YouTube is altering monetization coverage, however will hashish channels profit from it?

SAN BRUNO, California – YouTube was created in 2005 and has quickly established itself in our culture. It is now the most popular online video viewing platform. According to Youtube, users see more than a billion hours of content every day. In recent years, YouTube claims to have paid content creators over $ 2 billion through advertising revenue.

Although many developers have been able to turn uploading content to YouTube into a full-time job, the cannabis industry has notoriously been cut off from most of these opportunities. YouTube was never considered a particularly friendly place for cannabis content, but in 2018 the platform surprised many with a quick crackdown on some of the most famous cannabis content developers.

One channel, “That High Couple”, saw its channel lost in almost an instant. Although YouTube is supposed to issue warnings through its three strikes policy, the couple’s channel was deleted for violating community guidelines when three strikes were applied to each other within minutes. “That High Couple” bounced back, but its videos still cannot benefit from direct monetization. The channel generates revenue from paid promotions outside of YouTube’s direct advertising structure.

However, it appears that YouTube is finally softening its stance. May be. There have been several reports of YouTube relaxing its monetization guidelines for cannabis content, but the specific guidelines have been difficult to decipher.

We reached out to a Google representative (the parent company of YouTube) for clarity. While refusing to make a direct offer, the agent confirmed that YouTube is expanding monetization rights to educational and news content that may link to illegal drugs, as long as the creators do not depict graphic use or glorify the use of banned substances.

While the change seems encouraging to cannabis content creators, it does little to illustrate YouTube’s longstanding, confusing stance. The platform’s official policy page has three categories that explain which cannabis videos can and cannot be monetized. Ads can now be enabled for videos that contain “education, music, statements, or humorous references to drugs or drug paraphernalia that they do not glorify.” In the next stage, content creators can monetize video for brands that specifically choose to serve ads for “content that focuses on the ad or effects of drug use; or the creation or distribution of drugs or drug paraphernalia in a comedy, documentary, news story, or instructional video. Finally, the monetization of any video that “shows or discusses content that depicts or discusses the abuse, purchase, manufacture, sale or finding of drugs or drug paraphernalia in a graphical and detailed manner” is totally prohibited.

Drug-referenced music videos seem to fall into a hazy category. If a music video contains a “sketchy depiction of drugs” it can be automatically monetized. However, if a music video contains a “focal representation of drugs,” creators should only display ads from brands that have an agreement with the creator. The distinction between “fleeting” and “focal” seems rather subjective.

Medical cannabis videos could fall into uniquely confusing territory. When someone explains how to find pain relief from cannabis, is it simply education or glorification of a prohibited substance?

And what about videos that only discuss the industry? For example, a video discussing the explosive growth of the cannabis industry may be eligible for monetization, but content that offers advice on how to increase profits may not.

For now, cannabis content creators should exercise caution, especially if they depict cannabis use or complement the plant or industry in any way. It seems that the cannabis industry always operates without clear guidelines and has somehow thrived. Hopefully a change in federal policy will result in YouTube allowing cannabis content creators to get their well-deserved piece of the pie.

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