Weedmaps

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Weedmaps LLC
Private
IndustryCannabis technology
FoundedJuly 2008
HeadquartersOrange County, California
Key people
Chris Beals (CEO)
Doug Francis (Chairman)
Justin Hartfield (Founder)
ProductsWeedmaps.com, MMJMenu, Marijuana.com, Cannabis.com
Websiteweedmaps.com

Weedmaps is a tech company that allows users to review and discuss cannabis strains, and find local dispensaries for adult-use and or medical-use marijuana. One of the "oldest and most popular" online cannabis communities[1], Weedmaps was launched in July 2008 by Justin Hartfield and Keith Hoerling. In March of 2019, Chris Beals was named CEO of Weedmaps, and Doug Francis was named Chairman of the company. [2]

History[edit]

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 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.”[8] 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.[8]

In February 2013 General Cannabis sold all cannabis-related businesses, including WeedMaps, back to the original founders.[9]

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.” [10][11]

Also in June 2013, Business Insider dubbed Hartfield “The First Venture Capitalist of The Pot Industry.”[12]

Weedmaps partnership with NORML[edit]

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.[13]

Hartfield Wall Street Journal interview[edit]

In a July 2009 Wall Street Journal interview, Justin Hartfield admitted that he exaggerated the severity of his insomnia to gain access to medical marijuana for recreational use. Hartfield commented that his interaction with the medical cannabis system is evidence that the system "is a total farce."[14]

Products and services[edit]

Content[edit]

Weedmaps provides listing services for medical marijuana dispensaries, doctors’ offices, and delivery services throughout the United States. The site accepts reviews from any patient in medical marijuana states.[15] Along with its business and social services, Weedmaps also participates in and hosts events connecting medical marijuana patients with one another, promoting activism and safe access.

Community[edit]

Weedmaps combines local dispensaries reviews and social networking functionality to create an online community. The website includes a forum, private messaging function, and Q&A from fellow patients. [16]

Proximity map[edit]

The Weedmaps proximity map utilizes a Google Maps interface that pinpoints the dispensaries which are closest to a user.[17] The proximity feature also presents advertisements for dispensaries based on a user's geographical location.[17]

Mobile applications[edit]

Weedmaps is also the most widely used and downloaded medical marijuana mobile application in both Google and Apple's Application Stores, providing services for both Android and iPhone users who are medical marijuana patients on the Google Play and the Apple App Store.[18][19]

Criticism[edit]

Weedmaps reviews are 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. An auditing company called Fakespot found that only 38% of reviews were valid on Weedmaps. Fakespot CSO Ming Ooi gave Weedmaps an F-grade. Weedmaps maintains an extensive listing of unlicensed dispensaries.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, Amanda Chicago (2019-01-21). "Weedmaps' Grip on the High-Flying California Pot Market". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  2. ^ "Cannabis Company Names CEO | Orange County Business Journal". www.ocbj.com. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  3. ^ Hill, Catey (2009-03-12). "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. ^ a b WeedMaps Buys Medical Marijuana Inventory And Patient Management Software MMJMenu, TechCrunch, retrieved September 21, 2013
  9. ^ WeedMaps Founders Buy WeedMaps Back From General Cannabis, nwbud.com, retrieved September 21, 2013
  10. ^ Venture Capital Firm Ghost Group Launches Marijuana Industry Fund, The Wall Street Journal, retrieved September 21, 2013
  11. ^ VC Firm Launches Legal Cannabis Fund, Orange County Business Journal, retrieved September 21, 2013
  12. ^ Justin Hartfield Is About To Become The First Venture Capitalist Of The Pot Industry, Business Insider, retrieved September 21, 2013
  13. ^ NORML Partners with Weedmaps to Revamp NORML.org, The Weed Blog, retrieved September 21, 2013
  14. ^ "Medical Marijuana in California Aspires to go Commercial". The Wall Street Journal. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  15. ^ "California sprouts marijuana 'green rush'". USA Today. 2009-07-18. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  16. ^ "WeedMaps.com - California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Directory & Review Site". The Marijuana News Network. 2009-10-09. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "WeedMaps Wants To Be A Yelp For Cannabis Clubs". TechCrunch.com. 2009-03-12. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  18. ^ Android Apps, Google
  19. ^ "Weedmaps: Marijuana & Cannabis". itunes.apple.com.
  20. ^ Paresh, Dave (August 24, 2016). "Weedmaps — a Yelp for pot — is riddled with suspicious reviews". www.latimes.com. Retrieved 2019-06-08.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Weedmaps at Wikimedia Commons