The open frontier of cannabis commercialism in the wake of decriminalization is bringing innovative new products, services, and brands to our doorstep almost daily. Coined the “Weed 2.0 Economy,” the opportunities to fill the needs of marijuana users as a cultural tour de force, not just cultivating and selling marijuana itself, has become big business. The latest slice of that pie growing to mass popularity is services that connect marijuana users socially. In fact, the prevalence of marijuana-based dating services and apps has exploded in recent months.
And why not, when you look at the mammoth reach of the dating industry. There are 124.6 million singles in America today, or 50.2% of our adult population, and 33% of couples meet online. That number is expected to rise to a whopping 70% by 2040, as matching up online seems to offer the ease, convenience, and anonymity that singles crave. About 5.5 million users actively frequent online dating sites every day and 120,000 U.S. couples get married every year after meeting online.
All of that online dating equates to some serious moolah. In 2013, there were approximately 3,898 dating services that employed 7,376 people and the online dating service industry was estimated to be worth $2.2 billion. It’s only grown exponentially since then, and now marijuana imbibers have carved out their own niche in the world of dating and social connections.
A handful of marijuana dating sites (or hookup sites) now exist, with more cropping up each day. Three of the most promising are stonersingles.net, 420singles.com, and my420mate.com. The whole pitch is that as singles meet people and start to date, the issue of marijuana often comes up, and just-as-often creates a rift of idealism between the budding couple, or even ends the relationship before it had a chance to get started. So wouldn’t it be great if there was a dating site (or sites) for people who all had the marijuana smoking or tolerance as a common lifestyle value? The concept is really no different than ChristianSingles.com, InterracialDating.com, or any of the other niche-based dating services out there when you think about it, but there are some nuances inherent with the nature of the shared interest; marijuana.
Just like any dating site, members can build profiles, post photos, peruse through other members, and message or make connections. But with these marijuana based dating sites, it’s ensured that you won’t have to endure that awkward talk where the other one says he or she disapproves of the “drug” marijuana. And it’s not just for stoners and burnouts, some of these sites are catering to a more sophisticated professional crowd, those who’s values and lifestyles match up. For instance, many people want to meet people and date but don’t want to hit the bar scene to find a match. So until marijuana cafes open up like in Amsterdam, finding someone online is a better fit.
There are differences from most other dating services, of course, based on the nature of marijuana discrimination and prohibition still in force in many parts of the country. Most of these dating sites let users enjoy total anonymity with an in-house email/messaging system and derived user names in order to keep their real name and personal information private until they see fit to reveal it.
And the social array of marijuana-friendly sites and apps isn’t only about dating. There’s HighThere, a social connection app started in 2011 that connects users, similar to Tinder but for pot enthusiasts. So far, HighThere has 53,000 members and that number is growing daily.
MassRoots is another social networking app that’s taken hold. Instead of a dating site, it’s more of a community based site where you can participate based on an anonymous identity, allowing you to post plenty of photos, smoking selfies, and other marijuana content without worrying about employers, family, or law enforcement taking note. Just like other social media apps it can be used just for fun or for a more altruistic cause, to spread the word about issues, medical news, and even legislation around marijuana. MassRoots now has about 170,000 users and more than 42 million interactions.
MassRoots, like many of these apps, is free to download and use, but some of them are still only available in the states where marijuana is legal.