually sell THC products. It sells THC Gummies that are federally legal but can only be shipped to states where recreational consumption is legal. States where it’s illegal can only purchase CBD products, for now, anyway. 

How To Market In The Metaverse

Regardless of whether you’re selling weed or not, developing a presence in the metaverse can do wonders for your brand. Marketing your cannabis company in Decentraland or Voxels by acquiring land and creating your own shop can help differentiate your brand from others in the real world. 

Furthermore, other non-cannabis companies will be eager to step foot into the metaverse and use it as another marketing channel. This can bring an entirely new set of eyes to your cannabis company, which wouldn’t have found you had you not been established in the metaverse. 

Using Decentraland or Voxels for marketing your brand is far easier than marketing it in the real world through Facebook, Instagram, and Google. The rules are different, and you have more leeway to talk up your brand without facing repercussions. 

Selling your own branded NFTs in the metaverse can also help spread awareness of your brand, and you could consider selling regular products like attire, accessories, etc.

Final Thoughts

Using the metaverse to market your cannabis company can be of great use. Decentraland and Voxels are your best options. While Voxels does not allow the sale of cannabis, you are permitted to create a virtual dispensary that links to your real-life website. 

On the other hand, cannabis sales can be made on Decentraland, but just make sure to check out the platform’s rules and restrictions, as these tend to change like the seasons.

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