It’s one of the biggest names in the booming cannabis industry. With over 25,000,000 million followers across its social media platforms, a large portion from the United States despite being located in Switzerland, it owns the largest online cannabis community.
Highlife Media, headed by CEO and owner Marco Cadisch has grown to become a household name for consumers and marketers alike. In just a year, Highlife Media has made the switch from solely being an agency dedicated to growing cannabis brands from their clients, to running their own brand supported by a loyal following. During this short period of time, Cadisch has led the charge of an ecommerce brand dedicated to selling cannabis accessories, all while ensuring the transition between goals went smoothly.
World of Bongs, the name of Highlife Media’s online headshop, has hit over seven figures in revenue as of 2022. Within a single year, World of Bongs has rocketed into being one of the top 10 bestselling headshops for its product. Because of Highlife Media’s tenacity, forward thinking mentality, and passion for its clientele, this marketing agency turned retailer has grown beyond its original consulting roots, blossoming into a multimillion dollar ecommerce business in the cannabis industry.
Back in 2016, the year of the agency’s founding, Highlife Media found itself in the throes of navigating a market still slowly growing as the legalization of cannabis spreaded. Due to these external factors impacting the industry, Cadisch discovered a marketing niche: promote cannabis brands, and erase stigmas surrounding the products while doing so.
Highlife Media was born from this desire to aid brands reaching audiences, ones that would have struggled to do so otherwise. Cannabis companies struggle with promoting themselves due to Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms not running advertisements with their products.
Google Ads restricts advertising for these products as well––another large hurdle for budding cannabis companies, who already deal with the challenges any startup faces during initial establishment. It’s here that Highlife Media steps in and serves as a middleman for these cannabis brands: the go-between for a budding company, and an audience eager for the freshest products.
Since 2016, Highlife Media has successfully promoted over a 100 different cannabis brands, thanks to their efficient and relentless marketing strategies. The network reaches over a whopping 100,000,000 million impressions per month alone, a number that is difficult to even conceive in one’s imagination. Considering the colossal amount of monthly visitors, working with Highlife Media’s agency is a powerful fertilizer for a cannabis brand fighting to germinate and sprout through the hard rocky soil of an Internet landscape that by design does not seek to support the industry.
Using the strength of their social boosts and targeted marketing campaigns, Highlife Media’s able to give these small companies a fighting chance to be seen and succeed by an audience that may not have noticed them otherwise. All three systems of agency, brand, and clientele are symbiotic, supporting one in another in order for the other to get what they each desire. No other marketing agency in the cannabis industry has had the same level of influence Highlife Media has had. Modern and engaging, Highlife Media’s mission in growing cannabis’ brands client bases through their use of marketing and branding expertise, web design, and of course, monthly impressions, has been incomparable over the last several years of the cannabis industry’s game. Now, their eyes are elsewhere.
After a few years of solely marketing to other cannabis brands, Highlife Media set their sights on the creation of their own brand, nurturing it into one of the biggest in the industry. In March 2021, in the throes of an economy trying to find its feet because of COVID-19’s shakeups, Cadisch invested six-figures into a warehouse and fulfillment team for his ecommerce brand, World of Bongs. One short year later, World of Bongs is one of the top 10 online head shops in the entire world, generating 7-figures of revenue in this small period of time. World of Bongs is home to the largest community of glass enthusiasts on social media, with over 3,000,000 followers on their pages. The online retailer sells a staggering range of glass pipes, bongs, dab rings, bowls, and any other accessories that a cannabis connoisseur could wish for. As the cannabis industry continues to grow from the increasing legality across the United States and other parts of the world, the World of Bongs kingdom will spread alongside it, continuing to generate the massive numbers it has produced in a rapid period of time.
What is especially noteworthy from Highlife Media company is the way their presence has been grown all from scratch. Starting from this minimal baseline, Highlife Media has grown to have the largest social media following in only six short years. In the age where so many startups are competing for visibility on the Internet’s all-consuming stage, Highlife Media’s growth under Cardisch’s tenure is exceptional.
One case study in particular exemplifies Highlife Media’s growth oriented and forward thinking mindset, and that is the creation of over 260 business leads for Green Investments, a firm dedicated to growing cannabis agricultural operations in the state of California. Whoever invests in the company invests as a partner, no matter how large or small the initial investment is. Reaching out to Highlife Media with the goal of reaching new possible investors, the two companies worked together on a sprawling social media campaign, curating careful posts and ad placements. Through their collective efforts, Highlife Media was able to aid Green Investments by generating over 200,000 impressions and 500 social shares. The result? The large increase of leads and revenue as previously stated.
The same success with growth and reach is also displayed with World of Bongs, and Cardisch’s other ecommerce site, Stoner Merch. Each website receives millions of visitors with a solid revenue of millions of dollars. Already considerable accomplishments in multiple fronts, these company’s successes seem destined to flourish. However, this does not mean there haven’t been speed bumps on the road for Highlife Media.
Growing any brand is difficult––an understatement in itself. Many startups flounder, unable to compete with the push that is demanded by Internet search algorithms and search optics. When working within an industry that is riddled with countless stigmas across the public and platforms these brands are trying to grow on, this is all the more true. Working in the cannabis industry means working with a slew of restrictions surrounding your product. Banking, insurance agencies, credit card companies and processing are all entrenched with a number of restrictions that a budding business must work with and around in order to succeed. Because of this, even having the means to launch and work with the core foundational components needed for a successful brand will be harder compared to other industries.
Any issues regarding the difficulty of dancing to the social media’s algorithm relentless music will be magnified even more when working within the cannabis industry. Across the board is censorship from these social media companies, who are seeking to silence cannabis brands whether through advertising or refusing to push their pages to an audience. Highlife Media and other companies have seen firsthand the mass deletion of dedicated Instagram accounts, influencer pages, and even things as innocuous as cannabis themed weed pages. Brands must stay on their toes because of this, lest they break a covert new rule and are faced with the consequence of their whole operation being shut down.
Despite Highlife Media’s huge presence, they are no exception to this, and must be vigilant in the ways they conduct themselves on social media. When analyzing their success from the perspective of the inherent difficulty cannabis industry brands face when developing their business, Highlife Media’s growth becomes all the more remarkable.
In the coming years, Cadisch seeks to position Highlife Media, World of Bongs, and Stoner Merch as masterclasses in their respective services and products. Highlife Media will continue striding forward on their mission of promoting the very best within the cannabis industry, establishing itself as one of the main media companies in the United States. World of Bongs and Stoner Merch to thrive in ecommerce, continuing the rapid uptick in revenue.
Within the next two years, Cadisch has the goal of growing these two brands to having over 8-figures.
When asked for any wisdom or advice, Cadisch emphasizes the importance of consistency, balancing hard work with risk taking, and how vital networking and kindness is.
Starting from an agency designed to connect brands with audiences, that has now expanded to be so much more than that, it’s easy to see why Cadisch cares for collaboration on both the micro and macro levels. Given his achievements in his new business ventures over the course of a single year in the midst of an at-times shaky economy, and the rapid growth of the cannabis industry itself, the sky is only the limit for Marco Cadisch and whatever he strikes out for next.