Weedmaps—one of the most comprehensive dispensary listing services—adhered to its promise last year to drop illegal business listings from its service at the beginning of the new year. On Dec. 31, there were around 5,610 listings on the service which fell to 2,920 listings by Jan. 3.
Last August, Weedmaps announced that it would comply with pressure from the Bureau of Cannabis Control via a cease-and-desist letter and drop unlicensed businesses from its service. A news release defined its specific goals to support legal businesses and support minorities in the industry.
By the beginning of the year, nearly 2,700 unlicensed cannabis businesses had been dropped from the service. Weedmaps confirmed that the process of dropping the unlicensed businesses had taken place.
“This was the right decision,” a Weedmaps spokesperson told MJBizDaily. “However, the severe shortage of licenses in the state of California at the local level is real and will be detrimental to this industry at large.”
MJBizDaily reports that according to a consultant, there should be fewer listings as there are only 1,181 legal retailers in the state, and that the service should be carrying ads for fewer retailers. But an undisclosed source familiar with the company said “expecting listing numbers to match licensee numbers shows a fundamental misunderstanding of state regulations and Weedmaps,” the source said. “The same licensee often has multiple listings.”
As users can self-publish listings on Weedmaps, it’s difficult to determine which companies are legally licensed. The company flags postings that are suspected of lacking a license number. Rumors abound including the allegation that some businesses are using old license numbers in order to stay on the service and advertise. The company’s spokesperson said that leadership is addressing misleading ads on the service as well.
Some of Weedmaps’ critics such as the United Cannabis Business Association in Los Angeles, California stated that they were happy to see the company make changes in order to keep business legal.