“Let’s share a joint.”
What if this was the go-to phrase for those looking to meet someone for a date instead of the obvious, ‘Let’s get a drink.’?
High There! is a global social network geared specifically towards cannabis users who want to connect with potential friends and lovers. Founded in 2015 by Todd Mitchem (who is no longer with the company) and Darren Roberts, the idea came from personal experience—of both the founders and their friends.
“People in our lives who were dating would go on [dating] sites and they’d get to know somebody. If, socially, instead of having a vodka they decided they wanted to consume cannabis, it was not looked at the same way,” says co-founder Roberts during a recent phone interview. “Without a doubt, there is that stigma. There is that judgment.”
Finding a way to avoid encountering that stigma was the impetus behind the creation of High There! It also works on another level—simply connecting users who have a shared interest. It gives them something to talk about in those early (and oftentimes awkward) conversations that come after swiping right. For High There! users, Roberts says cannabis serves as “an immediate ice breaker.”
“The beauty is, right off the bat, if you and I are gonna’ talk I already know you’re on this site because cannabis is part of your life,” Roberts says. “It’s really easy to say, ‘Hey, what’s your experience? What have you enjoyed lately? What dispensary do you like?’”
High There! has 600,000 users, making it a popular choice in the growing industry of cannabis-centric social networks. Other popular apps include WeedLife, MassRoots, and KushCommon. Fortune Magazine has estimated that social networks tailored to cannabis culture will be a $21.8 billion industry by 2020.
To Roberts, this makes perfect sense. For him, cannabis consumption and socializing go hand in hand. “I equate it to this: You walk into a party and there’s a bunch of people there. If people are consuming a pre-roll, a lot of people will start congregating and sharing. You’re less likely to say, ‘Hey everybody. Let’s all do a shot together.’”
Georgia Perry is a freelance writer currently based in Denver, Colorado. She has been published in The Atlantic, CityLab, Vice, and other magazines. Follow her on Twitter @georguhperry.