If you follow The Station on Instagram, you may have noticed that we haven't posted any photos recently. This is because, earlier this month, Instagram has deleted our account. Unfortunately, this has been an issue for countless individuals and businesses in the cannabis community as the social platform continues to crackdown on cannabis-oriented accounts without clarifying what their cannabis policy actually is.
The Story of Coral Reefer
"Coral Reefer" (alias) is a California resident and cannabis celebrity that amassed an enthusiastic following on Instagram. Then, in 2015, she woke up one day to find that her account had been deleted. She attempted to create a new account later that year, but could only re-collect 130,000 followers before Instagram deleted that account, as well.
"Instagram has been incredibly valuable in giving a voice to the voiceless, and that's included cannabis patients and providers," Coral Reefer told ATTN:. "Posting our own use of cannabis has allowed patients and enthusiasts to take ownership of the 'stoner' image and see it overhauled in the public's eye."
Cannabis community leaders have tried to confront Instagram over its unclear cannabis policy. Hundreds of legal businesses and law-abiding users have had their accounts affected, but big brands like High Times magazine and Leafly have accounts that have been left untouched by the company—as have many accounts that clearly use the platform to sell cannabis illegally in Colorado and elsewhere. Despite these calls from the community, however, Instagram has yet to clarify what its cannabis policy actually is.
Why Instagram Is Important
For businesses like The Station, platforms like Instagram are essential for engaging with our customers. Colorado cannabis law does not permit the use of our cannabis products in the store, so our business relies on social platforms like Instagram to interact with customers once they get home and can legally consume cannabis. For our business, we believe that these relationships are key not just in fostering loyalty and guaranteeing customer service, but to participating in a community that we care about.
It is unclear what Instagram's plan is for the future, as well. Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington and medical cannabis is permitted in 23 other states. If those numbers only stand to grow in upcoming elections, will Instagram continue to mysteriously police the community it itself helped foster? As Coral Reefer puts it: "It's a shame they aren't proud of the community that has grown on Instagram around cannabis. I hope that they can clarify their policy to reflect the interest of many of their users."
The Station can now be found on @thestationcolorado on Instagram. We are also active on the Mass Roots platform, as well. For more information on our products, current deals, and which cannabis strain might be right for you, contact our Boulder dispensary at 303.625.6521 today.