Attention all stoners, your knight in shining armor has arrived. Making waves in the Cannabis community while simultaneously uplifting small businesses, Arend Richard is the co-founder and creative director of WeedTube. The man behind the world’s first and largest cannabis social networking platform has made quite a name for himself in such a short span of time. Not only does Arend create Cannabis-related content for his channel, but he also strives to make small businesses thrive.
When Richard started his career as a YouTuber back in 2015, his primary focus was on the cannabis industry. His channel featured educational content for new stoners, and after some time, it grew to over 190k subscribers. Things seemed great, but in February 2018, YouTube started deleting numerous channels that posted cannabis-related content, and Arend Richard’s channel was also one of them. According to Richard, he was good friends with a few of the YouTubers who were being deleted. So they joined hands and started a new platform: WeedTube.com
The social networking and online video sharing platform, The WeedTube, has now grown to become the largest space for cannabis-related content. At present, WeedTube has over 5 million unique users and its own exclusive tech stack for web and apps on iOS and Android. WeedTube visions becoming the “#1 Source for Cannabis Online” in the next three years in terms of content, information, and accessibility.
Despite launching an alternative video sharing platform, Arend’s struggle against online censorship and banning didn’t end here. His cannabis-related posts on Instagram kept seeing a decline in terms of reach and engagement. His fellow cannabis content creators noticed the same issue, a massive drop in the number of story views and reach. According to Arend, it is due to the Instagram shadow banning their content. As federal legalization looms in the future, the cannabis industry needs an online community that encourages informative and healthy discussions on the topic of cannabis so that people can educate themselves.
Social media is a challenging place for cannabis content creators and marketers. After having a good amount of followers or subscribers on your account, due to censorships and other community standards related concerns, these sites ban you, stop your monetization or, in some cases, delete your account. All your hardwork, hours of research and followers will disappear within a few minutes just because you do something that doesn’t go with their “community guidelines.” Even licensed businesses are groveling with the biggest platforms to avoid being deleted, hopelessly researching tips on “How your cannabis company can avoid a shutdown” since this has become common practice.
WeedTube was created for this sole reason. Today WeedTube has become a place where these cannabis business owners and content creators can upload their content and market their products to educate the community and promote their business. Cannabis is a growing market with a large number of consumers. In an interview, Arend said that he is pretty excited to see more mainstream marketing to the cannabis community. They have been hinted to be advertised by certain brands like Taco Bell and Dorritos.
Being a Gayman, Arend combats stigma through his actions. He wants to show the world that the cannabis community is wonderful and open-minded. In an interview, Arend said, “Combating stigma is doing good deeds in your everyday life, no matter the level of impact. No matter where you are. No matter who’s watching. It can be cannabis advocacy or being a person who’s going to pick up someone else’s litter from the streets.” Arend Richard is a person who wants to give it back to the community, and it can be seen in his ambitions. In the near future, he wants TheWeedTube as one of the first cannabis-related companies to make a very large contribution towards cleaning the plastic out of our oceans. He regards that nature has given us countless opportunities, resources, and whatnot; it is our responsibility to serve nature and make the world a better place through our tiny efforts.
Other than this, Over the years, Arend himself, along with The WeedTube, have held fundraisers for The Trevor Project, a non-profit that provides crisis support to prevent suicide among LGBTQ+ youth. Arend respects the cause, and it is very much close to his heart as he was kicked out of his home when he was a teenager for being gay. Every Pride Month, a fundraiser for The Trevor Project is held on WeedTube’s home page. To conclude, it wouldn’t be an injustice if we say that Arend Richard is a hero who is fighting for the noble cause of bringing recognition to the cannabis community by advocating their rights to promote their business and content on social media.