It’s understood that people will always try to cheat the system but we are at a loss as to why Weedmaps can’t just police this issue with human beings. We’d understand if there were 10’s of thousands of new businesses signing up everyday. But when the CA database contains less than 3K licensed businesses it can’t be that hard to trawl through and verify .
Reading between the lines of this article we’d suggest Weedmaps school report would say, “weedmaps is a bright kid but could try a bit harder in class with more attention to detail”
With only 2,920 listed dispensaries listed on Jan. 3 202 it’s not beyond the realms of reality that a staff member or two could be responsible for running an eye over new ads coming in daily and the existing database and remove “bad actors” within a 24 hour period. It wouldn’t be rocket science.
Mercury News reports
“While we believe that Weedmaps has indeed owned up to their agreement to stop listing unlicensed businesses, we also believe there are several loopholes that are still being exploited by rogue shops,” said Jackie McGowan, a Sacramento-based cannabis consultant who’s been tracking Weedmaps’ listings for two years.
As of Jan. 1, retailers must provide a state license number or sign an agreement saying they only sell products containing CBD — a compound in cannabis that doesn’t make consumers high and is largely unregulated by the state — in order to have their ads show up on Weedmaps.com.
But the company does not have a process in place to verify the validity of the license number, or any way to make sure a store is only carrying CBD products. Weedmaps has always insisted that shops publish their own information, which has been their defense in the past against complaints that they’ve permitted ads for illicit businesses.
That system is allowing unlicensed cannabis retailers to stay on the site by tacking “CBD” to their names, McGowan said, noting that companies in the CBD category don’t need to enter a business license number to advertise. Other rogue advertisers, according to McGowan, “are simply entering legal cannabis license numbers that they are poaching from real licensees.”
The number of marijuana retail ads posted on Weedmaps fell from 5,610 on Dec. 31 to 2,920 on Jan. 3, according to McGowan, a drop of 2,690 illicit shops, or about 48% of Weedmaps’ retail ads.
But the number of ads on Weedmaps’ site is still more than double the number of licensed cannabis retailers in California. While it’s unclear how many of those licensees might have multiple legitimate listings on Weedmaps — say for the same delivery service in different areas or for experimental ideas, such as kiosk sales — it’s also easy to find examples of operators that are clearly taking advantage of loopholes in the platforms’ rules.
On Jan. 2, for example, Weedmaps listed an ad for Bud Bud & Beyond in Costa Mesa. Costa Mesa doesn’t allow cannabis shops, so the ad said the storefront only carried CBD products. But a visit to the location that day showed it was just like the underground shops that have dominated California’s cannabis market for two decades, with a worker confirming that traditional marijuana products were being sold out of the back of the signless shop.
After the Register inquired about Bud Bud & Beyond, that ad disappeared off Weedmaps.
The Irvine-based company appears responsive when anyone flags bad actors on its site. A Weedmaps spokesman encouraged people to send concerns about listings to firstname.lastname@example.org.