Connect with us

Cannabis News

The Google Maps Effect Hits the Cannabis Industry



seth on weedmaps

They say when Google enters your industry it is time to sell and move on, but has that time finally come for internet website giants like Weedmaps and Leafly?  With Google Maps now listing dispensaries and reviews, and lowering both Weedmaps and Leafly’s organic search traffic, the end may be near for these historic giants in the cannabis industry.

The landscape of online cannabis advertising witnessed notable challenges in the third quarter of 2023 as industry leaders Weedmaps and Leafly grappled with financial setbacks. California-based WM Technology Inc., the parent company of Weedmaps, reported a $2.5 million loss for the quarter, showcasing a mixed financial performance compared to the previous year. Simultaneously, Leafly Holdings Inc., an online cannabis advertising platform, faced a loss of $2.2 million, contributing to a yearly loss surpassing $9 million. Both companies experienced declining revenues and client bases, prompting strategic adjustments to navigate the evolving cannabis market. This comprehensive overview delves into the financial intricacies of Weedmaps and Leafly during Q3 2023, shedding light on the industry’s challenges and the companies’ responses to position themselves for future growth.

deeproots on weedmaps

Weedmaps Struggles with Losses and Declining Metrics


In the competitive realm of online cannabis advertising, Weedmaps faced a challenging third quarter in 2023, posting a loss of $2.5 million. At the same time, this loss signifies an improvement from the preceding year, where Q3 losses amounted to $10.5 million and an annual loss of $82 million; several critical metrics indicated a concerning downward trend. Total revenue for the year decreased from $50.5 million to $47.7 million year-over-year, signaling a decline in the company’s financial performance. Moreover, the average monthly paying clients dropped from 5,576 to 5,414, and the average revenue per client also experienced a dip, falling from $3,019 to $2,938.

diane on weedmaps

The challenges were widespread across various segments, as highlighted in the company’s regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Notably, the only segment that showed gains was the WM Ad solutions, constituting 8% of the company’s total revenue. Weedmaps, in response to the financial headwinds, undertook cost-cutting measures to enhance operational efficiency. Executive Chairman Doug Francis acknowledged the quarter’s results, emphasizing the commitment to navigating constrained end markets. Operating expenses dropped year-over-year at $53.2 million from $70.1 million, underscoring Weedmaps’ determination to streamline operations and recover from financial setbacks.


Despite these challenges, Weedmaps maintained a positive outlook, with Francis expressing satisfaction with the results as they reflect the company’s dedication to operational efficiency in a challenging market. At the close of the quarter, Weedmaps held $27.7 million in cash and $63.9 million in total liabilities, signaling a cautious financial position amidst ongoing efforts to return to profitability in a competitive and evolving industry.

jeremy johnson on weedmaps


Leafly Continues Downward Revenue Slide with Client Exodus


Leafly Holdings Inc., a prominent player in the online cannabis advertising sector, faced a challenging third quarter in 2023, marked by a loss of $2.2 million. This loss adds to its annual deficits, which surpassed $9 million. Leafly reported an overall revenue decline to $10.6 million from $11.8 million year-over-year, indicating a persistent downward trajectory. The company witnessed a significant loss of 795 retail clientele accounts sequentially, dropping from 5,261 to 4,466 in the second quarter. This client exodus underscored Leafly’s hurdles in retaining its customer base during this period.


Despite the notable decline in paying retail clients, Leafly highlighted a positive aspect: the increase in the average paying client’s monthly bill year-over-year. The monthly bill rose from $556 to $644, attributed to the implementation of new rate cards and the strategic churn of lower average revenue accounts. Leafly’s management, acknowledging the challenges faced by the wider cannabis industry in 2023, expressed commitment to building a sustainable business in a difficult market. Miyashita, a representative of Leafly, stated that the third-quarter results reflect progress toward this goal. Leafly has implemented several cost-cutting measures over the past year, including layoffs and restructuring its marijuana news division, leading to a 33% decrease in operating expenses to $10.9 million from $16.3 million year-over-year.


Despite the financial difficulties, Leafly’s CFO, Suresh Krishnaswamy, emphasized the company’s continued focus on operating with efficiency and managing costs. The company’s gross margin improved by 2%, reaching 89% from 87% in the same timeframe, showcasing Leafly’s commitment to financial stability and efficient operations amidst a challenging market.


Strategies and Outlook for the Future


Cost-Cutting Measures and Nasdaq Compliance:

In response to the challenging market conditions, both Weedmaps and Leafly implemented strategic measures to control costs and enhance financial sustainability. Weedmaps reported a significant year-over-year drop in operating expenses, reducing from $70.1 million to $53.2 million. The company’s commitment to operational efficiency was underscored by Executive Chairman Doug Francis, who highlighted the positive impact of cost-cutting on their financial performance. Weedmaps also achieved Nasdaq compliance with the minimum bid price rule in September, ensuring the continued trading of its shares on the exchange.


Pricing Adjustments and Service Enhancements:

Leafly, facing difficulties in its retail and brand customer environment, rolled out strategic changes during the third quarter. These included implementing “new rate cards and price increases in select markets” to better align pricing with its services. Additionally, Leafly revamped its API for “order integration,” aiming to streamline online ordering for its retail partners. The company also introduced “scheduled delivery” for online customers, designed to drive customer retention and loyalty. These pricing adjustments and service enhancements reflect Leafly’s proactive approach to adapting its business model to market demands.


Financial Guidance and Future Projections:

Looking ahead, both Weedmaps and Leafly provided insights into their future outlook. Weedmaps expressed satisfaction with its third-quarter results, emphasising a focus on profitability and careful management of expenses in the face of constrained end markets. Leafly, acknowledging the difficulties in its retail and brand customer environment, stated its commitment to building a sustainable business in a challenging market. Leafly issued financial guidance for the remainder of 2023, projecting $9.5 million in revenue for the fourth quarter. However, this projection signifies another decrease, and the company anticipates an adjusted EBITDA loss of around $1.3 million. These projections highlight the cautious optimism of both companies as they navigate a dynamic and evolving cannabis market.


Bottom Line


The third quarter of 2023 marked a testing period for online cannabis advertising giants Weedmaps and Leafly, as both faced financial setbacks amidst a dynamic industry landscape. Weedmaps showed signs of improvement with a reduced loss compared to the previous year, implementing cost-cutting measures and achieving Nasdaq compliance. Conversely, Leafly grappled with a persistent downward revenue trajectory but showcased resilience through strategic adjustments, including pricing changes and service enhancements. As both companies cautiously navigate a challenging market, their experiences highlight the crucial importance of adaptability and strategic decision-making in the ever-evolving landscape of online cannabis advertising.

(Hat tip to Matthew Shterenberg, Diane Kessler, Jeremy Johnson, and Seth Yakatan for great LinkedIn posts, follow them on LinkedIn, they know what they are talking about!)





Source link

Cannabis News

The New Dope Dictionary – Codes for Cannabis Are All Around You, Do You Recognize the Modern Twists?




cannabis codes

The Dope Dictionary: Cannabis Codes Through Counterculture


You gotta hand it to stoner ingenuity coining clandestine code words over the years. With thousands of kooky nicknames for cannabis floating through counter-culture, no other community merges mischief and metaphor quite like folks facing prison for puffing plants.


When you risk becoming criminal just for giggling about “getting giddy,” clever wordplay gets ingrained in the lifestyle. Government literally weaponized terminology itself against us by policing diction absurdly. So we turned necessity into an artform.  In fact, cannabis growers have their own vocabulary to talk about the clones and seedlings as they mature.  Marijuana genetics vocabulary, you bet, those guys have their own terms and terminology, too!


Frankly, jazz musicians and hippies probably pioneered more classic cannabis lingo through history. But with so much linguistic creativity bubbling from underground scenes facing stigma, it makes sense that broad brushes painted us all as artsy rebels shaking up the squares through music, poetry, comedy. Subversion loves company.


Of course, after decades moving in discreet circles as an avid aficionado myself, I take for granted how advanced coded dialects for weed become over years. Yet those authentic roots remind why the culture cherishes novelty and shock value in messaging – it began battling censorship oppressing choice itself. When language oppresses, we reinvent language.


So today we honor all the verbal tricksters and word witches turning injustice into eternal cultural spice. The law changes slowly, but vocabulary stays verdant! Now onto examining the latest and greatest sneak words.



I recently stumbled on a fun Reddit thread asking cannabis users to share their favorite low-key terminology for getting high discreetly.


As both a wordsmith and avid weed enthusiast, observing such creative linguistic camouflage in action captivated instantly despite the late hour cannabis haze.


It seems no culture nurtures playful euphemisms quite like groups facing stigma around their sacraments, almost wearing subversive humor as an emblem of identity against mainstream misperceptions.


But beyond mere amusement, such slang also serves connecting code speaking subcultural significances aloud in mixed company.


While the diversity of terms for toking up likely outnumbers stars in the universe, I picked some personal favorite stealthy smoke signals from the thread for your reading pleasure. Check out this Highest Hits selection:

  1. Safety Meeting – A popular workplace excuse implying coordinated peer review of potential environmental hazards. Or just hotboxing behind the dumpster on break!

  2. Adult Talks – Euphemizes mature matters above young listener’s heads, like budgeting finely aged grape concentrates or knife hash.

  3. Going Biblical – Hinting at seeking spiritual communion through rather unorthodox methods The Man best not join…

  4. Getting Botanical – Coyly couches the quest for herbal inebriation in academic terms. Homework helps!

  5. Time to Get Silly – Speak for itself really…the perfect excuse to indulge childlike joys discretely!


While this list barely captures stoner terminology’s constantly evolving expansion, it hopefully conveys enduring cultural solidarity through lighthearted lingo lampooning oppressive norms. When conformity demands sobriety, only cheeky humor prevails!


Now let’s brainstorm ideal modern verbiage for avoiding awkward explanations without cramps creativity’s canon too criminalized these days…



Having AI’s creative capacities at our fingertips, I wondered if we could concoct even sneakier terminology for toking up that fits organically into routine vernacular without raising eyebrows. The goal being innocuous phrasing no one blinks twice hearing, yet discreetly signals “Let’s get baked bro!”


Now I don’t advocate hiding indulgences out of shame or anything. But you should always be discreet with everything you do. Some people are douchebags. The other day I screamed “FUCK THE DEVIL!” in church, and they kicked me out. I thought everyone hated the MF!


As the saying goes – cast not pearls before swine lest trampled underfoot!


So less about deception than pragmatic filtering against joy-killing judgment prematurely. I find that keeping your personal doings discreet or only with people “in the loop”, that you’ll reduce the drama in your life significantly. Sure, I smoke weed, but not everyone else does and some people hate it. I could say, “Fuck it”, but in reality, less drama = better highs.


  1. Debugging some code – Evokes the tedious yet technical task of identifying problems in programming scripts. Who doesn’t need burning mental fuel smoothing that headachey process?

  2. Feeding the birds – Sounds like a wholesome nature pastime giving winged creatures their supper. Not supplying yourself supplemental brain seeds!

  3. Sorting the catalogs – Hints at the bored administrative task of organizing merchandise booklets and promotional materials. But what discerning store wouldn’t display cannabis proudly given cultural advancements?

  4. Unpacking grandma’s spices – Conjures innocently rummaging through nana’s pungent spice drawer for that special heirloom ingredient elevating cookie recipes!

  5. Discussing theoretical physics – Because what stoner conversation doesn’t wander into awed territory frequenting scholars seeking unified field equations? Just advanced nerd stuff clearly.



The ultimate litmus stays not arousing any explicit suspicion around activities unfolding behind innocuous phrasing. These creative equivalents hopefully pass public scrutiny allowing coded conversations in plain sight!



At the end of the day, this linguistic playfulness reflects a deeper cultural resilience. When authorities weaponized terminology itself against us over victimless herb use, we got creative subverting oppression. And from crisis came community unusually tight-knit thanks to sharing sensi and silly secrecy alike.


The code words arose organically as cautions against harsh policies promoting justified paranoia. Their continued use even after legalization specifies a hard-won solidarity identity persisting within the rising rituals of public awareness destigmatization. Sort of an emblem indicating we remember past injustices galvanizing today’s freedoms progressing gradually.


Of course, some terminology stays wisely discretionary depending on settings and company to this day. As much from pragmatism as conveying coded respect towards certain consciousness expansions still requiring reasonable care when engaged. The plants graciously unveil mysteries in good time for those nurturing understanding gently.


But overall this rich slanguage woven fantastically documenting decades underground sanctions now merits cherishing as cultural heritage holding unique significances. Almost like appreciated argot artistry honed rivaling legendary linguistic circles throughout history pivoting language itself towards liberation. Etch it into stoner dictionaries!


My hope in shedding light on this glossary grocery list stimulation becomes furthering such delightful camaraderie through readers adding their own favorites to the mix. Language creates culture. And the cannabis culture is quite rich in that department.





Source link

Continue Reading

Cannabis News

Are Hemp-Derived Delta-8 Products That Get You High Legal?




congress on delta-8 rules

President Joe Biden signed an emergency funding bill into law on Thursday to avert a government shutdown. Notably, the legislation also extends the Farm Bill until September 2024, granting Congress additional time to formulate a new one. Advocates anticipate that the upcoming bill will address the expanding national market for hemp-derived cannabinoids, including the contentious delta-8 THC.


As lawmakers embark on crafting replacement legislation, their focus will encompass the requirements of domestic agriculture, with specific attention to the concerns of hemp farmers and producers. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, along with 30 other cannabis organizations, has submitted a list of nine priorities to the House and Senate committees responsible for shaping the new Farm Bill.  The story “Under 0.3% THC by Net Weight Creates the Biggest Loophole is Drug Law History” covers how Delta-8 and Delta-9 derived from hemp and that get you high claim to be legal.


These priorities encompass various aspects, such as

  • Enhancing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s hemp program through increased funding and staffing,

  • Compelling the Food and Drug Administration to regulate hemp extracts like CBD,

  • Designating hemp as a specialty crop,

  • Repealing restrictions preventing felons from participating in hemp production,

  • Fostering hemp research at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tribal colleges, and Hispanic-serving institutions,

  • Eliminating Drug Enforcement Administration registration for hemp-testing labs,

  • Easing regulatory burdens,

  • Permitting hemp grain for animal feed,

  • Addressing THC levels for hemp.

Jonathan Miller, the general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, discussed these priorities and potential challenges for low-THC cannabis farmers and processors in an interview with MJBizMagazine, shedding light on the considerations as lawmakers gear up to finalize a new Farm Bill.

Anticipated Modifications to Hemp in the 2023 U.S. Farm Bill

A prominent concern within the industry revolves around the insufficient regulation by the FDA regarding CBD and other cannabinoids.


Efforts are underway to introduce amendments to the Farm Bill, mandating FDA oversight of CBD. However, a jurisdictional challenge exists initially, as the version emerging from the U.S. House of Representatives will likely need provisions concerning the FDA. The House Agriculture Committee lacks jurisdiction over the FDA.


Nevertheless, as the bill progresses to the Senate, the floor, or conference committee discussions, expectations are high for including language addressing this regulatory gap—a pivotal need for the industry. While the House Energy and Commerce Committee leans toward a separate bill to maintain jurisdiction over CBD, there is a consensus that some legislative action is desired within the current year.

What is the Probability of Approving a New Farm Bill This Year?

The likelihood of a new Farm Bill passing this year is still being determined, with attention centered on two fundamental conflicts, particularly concerning the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. The dynamics of this issue are less of a partisan struggle between Democrats and Republicans and more of an internal battle within the Republican Party.


The disagreement is notably prominent within the Freedom Caucus and the party’s right-wing faction. This faction remains discontented with the previous debt-ceiling deal and may leverage the Farm Bill to address their concerns.


Consequently, House Republican leadership faces a genuine challenge in delivering a proposal that can simultaneously satisfy the demands of the far-right wing and garner support from Democrats. The outcome remains uncertain amid these complex political dynamics.

Which Members of Congress are Leading the Way in Influencing Hemp-related Legislation?

The influential figures shaping hemp-related policies in Congress include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a key player with significant impact on hemp-related matters. Another notable figure is Jamie Comer, the House Oversight Committee chair, who intends to hold hearings on hemp and CBD.


The leaders of specific committees also hold considerable sway in these discussions. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Glenn “GT” Thompson, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, are pivotal players in influencing hemp-related decisions in the House.


On the Senate side, Debbie Stabenow, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture (Nutrition and Forestry), and Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, will contribute significantly to the discourse. Additionally, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to shape hemp-related policies substantially.

The 2018 Farm Bill

As per Reuters, the temporary bill allocates farm programs and food assistance funding until September of the following year. The farm bill is a component of a substantial spending package that Congress renews on a five-year cycle. The previous farm bill, sanctioned in 2018, legalized the production and sale of hemp across all 50 states.


However, the 2018 Farm Bill also paved the way for unregulated competition from hemp-derived products, impacting the tightly regulated marijuana industry operating under state legality. This legislation resulted in an influx of new products, including those containing CBD, delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, and other intoxicating cannabinoids—some originating from synthetic processes. These products entered smoke shops, gas stations, and online platforms.


The proliferation of CBD, hemp-derived delta-8, and delta-9 THC products has presented challenges for state legislators and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA, responding to concerns, issued warning letters to companies selling hemp-derived products that either made unsupported medical claims or marketed delta-8 THC products in packaging resembling typical snacks and candies consumed by children.


With federal action still pending, several states, including Kentucky and Virginia, have started enacting laws to prohibit or significantly restrict hemp-derived products. In response, hemp companies have initiated legal actions to contest or delay the implementation of such state bans.


Recent legislative developments highlight the intricate landscape surrounding the Farm Bill and hemp-related regulations. President Joe Biden’s signing of the emergency funding bill extends the Farm Bill until September 2024, allowing lawmakers to address critical issues in the hemp industry. Advocates, led by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, emphasize nine priorities, including FDA regulation of CBD and hemp as a specialty crop.


The uncertainties regarding a new Farm Bill passage this year, influenced by internal Republican conflicts and debates over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), underscore the challenges of bipartisan cooperation. Congressional figures like Mitch McConnell, Jamie Comer, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Glenn “GT” Thompson, Debbie Stabenow, Bernie Sanders, and Chuck Schumer play crucial roles in shaping hemp-related policies.


Reflecting on the 2018 Farm Bill, its legalization of hemp production triggered opportunities and challenges. The surge in hemp-derived products prompted FDA and state regulatory concerns, leading to legal battles and state-level restrictions. The evolving legislative landscape emphasizes the need for a comprehensive regulatory framework to govern the growing hemp industry, balancing federal, state, and industry interests.





Source link

Continue Reading

Cannabis News

The European Cannabis News Update




european cannabis news

First Legal Marijuana Dispensary to Open in Switzerland


In late October 2023, the first trials for a cannabis dispensary – a pioneer in Europe, was finally given the green light by Swiss authorities. The dispensary will be managed by the Swiss Institute for Addiction  (ISGF) and Health Research as well as the Sanity Group though they both must first carry out a study to plan how they will successfully sell marijuana to adults.


The study called Grashaus Project, is taking place late 2023. It will involve dispensing cannabis at a flagship store in the Allschwil municipality though another store will follow in Liestal. The trials will also allow them to pre-empt how to handle high-risk users including those with mental health problems, and how they can refer them to the right care centers in their canton.


Prof. Dr. Michael Schaub, ISGF’s Scientific Director, will be leading the study. Meanwhile, Finn Hansel, Sanity Group’s CEO, said in a statement: “Our ambition to support the ISGF pilot project with our knowledge and experience as an internationally positioned cannabis company is primarily based on the promotion of research in the field of cannabis.”

“Since the company was founded, our goal has been to further research the benefits of cannabis and destigmatize the plant. Together with ISGF, we are developing concepts for safe sales based on health protection, youth protection and prevention,” he said.


Swiss authorities have been studying various reform and policy models around the country during the last few years. One of the their biggest challenges is toppling the black market, which is still prevalent in Switzerland as well as other parts of Europe.


Is Germany Finally About To Legalize Marijuana?


On November 27, 2023, the Traffic Light coalition of Germany, which is comprised of members from the Social Democratic Party, The Greens, and the Free Democratic Party, is said to have agreed on cannabis legalization policies that may take effect by April 1st next year.


Currently, anyone found in possession of over 25 grams of cannabis may be convicted of a crime. Should the new rules take effect, citizens will be able to carry as much as 30 grams in public, and possess 50 up to 60 grams in private. The authorities are still working on drafting the laws and these could change anytime over the next few weeks.


Germany has been working on finalizing the legalities surrounding cannabis use more aggressively since 2021.


During a meeting at the Bundestag last week, Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach answered questions from people who had mixed views about cannabis legalization. “The fact remains that child and youth protection is carried out through education, and sales to children and young people remain prohibited,” he clarified.


“As part of this legalization, we are pushing back the black market,” Lauterbach stated. “The less of the black market there is, the lower the risk that our children will be brought into consumption through the black market,” he added.


The Illegal Cannabis Market Is Still Flourishing in Europe


A recent article by called, “With a Gun to My Head, Here is One Idea to Go Long and One Idea to Short in the Cannabis Market”, pointed out that while Europe may become the biggest cannabis market by volume in the world, full legalization would open up the biggest illicit cannabis market in the world as well.  The author noted Europe’s long difficulty in organizing agreements, border squabbles, and the access points that many surrounding poor countries have to Europe as big concern for legal market organizers.


It appears the article was spot on now after a recent report by the EMCDDA.


A recent analysis released by the EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) and the Europol reveals that the European cannabis market is growing in terms of both diversity and potency.


According to the report, cannabis takes up the biggest slice of the pie in Europe’s drug market, estimated to be worth some EUR 11.4 billion. It also mentions that around 22.6 million European adults have consumed marijuana within the last year.


However, the report also highlights that the potency of marijuana products continues to rise. It also points towards the increasing danger of semi-synthetic cannabis and its proliferation in Europe, especially HHC. Consuming potent and synthetic cannabinoids is a real threat and danger that they still need to tackle. It seems that the European market is still struggling greatly as they learn how to cope with the flourishing black market.


French Government Takes A Big Step To Improve Medical Cannabis Access


Last October 23, the French government made amendments to the Social Security Financing Bill (PLFSS) involving medical marijuana. In doing so, they brought cannabis into the general medical framework of France for the first time in history as part of their trials.


Thanks to the move, medical marijuana products will now be given a temporary authorization good for five years. They also have language in place that will allow these authorizations to be renewed indefinitely. This step towards marijuana generalization is significant for France because it integrates medical marijuana into their general law.


That isn’t without its caveats, though: in France, patients must still have tried every other treatment available, and if it doesn’t work, then they can look to doctors who can prescribe them medical marijuana. Despite the liberal French nation launching their trials with medical cannabis since 2021 lasting for 2 years.


Other notable developments from the amendment include the ability to authorize products on a case by case basis, making way for a transition period lasting 9 months – by the end of which marks the expiry of generalization as the experiment culminates in April 2024. Once generalization has finished, cannabis use will go back to being recommended as a last-resort medication and only hospitals can prescribe them.



The European Union still struggles with numerous challenges when it comes to legalizing cannabis in every single nation. The black market is a major hurdle, and many authorities are still pushing back against more liberal access of medical marijuana.





Source link

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2021 The Art of MaryJane Media