Weedmaps to omit Canadian illicit operators on platform, requires formal licensing for listings
It appears that Weedmaps is finally playing nice in Canada.
One day after the company announced plans to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, Weedmaps confirmed Thursday that it now requires any Canadian cannabis listings on its web site to include a formal retail licence number.
That would essentially stop any illicit operators from offering their products on the company's platform, and ensure that licensed cannabis retailers are able to advertise on Weedmaps without competing with cheaper or unregulated options.
"As the rate of cannabis retail licence (approvals) rapidly increases, particularly in Ontario, Weedmaps wants to continue to assist in creating an effective cannabis market in Canada," Weedmaps spokesperson Travis Rexroad said in an emailed statement.
"Part of this effort has included additional steps in our onboarding process to help ensure that the businesses listed on our platform are validly licensed."
The about-face comes roughly three months after BNN Bloomberg first reported that eight Canadian cannabis retailers submitted a letter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police urging them to enforce illicit market activity on the Weedmaps platform.
At the time the letter was delivered, the Weedmaps site featured thousands of illicit cannabis providers across Canada, as well as some of the nation's legal pot shops. However, the site didn't differentiate between the two, creating customer confusion. Today, it appears that all illicit market operators have been removed from the Weedmaps platform, with only a select number of licensed retailers available.
Weedmaps is looking to go public on the Nasdaq exchange via a merger with Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. at a valuation of US$1.5 billion. The merger will provide Weedmaps with US$575 million in proceeds, including US$325 million through a private placement from additional financiers. The company is on track to report US$160 million in revenue and US$35 million in EBITDA this year, Weedmaps said in a press release.
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Analyst Call of the Week - MedMen Enterprises
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For more info on MedMen Enterprises, click here.
CANNABIS SPOT PRICE: $6.09 per gram -- This week's price is up 0.9 per cent from the prior week, according to the Cannabis Benchmark’s Canada Cannabis Spot Index. This equates to US$2,155 per pound at current exchange rates.
"In our discussions with cannabis store managers and AGCO staff, we heard that some people prefer illegal cannabis because it is more potent and the product is fresh."
– Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in her findings on how the province was managing its cannabis business released Monday.
Cannabis Canada is BNN Bloomberg’s in-depth series exploring the ongoing growth of the Canadian recreational cannabis industry. Read more here and subscribe to our Cannabis Canada newsletter to have the latest news delivered directly to your inbox every week.