In its ongoing effort to lead the technology industry in providing the most current, comprehensive and accurate online listing of medical and adult use cannabis businesses in California, Weedmaps today announced additional details on its plan to support licensed operators on its platform.
“Just three weeks ago, we announced a first-of-its-kind program to help social equity participants gain a rightful foothold in the cannabis industry. We also announced our plan to use the power of our platform to help support licensed cannabis businesses,” said Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps. “While these policy changes will only have a symbolic impact on the size of California’s unlicensed market without more licensing opportunities and other large listing platforms following suit, we want to continue to lead by example.”
Weedmaps has implemented a policy requiring all new California retail advertisers to provide a license number and is beginning to notify existing California-based advertisers that they must enter their state license number on their account.
In addition, Weedmaps has begun requiring that any California-based operator who wishes to use WM Exchange (B2B wholesale platform), WM Retail (Point of Sale solution), and WM Orders (online order management solution) to provide licensing information and complete an updated application process.
Weedmaps is also currently developing a range of site enhancements to support and supplement these efforts, including:
- A new user interface to highlight California business license information so it is even more visible to consumers;
- Online resources to educate consumers on where they can find California licensing information; and
- An educational program and additional software services aimed at helping licensed delivery operators come into compliance with California’s delivery and driver tracking regulations.
As these efforts progress, the Company will explore ways to work with regulatory agencies in California to provide enhanced functionality and to encourage consumers to verify that they are buying fully tested products from licensed retailers. These efforts pair with the WM Brand Verified services that Weedmaps already offers, which allows cannabis brands to verify what retailers carry their products. WM Brand Verified plays a critical role in combating product counterfeiting that is occurring at both licensed and unlicensed retailers.
As Mr. Beals stated on August 21, when announcing Weedmaps’ social equity program, the Company is redoubling its efforts to educate state and local governments across the country on the need for equitable cannabis licensing for economic empowerment and reliable streams of revenue for public programs. Specifically in California, Weedmaps will:
- Advocate for improved functionality of the California cannabis licensing system and the clarity and completeness of licensing information publicly accessible online;
- Encourage local jurisdictions in California to offer legal licensing pathways, especially in cities and counties where a majority voted in favor of Proposition 64; and
- Champion easier ways for retailers using Weedmaps’ point-of-sale and delivery logistics solutions to directly provide tax and compliance information (e.g. driver GPS logs) to the applicable California regulatory authorities.
“The cannabis industry has come a long way in just a few short years, but there is still so much to be done,” said Mr. Beals. “Weedmaps is bringing private sector innovation to our partnerships with California lawmakers and regulators. We believe our expertise, especially at the intersection of technology and cannabis, will empower and embolden the public sector to more effectively and expeditiously address the unique needs of the cannabis industry.”
Mr. Beals added: “Ultimately, the only demonstrated solution to the size of the unlicensed market is for industry and government to come together to ensure sufficient numbers of licenses are issued. We hope that monopolistic cannabis operators, as well as the lobbying organizations that represent them, will realize that their advocacy for limited license monopolies only hurts the diversity, size and strength of the licensed market.”
Founded in 2008, Weedmaps is a leading technology and software infrastructure provider to the cannabis industry. Our suite of cloud-based software and data solutions includes point of sale, logistics and ordering solutions that enable customers to scale their businesses while complying with the complex and disparate regulations applicable to the cannabis industry.
In addition, our platform provides consumers with information regarding cannabis products across our web and mobile platforms, including listing local retailers and brands, facilitating product discovery and allowing consumers to educate themselves on cannabis and its history, uses and legal status. Headquartered in Irvine, California, Weedmaps employs nearly 500 professionals around the world, including in Barcelona, Berlin, Denver, New York, Phoenix and Toronto. Visit us at www.weedmaps.com.