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YouTube's Account Purges Spark A Cannabis Content Alternative

YouTube's Account Purges Spark A Cannabis Content Alternative

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)-owned YouTube has been cutting ties with scores of its content creators for over a year now. The latest effort is focused on removing racist content.

YouTube has zeroed in on cannabis content and its creators as well.

In the case of social media bans on cannabis, ancillary businesses have often been affected, as have content creators who merely discuss cannabis without using it or promoting its use.

One such content creator who's continuing to clash with YouTube is Arend Richard. He told Benzinga the purge of cannabis channels in February 2018 ignited the idea for his venture, TheWeedTube.

Need more cannabis news? Check out all of our coverage here.

Working With Smartphone Gatekeepers

Richard said he considered a cannabis-friendly video platform a necessity. He pulled together a group of similarly minded creators and launched the platform, which he said now provides an outlet for content creators like SilencedHippie, who saw her YouTube channel with 429,000 subscribers deleted.

TheWeedTube founder said smartphones have recently presented a problem for cannabis content creators as well. It began at the application stage with companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), he said.

“[TheWeedTube] went up on Android super easily the day that we applied ... but Apple took three, almost four weeks to finally approve us. We had to really go back and look at our user license agreement with attorneys and just really iron it out.”

In other cases, the pain points have come after being initially approved. The app was recently suspended from the Google Play store and taken down altogether just a few days later. The company formally resubmitted its request to be included on the app store and was reinstated June 7.

TheWeedTube is far from YouTube numbers in content and traffic, but Richard said it's seeing positive results.

The site notched more than 2.5 million visitors in its first year while offering only a web version of the platform.

"In that first year, we were doing an average of about 500,000 views every single month, which was really significant and fantastic for a non-app video platform," said Richard.

'It'll Probably Get Deleted Again'

Richard does not see TheWeedTube as competition to YouTube.

He continues to create content on both platforms, though he said he expects struggles to persist with YouTube.

"It was deleted [and] brought back," he said of his channel on YouTube. "Now it'll probably get deleted again. It's just like a cycle now at this point."

Need more cannabis news? Check out all of our coverage here.


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