Way to go, WeedMaps! Just a day before President Barack Obama pretty much officially declares war on medical marijuana in California, the state's premiere pot-related website has to brag to the world about how profitable it is.
That's right–profitable–the last word that's supposed to come to mind when you're talking about sick patients having access to palliative care in the form of a sticky green bud that just happens to be the state's biggest cash crop. After all, the fact that folks are indeed making insane profits thanks to medical marijuana is exactly what the feds are using as a pretext to crack down on dispensaries as well as the landlords who rent property to them.
But I digress: on Oct. 6, just a day before the feds sent out letters
threatening to seize property being used to profit from cannabis sales,
General Cannabis, Inc., the Newport Beach-based parent company that owns
WeedMaps Media, Inc., issued a press release celebrating their 21st consecutive month of “revenue
gains” as well as a “more than threefold monthly revenue increase to $1,250,000 for the month of September 2011, compared to $365,177 for the month of September 2010.”
But wait there's more!
The company's also happy because there's been a more than 100 percent increase in website traffic for both WeedMaps.com and the WeedMaps smartphone applications. In fact, more than 7 million people visited the website and 9 million page views were registered via smartphone applications last month.
“WeedMaps' continuing growth validates our ability to generate significant revenue through Internet portals that serve niche markets, even as the current economy and overall market conditions remain volatile,” reflects Doug Francis, General Cannabis' president. “Clearly, our many offerings, including smartphone applications, offer winning solutions for those in the medical cannabis community. As a result of our successes, we strongly believe that we can leverage our technological platform and systems into other industry sectors.”
In fairness, WeedMaps deserves to be happy. Who knows how many desperately ill Californians have been able to walk down the street to their nearest dispensary or locate the closest delivery service thanks to the company's handy website? And it's certainly not WeedMaps' fault if those delivery services or dispensaries are illegally profiting from marijuana sales rather than simply providing cannabis to qualified collective members in return for donations that happen to be of the monetary variety.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is managing editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).