WeedMaps.com, the online cannabis platform, recently announced that it’ll scrub itself clean of unlicensed cannabis delivery services – meaning good news overall for the marijuana industry in California and overall.
By the end of 2019, the company will require all new listings to include a state license number. It’ll also require existing advertisers to add a license number to their accounts.
If you think that seems unremarkable, remember the landscape we’re living in. There’s a simple fact that’s easy to forget if you live in the right state – whether you’re visiting the dispensary in Boulder, getting weed delivery in Los Angeles or smoking up in Seattle. That fact is this: Cannabis still isn’t legal everywhere, and is in fact still in a state of legislative transition across the United States.
That state of transition means there’s a lot of cleaning up to do. California got lucky, kind of – here, we made medical marijuana legal in the 90s, then institutionalized it a but more firmly in the 2000s, when we introduced medical marijuana cards. Now that it’s legal for recreational use, we’re at the end of a long road of piecemeal progress that has allowed us a considerable amount of preparation time.
That means there’s been plenty of opportunity for less-than-honest actors to ply their wares to unsuspecting customers. There’s also been opportunity for those same actors to use otherwise-reputable resources, like WeedMaps, with little fear of reprisal. Fortunately, that reprisal is finally at hand.
There will always be as many uses for cannabis as there are cannabis users. But the most popular use – as depicted in countless books, movies, TV shows and video games – is probably simple relaxation. Settling in at the end of the day with some good music and your most cherished bud. Hanging out with friends to play D&D or watch David Lynch movies. Turning in for the night knowing you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
That’s hard to do if your weed delivery service brings you an unsafe product.
It’s not unheard of. In April 2019, an LA dispensary sold cannabis that had been treated with paclobutrazol, a fungicide that the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as toxic.The same year, bad weed became a national conversation when instances of counterfeit vape cartridges captured the public’s attention.
So the most important factor in choosing a cannabis supplier is safety, and it’d be hard to make the argument that all suppliers are created equal. Los Angeles is the largest marketplace for legal cannabis in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. And because we’re still at the start of full legalization – at the state level, anyway – there’s still a substantial degree of cleaning up that needs to happen in the industry.
(And even if you’re not in any real physical danger, there’s still the possibility that you’ll just get a screwy order – the wrong strain, an inferior product overall, or even fake weed. It happens!)
Weedmaps‘ decision to remove unlicensed cannabis websites from its service – largely in response to criticism that letting such services remain would legitimize them, as well as contribute to lawlessness in the cannabis industry – has the potential to change not only the face of the industry, but the public’s trust in it as well. As WeedMaps begins to enforce strict limits on who may or may not partner or advertise with them, it’ll make for a substantially safer industry.
How is cannabis “licensed?” In California, cannabis sales are regulated by the Bureau of Cannabis Control. As you might expect, there’s a pretty broad spectrum of auspices controlled by the BCC, from cultivating and growing to manufacturing to selling. Dispensaries and weed delivery services – the kinds that organize on WeedMaps – need to have a seller’s permit from the state.
How can I spot a safe cannabis distributor? Uh, there’s one easy answer: Use Grassdoor.com.
OK, obviously we’re biased, but we’ll use our own commitment to safety and quality as the checklist for the sorts of things you should be looking for in a cannabis delivery service.
We’re licensed. We work extensively with WeedMaps and have literally nothing to worry about during their period of transition – because we’ve been licensed by the state of California the whole time. When you’re looking for a seller, keep that number one fact in mind: If they’re licensed, they’re good.
We’re safe. Since we’ve got nothing to hide and no licensure issues to keep us looking over our shoulders, we can afford to spend all that mental real estate on maintaining relationships with the best and safest farms in the state.
We’re friendly and smart. Our primary point of contact with you is going to be the mobile budtender who delivers your cannabis to you. So from a business standpoint, it makes the most sense for us to invest substantial time and energy in that person. Our delivery professionals – and we don’t use that term lightly – are screened and trained extensively before they’re allowed to start driving.
Once WeedMaps finalizes its new regulations, look for the cannabis landscape in California to change noticeably. In the meantime, the best approach is to look at your current provider and ask: Will this person be kicked off of WeedMaps in 2020?
Because if so, it may be in your best interests to find a new one.