WeedMaps

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Weedmaps LLC
TypePrivate
IndustryMedical Marijuana
FoundedJuly 2008
HeadquartersOrange County, CA
Denver, CO
Key peopleJustin Hartfield (Founder & CEO)
Doug Francis (COO)
ProductsWeedmaps.com, MMJMenu, Marijuana.com
Websitewww.weedmaps.com
 
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Weedmaps LLC
TypePrivate
IndustryMedical Marijuana
FoundedJuly 2008
HeadquartersOrange County, CA
Denver, CO
Key peopleJustin Hartfield (Founder & CEO)
Doug Francis (COO)
ProductsWeedmaps.com, MMJMenu, Marijuana.com
Websitewww.weedmaps.com

Weedmaps is an online legal marijuana community that allows users to review and discuss cannabis strains and local dispensaries. The website is similar to Yelp and contains a database with over 3,000 medical marijuana dispensaries and 25,000 strains of cannabis. The company was launched in July 2008 by Justin Hartfield and Keith Hoerling. The site attracts approximately Two Million monthly visitors and has annual revenue of $18 million.[1][2][3] Weedmaps is widely considered the industry leader and premier medical marijuana site on the web, catering to the entire industry from patients to businesses and continues to see substantial growth.

History[edit]

In March 2009 TechCrunch and The Washington Post posted a story entitled, "WeedMaps Wants To Be A Yelp For Cannabis Clubs", which reported that the website was, "seeing an average of 48% growth per month since launching in July 2008, with several thousand registered patients."[3]

A 2009 New York Daily News article said of Weedmaps, "There's a new stoner's paradise on the Web" and 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."[4] 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.[1][5]

A 2010 TechCrunch article reported that WeedMaps grew their 2009 monthly revenue of $20,000 to $400,000 a month in 2010 with approximately 50,000 registered users.[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.[1][2]

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.”[7] 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.[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] Within the interview, Hartfield, a board member at NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project, expressed his goal for federal legalization, stating that “For a truly sustained market, for international players to try to be involved in it, it has to be federally legal. It has to be regulated like alcohol with sensible, reasonable regulations for everybody. A market can be created and the government can get their cut as well.”[11]

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.[12]

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."[13]

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.[14] The Weedmaps database contains the most user-generated medical marijuana content on the Internet. Along with its business and social services, Weedmaps also participates in and hosts events connecting medical marijuana patients with one another and 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, a job board, and Q&A from fellow patients. Weedmaps allow patients to leave reviews about their experience at dispensaries and is the largest directory of medical marijuana in the world.[15]

Proximity map[edit]

The Weedmaps proximity map utilizes a Google Maps interface that pinpoints the dispensaries which are closest to a user.[3] The proximity feature also presents advertisements for dispensaries based on a user's geographical location.[3]

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 that are medical marijuana patients on the Google Play and the Apple App Store.[16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c VC Firm hopes for high returns with fund for marijuana, VentureBeat, retrieved September 2013 
  2. ^ a b Weedmaps Acquires Marijuana.com for a Kushy $4.20 Million, TechCrunch, retrieved September 21, 2013 
  3. ^ a b c d "WeedMaps Wants To Be A Yelp For Cannabis Clubs". TechCrunch.com. 2009-03-12. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  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. ^ a b WeedMaps Buys Medical Marijuana Inventory And Patient Management Software MMJMenu, 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. ^ a b 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. ^ "Medical Marijuana in California Aspires to go Commercial". The Wall Street Journal. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  14. ^ "California sprouts marijuana 'green rush'". USA Today. 2009-07-18. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ "WeedMaps.com - California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Directory & Review Site". The Marijuana News Network. 2009-10-09. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  16. ^ Android Apps, Google 
  17. ^ iTunes Apple Store, apple.com