By the time they opened this spring, the founders of the Peake Releaf medical cannabis shop in Rockville had already created a social media following.

They knew that promoting cannabis on Instagram — often the platform of choice in the marijuana industry — can help build a customer base.

But it also can be tricky to avoid running afoul of Instagram’s terms of use. So the company created a backup account and asked supporters to follow that too.

The first account survived into the summer, until Instagram shut it down. The backup account lasted a few months longer. For that one, they had no backup. All of a sudden, customers and would-be customers who had been getting steady images of the “Featured Flower” and promos for “Waxy Wednesday” were no longer receiving the information.

“You have hundreds of hours of work that just gets deleted,” said Tracey Miller, one of the shop’s Legalized marijuana sellers in other places, such as California and Colorado, have grappled with this problem for years. But it is new in Maryland, which launched sales of medical cannabis a year ago. Revenue from state-sanctioned pot businesses so far in Maryland is approaching $100 million, according to state officials. [Read More @ Washington Post]