I recently got to interview David Vinokurov from Budhubz, a great new startup that has a P2P app for people into all things cannabis and marijuana.
Hello David, Can you tell us about BudHubz?
BudHubz is a lifestyle platform for cannabis culture enthusiasts to travelling to fun-filled destinations with friendly accommodations, to finding like-minded “Buddys” for sharing life experiences, and for finding the closest dispensary, or head shop. BudHubz has created a platform that will allow businesses to target consumers in this rapidly growing industry with relevant product placement and promotions.
The BudHubz team has created a location based platform that has over 10,000 vendors listed on our system which we will assist with marketing to the roughly 200 million global consumers who are their target demographic. BudHubz has several different revenue verticals: a peer-to- peer accommodation model to serve the nearly 200,000 Air-B- N-B listings that are located in legalized North
American states and provinces, dispensaries, headshops and vapeshops which will be on a native advertising model driven by users and page views. Buddys can navigate the site through hashtags to discover the vendors and products they are looking for at the best prices while making friends with other Buddys using a Tinder type interface.
When talking about 200 million global consumers of cannabis, how do you see the path to legalization in different countries interacting with the growth of the BudHubz platform?
One of the best ways to promote a particular way of life or a particular viewpoint is to ‘walk a mile in someone’s shoes’. In my opinion this is best accomplished through travel and cultural exchange. Some of the best and most profound experiences of my life have occurred traveling to new places, meeting new people and yes, consuming some cannabis and sharing a laugh, a story, and ultimately sharing ideas.
Today in 2016, the world is a much smaller place and continuously shrinking. It is now easier than ever to jump on a plane and participate in the sharing economy; find a place a to stay, find a friend, find a dispensary, find an activity, find a cause, etc. etc. BudHubz was founded with the ideal of sharing the cannabis lifestyle and ideals with the global community of like minded people.
According to recent UN studies there are approximately 200 million people who have consumed cannabis recently in the last year. Regardless of the perspective with which you look at that statistic, it is clear that this is a global community thatis underpinning a global revolution when it comes to the prohibition of cannabis.
Decriminalization has taken place in over 20 countries. What has not happened is equal and normal access to cannabis and its derivatives. There is still much work to be done on that front, not only in the US, but in the various countries around the world. As this movement is empowered by individual people coming together and working together, a forum for the open and honest exchange of ideas, customs and sharing is required where there is no stigma that feeds offthe existing framework. The lack of opportunities for cannabis business to consumers to openly and freely communicate on the traditional digital mediums –Facebook/Google, has slowed the movement slightly.
We hope that BudHubz and our Buddy community can accelerate the process around the world.
As you mention, there is a wide range of laws and regulations surrounding the purchase and accessibility of cannabis around the world. Are you concerned that BudHubz could be providing a forum for illicit procurement?
BudHubz does not promote nor condone the purchase of cannabis from sources other than fully licensed and legal dispensaries and growers. Perpetuation of underground and black market sources only serves to give ammunition to proponents of prohibition. While we do understand that this lack of access to medicine in certain parts of the world poses a problem, BudHubz chooses to be part of the solution – which is the spread of ideas and the breakdown of barriers and misconceptions about the community in general.
To ensure that BudHubz is part of the solution, we have a very stringent anti-solicitation policy. We not tolerate the subversion of the legal accomplishments of the anti-prohibition movement to date and have a reporting system set up to flag abusers of the system. While all profiles can be labeled anonymous,
BudHubz also provides the opportunity to log in with Facebook credentials, which most of our users do anyways, which we hope assists with removing the stigma of cannabis consumption.
How do you see BudHubz fitting into the spectrum of all the companies participating in the Green Rush into the sector?
When my partners and I were conceptualizing BudHubz, we saw that lots of companies wanted to come into the sector and be the Facebook/Instagram/Yellowpages/uber/etc/etc/etc of Cannabis. The reliance on existing platforms models adds little value to the overall consumer or Buddy experience. We wanted to create a one-stop platform that would maximize the experience for Buddies around the world. We feel that BudHubz is the ideal companion for cannabis connoisseurs wherever they maybe in the world, for a variety of activities or functions that they may require.
Social media is evolving and from that the sharing economy has been created.
People all over the world are looking for the next thing beyond shared cars, rooms, whatever. That is shared experiences, and in my opinion some of the best things to share are cannabis and laugh. We hope that BudHubz will be the tool that people around the world will be using to share those experiences.
As our logo says; BudHubz puts the ‘we’ in Socialmedia. Socialwedia is real and Budhubz is the tool to spread that vibe.
Thanks and thank you for your time!
Have you tried BudHubz and what what was it like? Leave a comment below.