During This Health Crisis, Weedmaps Is Your Guide to All Things Cannabis
Free Book Preview Cannabis Capital
Pandemic. Social distancing. Quarantine. The COVID-19 health crisis has shuttered businesses, unsettled nerves, derailed lifestyles, and so much more. People’s tensions are running high and for good reason.
The good news is: One company is 100 percent up and running and dedicated to enabling your access to cannabis. Say hello to Weedmaps.
Founded in 2008, long before the cannabis revolution became hot, the Irvine, Calif.-based company has created a comprehensive platform for consumers as well as cannabis business owners, making the process of buying and selling cannabis ridiculously simple for everyone involved.
“In the last 12 years, Weedmaps has developed a massive online community of cannabis consumers, which has resulted in high-efficiency direct response advertising products,” says Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals. “As the economics of cannabis retailers feel the strain of the state of the country, and consumers and retailers seek to stay safe in the midst of the current health crisis, we have seen that purchase convert into digital transactions at unprecedented levels, driving hundreds of thousands of orders to dispensaries every month.”
Weedmaps supports licensed cannabis operators by making it easier for them to give consumers up-to-date, accurate information. It’s cheaper and simpler for businesses to reach consumers and meet compliance requirements through the use of their advertising and software solutions, Beals explains.
“We are extremely proud to play our part in helping consumers access their medicine safely and providing safe options for recreational consumers to access cannabis products, either through curbside pick-up or delivery via our platform,” he says. “On the flip side, Weedmaps has also enabled more than 1,200 retailers to compliantly take orders online and thrive in these complicated times.”
Here are some of the ways Weedmaps has become the go-to resource for the cannabis industry.
A seamless, intuitive ordering process.
When a person visits Weedmaps.com to buy flower, edibles, CBD, concentrates, etc., the first thing they see are the virtual storefronts of dispensaries in their local areas. Using search, consumers can discover brand-verified products that are listed via participating retailers’ real-time menus.
“We make it easy for consumers to find exactly what they’re looking for and buying with confidence, while allowing retailers to reach those consumers at the right time,” Beals says.
Delivery has always been an important part of the Weedmaps platform, even well before the COVID-19 crisis. These days, delivery is a much safer option for purchasing cannabis products versus going into a physical dispensary—which may especially be important for those who depend on medical cannabis for health needs.
“While we didn’t create our online ordering tech solutions with a pandemic in mind, we did work tirelessly to build an ordering platform that could scale to meet the needs of customers and businesses alike while adhering to the complex regulations that govern cannabis retail,” Beals says.
Delivery is “the great equalizer,” Beals says, for people who want to purchase products but live in a city or county where cannabis is banned and don’t want to travel long distances. In locations where delivery isn’t available, store pick-ups can be available as an alternative. “Given the shift in consumer behavior in this direction, we have seen increased demand for the services we offer through our platform, particularly online ordering and delivery, and recorded a 457 percent increase in orders processed on our platform this past April, when compared to April 2019,” he says.
Verifying products, increasing consumer trust.
To help brands and retailers proactively counteract the amount of counterfeit cannabis products in the marketplace, the company created the Weedmaps Brand Verified Retailer program. It enables brands and retailers to verify that the retailer carries authentic brand products in their store.
It works like this: Brands like cultivators, vape pen manufacturers, edible companies, concentrate producers, etc., upload their brand product catalogue including descriptions, current packaging, and dosings to the Weedmaps platform. Then dispensary storefronts or delivery services can submit a verification request directly to each brand they carry through the Weedmaps backend admin page. Once the verification request is accepted by the brand, consumers will see a blue checkmark badge on the retailer’s listing page menu next to a brand-verified product.
Educating everyone involved in the cannabis industry, at every level, in addition to the general population, plays a significant role in building a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy. At Weedmaps, cannabis education has been of prime importance to help inform consumers and legislative decision makers about both the plant and the industry, Beals says.
In addition to providing detailed information about authenticity, origin, quality, and properties to help consumers make educated choices when it comes to the products they want to experience, Weedmaps hosts educational workshops and develops programs for the industry to deepen the understanding of plant science and how cannabis works in the body.
It also created WM Learn to offer educational resources for novice and connoisseur consumers. The content on WM Learn is made in collaboration with doctors, researchers, and other industry specialists.
“We are working to advance access to cannabis through legalization and to foster a more inclusive industry that hopefully can set us on a path to redressing a fraction of the wrongs perpetrated throughout the war on drugs,” Beals says. “Weedmaps’ social equity initiatives, from offering licensees discounted or free access to our platform to providing business and industry training, will also help pave the way to a more inclusive cannabis economy.”Click here to learn more about buying and selling on Weedmaps.