A group of young people are earning a living by uploading videos of themselves into YouTube whilst they are stoned. Josh Young smokes weed throughout the day, from before eating breakfast right until the end of the day. He often films it for his YouTube channel called StrainCentral, which has more than 373,000 subscribers, and is watched by millions of people every month. He uses the money that he gains from this to pay his bills. He says that what he does for a living is often difficult to explain to others, stating that, “It’s a pretty impossible conversation to have with just about anyone – Uber drivers, people in elevators. I’m like, ‘I smoke pot on the internet, I guess?’”
Viewers flock to his YouTube channel to learn about marijuana and different ways to use it, as well as watching Young do things that they wouldn’t dare, such as smoking a gram of cannabis in one minute and watching the aftermath. Young also adds that some viewers tune in simply to watch the goings on of a fellow smoker. He claimed, “A lot of people on YouTube are just looking for a smoking buddy.” Young is a 21 year old medical cannabis patient in Washington who suffers from gastroparesis, and is part of a group supporting the legalisation of marijuana. However, the “WeedTubers” as they are known, have found that their age-restricted videos have some issues with generating maximum income. Google AdSense, which is a big money-maker for popular YouTubers that operates in family-friendly industries, does not permit monetization for age-restricted videos. Instagram also shuts down accounts with any marijuana content. However, despite these setbacks, the most successful WeedTubers have built full-time careers through a combination of sponsorships, branded content deals, and merchandise sales.
He started his StrainCentral YouTube channel after getting his medical marijuana card in 2014, and found that he was making enough money in February last year to leave his previous job as a line cook and waiter, as he was making as much money online as he did in the restaurant. He explains that the key to loyal followers is consistency, prompting him to provide a steady stream of stoned videos each week.
Joel Hredecky is a fellow WeedTuber, who has gained a following of more than 1.2 million on his channel called CustomGrow420 since 2013. His videos involve topics such as him trying to smoke a gram of THC oil, which gained more than 1.3 million views. Following this, a video of him coughing for nearly seven minutes straight after the attempt has more than 1.5 million views. Some WeedTubers are paid between $300 and $1,000 per video to promote certain marijuana products, in addition to money for every new customer that they refer.
Despite this partnering opportunity, Kimmy Tan, a 22 year old tattoo artist, musician and model living between New York and LA, who is best known on YouTube for taking 100 hits of weed in a row, said that she’s wary about working with cannabis companies, following a few bad experiences. She explains that she uploads her video to “have a good time” and “connect people” instead of to make money.
Young has expressed that he plans to continue doing what he is doing for as long as possible, in order to help pave the way for a different future. He said, “I want my grandkids to be able to smoke weed without being looked down upon or being stereotyped as a stoner. If I can be a small part of the legacy of smart, responsible cannabis consumption, that’s the major long-term goal.”
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here