Can you take marijuana enthusiasm, add social media, and get a successful app? (Tweet This)
Well, there's now Duby, a combination of Instagram-style photo-sharing, Tinder's interface, and Reddit's brand of up-or-down voting. Plus, of course, a growing population of people that enjoy recreational marijuana use, and who want to connect with other enthusiasts.
Duby launched just over a week ago, and aims to help marijuana consumers around the globe partake in one of the culture's time-honored traditions: showing off buds, pipes, and all manner of paraphernalia. Users upload pieces of content called Dubys—images, video and text—and vote on other users' content by swiping right to "pass the Duby" or left to "put it out."
If it's not yet clear, a "doobie" is one of many nicknames for a joint—or as Merriam-Webster dryly puts it, "a marijuana cigarette."
"Cannabis is just very different from anything else. It's a lifestyle. It's every day," said 25-year-old co-founder Alec Rochford. He added that with recreational marijuana having been legalized in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, "people are out and proud about it."
Already, the app had been downloaded more than 1,500 times through Thursday without any advertising. Duby estimates that 50 percent of users are "sparking up" daily.
A consummate smoker himself, Rochford moved to Denver, Colorado to take part in the growing commercial cannabis scene. He created the app with his cousin's husband Russell Thomas, a cybersecurity consultant.
The app is taking advantage of a boom in the market for legal marijuana sales, which grew to $2.7 billion in 2014 from $1.5 billion the previous year, according to an annual study conducted by ArcView Market Research. The firm sees revenues hitting $3.4 billion this year, creating opportunities in ancillary industries, including tech that caters to pot smokers.
A number of start-ups already play in the digital networking space, including the 250,000-smoker strong social network MassRoots and High There, a dating service for hemp heads.