Join the Clubhouse?
Over the past several months (who can really know exactly – it was COVID winter!) I’ve seen several colleagues and folks I admire participating in an exciting new virtual networking platform, Clubhouse. At first, I rejected invitations to join simply because I had no other choice: I don’t have access to the Clubhouse app via my mobile device, which operates on the Android OS. Then, I started wondering about who else might also be feeling both excluded and, honestly, a bit dismayed by the proliferation of enthusiasm for this invitation-only, not-so-secret virtual society in the cannabis industry.
Now, my perspective comes from being a middle child (nothing's ever fair!) and a marketing professional in one of the most (if not THE most) restrictive regulatory environments for cannabis marketing and advertising: Massachusetts Cannabis. And, for the past three-plus years I’ve endeavored to hammer the concepts of “do well and do good” and “know your history to change the future” into any conversation or client engagement possible, and via my role as executive director of a non-profit that exists to hammer the concepts of “do well and do good” and “know your history to change the future” into any conversation possible. I get it: I’m biased here. And I’m almost 42 years old, so I understand I’m a total Gen Xer who doesn’t use an iPhone.
But after months of wondering, I had to ask: If we're trying (and in some states regulated) to build an inclusive industry, why are cannabis businesses using Clubhouse, which is invite-only, and accessible only to those who own expensive iPhones and iPads? What is this almost-42-year-old missing?