Weedmaps

Weedmaps' is a tech company serving the cannabis industry, founded in 2008 by Justin Hartfield and Keith Hoerling. [1]

Weedmaps LLC
Private
IndustryCannabis technology
FoundedJuly 2008
HeadquartersOrange County, California
Key people
Chris Beals (CEO)
Doug Francis (Chairman)
Justin Hartfield (CoFounder)
Steven Jung (COO)
Juanjo Feijoo (CMO)
Arden Lee (CFO)
Justin Dean (CIO)
Brian Camire (General Counsel)
ProductsWeedmaps.com
WM Orders
WM Exchange
WM Retail
MMJMenu
Websitewww.weedmaps.com

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Weedmaps has more than 400 employees, and has offices in Denver, Tucson, New York, Barcelona and Toronto. In March 2019, Chris Beals was named CEO of Weedmaps, and previous CEO Doug Francis stepped back from the day-to-day running of the company to serve as Chairman of the company. [1] As of October 2019, the company announced they would lay off approximately 25 percent of its workforce, due to the slow introduction of recreational markets in California and Massachusetts.[2]

HistoryEdit

A 2009 New York Daily News article said of Weedmaps, "There's a new stoner's paradise on the Web" that is a website "where medical marijuana patients can connect with other patients in their area, to freely discuss and review local cannabis co-operatives and dispensaries."[3] In November 2010 WeedMaps was acquired by General Cannabis Incorporated for an undisclosed amount. As part of acquisition, founder Justin Hartfield became WeedMaps' Chief Web Officer.[4][5]

Although the company does not disclose revenue figures, some media outlets have reported historical sales estimates for the company. For example, a 2010 TechCrunch article reported that Weedmaps grew monthly revenue of $20,000 in 2009 to $400,000 per month in 2010, with approximately 50,000 registered users at the time.[6]

In November 2011 Weedmaps acquired Marijuana.com for $4.2 million. The acquisition included the Marijuana.com domain name as well as all of the site's content.[4][7]

In February 2013 General Cannabis sold all cannabis-related businesses, including WeedMaps, back to the original founders.[8]

In June 2013, Hartfield and business partner and COO Doug Francis formally announced the formation of Ghost Group and its offspring, the Emerald Ocean Capital firm, the first marijuana Venture Capital firm to connect and invest through "Emerging Companies in Legal Cannabis and Medical Marijuana Sectors." [9][10]

Also in June 2013, Business Insider dubbed Hartfield "The First Venture Capitalist of The Pot Industry."[11]

Partnership with NORMLEdit

In October 2011, Weedmaps entered into an online partnership with NORML.org, helping to revamp the site. This partnership signified Weedmaps' effort to aid legalization efforts and take a more active approach within the marijuana community.[12]

Weedmaps Museum of WeedEdit

In August 2019, Weedmaps launched a 30,000 square-foot Museum of Weed in West Hollywood, "aimed at destigmatizing cannabis", telling the story of cannabis prohibition over the last century. The museum finished its 3-month run at the end of October. There are no news on the next destination for the museum. [13][14][15]

Products and servicesEdit

Weedmaps.comEdit

Weedmaps.com provides adult use and medical marijuana dispensary locations (including updated menus and reviews), doctors' offices, brands, and delivery services throughout the United States and Canada[16]. Consumers can also place online orders for products from dispensaries or delivery services via the site. The site also has sections for industry news, learning about cannabis and strain information.

Weedmaps mobile applicationsEdit

Weedmaps is the most widely used and downloaded marijuana mobile application on the Google Play and the Apple App Store.[17][18] The application offers similar functionality to the website, but does not allow ordering, due to Google and Apple's restrictions.

Wholesale ExchangeEdit

In April 2019, Weedmaps launched their wholesale exchange platform, WM Exchange.[19] It is currently available in California and Oklahoma.

Point of sale systemEdit

In December 2011, Weedmaps acquired MMJMenu, a Denver-based software entity that "provides back-end enterprise software for medical marijuana dispensaries. The software handles everything from patient management to inventory control to checkout at point of sale."[20] MMJMenu allows medical marijuana businesses to track their sales and revenue from seed to sale, servicing medical marijuana states such as California, Colorado, Washington, and Michigan.

In September 2019, Weedmaps announced the launch of its own point of sale system, WM Retail, and announced live menu integrations for consumers using Cova or Meadow point of sale systems.[citation needed]

Criticism and legalityEdit

ReviewsEdit

In 2016, a study by Fakespot found many reviews on the site to be suspicious. Weedmaps mistakenly leaked data showing that the majority of reviewers were from a small group of IPs that all gave good reviews of the site which means that individual users were leaving multiple reviews. An independent analysis of the text of reviews estimates that 62% of reviews are fake.[21] An auditing company called Fakespot found that only 38% of reviews were valid on Weedmaps. Fakespot CSO Ming Ooi gave Weedmaps an F-grade.

As of 2020, Weedmaps has rolled out "Verified Reviews" and other automated review moderation solutions to improve review quality. Fakespot has to date not responded to requests for an updated audit.

Unlicensed dispensariesEdit

After the passing of adult-use cannabis in California through Proposition 64, Weedmaps continued to list dispensaries that had previously advertised on the site, expecting they would received licenses. Many in the industry criticized the decision to keep them on the site after the grace period for dispensaries that had been operating under Proposition 215 expired in early 2019. In August 2019, the company announced it would only allow state-licensed dispensaries to be advertised on the site, allowing clients until the end of the year to update their license information.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "What is Weedmaps?". Founded in 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  2. ^ https://mjbizdaily.com/cannabis-advertising-firm-weedmaps-cuts-100-plus-jobs-in-response-to-slow-adult-use-market-rollouts/
  3. ^ Hill, Catey (March 12, 2009). "New Web site, Weedmaps.com, helps you find medical marijuana near you". New York: NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  4. ^ a b VC Firm hopes for high returns with fund for marijuana, VentureBeat, retrieved January 22, 2017
  5. ^ Passing The Joint (Venture): General Cannabis Inhales WeedMaps, TechCrunch, retrieved September 21, 2013
  6. ^ WeedMaps Tops $400,000 a Month in Revenues, Public Listing Imminent, TechCrunch, retrieved September 21, 2013
  7. ^ Weedmaps Acquires Marijuana.com for a Kushy $4.20 Million, TechCrunch, retrieved September 21, 2013
  8. ^ WeedMaps Founders Buy WeedMaps Back From General Cannabis, nwbud.com, retrieved September 21, 2013
  9. ^ Venture Capital Firm Ghost Group Launches Marijuana Industry Fund, The Wall Street Journal, retrieved September 21, 2013
  10. ^ VC Firm Launches Legal Cannabis Fund, Orange County Business Journal, retrieved September 21, 2013
  11. ^ Justin Hartfield Is About To Become The First Venture Capitalist Of The Pot Industry, Business Insider, retrieved September 21, 2013
  12. ^ NORML Partners with Weedmaps to Revamp NORML.org, The Weed Blog, retrieved September 21, 2013
  13. ^ Business, Alicia Wallace, CNN. "A 'Museum of Weed' is coming to Hollywood". CNN. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  14. ^ Trakin, Roy; Trakin, Roy (August 2, 2019). "'It's a Stoned World After All': Weedmaps' Museum of Weed Offers a Trip Through Time". Variety. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  15. ^ "Weedmaps bringing a pop-up Museum of Weed to Hollywood". Los Angeles Times. June 25, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  16. ^ "WeedMaps Wants To Be A Yelp For Cannabis Clubs". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  17. ^ "weedmaps - Android Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  18. ^ "Weedmaps: Marijuana & Cannabis". App Store. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  19. ^ dcnetwork (May 2, 2019). "Weedmaps Launches WM Exchange, A Wholesale Marketplace". Direct Cannabis Network. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  20. ^ "WeedMaps Buys Medical Marijuana Inventory And Patient Management Software MMJMenu". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  21. ^ "Weedmaps — a Yelp for pot — is riddled with suspicious reviews". Los Angeles Times. August 24, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  22. ^ "Weedmaps to stop advertising unlicensed pot businesses - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved January 3, 2020.

External linksEdit