Illegal Pot Shops Will Get Booted From Weedmaps

From boots on the ground to civil lawsuits, state and local government officials have tried everything to puncture the illegal marijuana market. But it’s the actions of a private app that could put the final nail in the black market’s coffin.

On Wednesday, cannabis directory Weedmaps announced it would no longer feature illicit cannabis businesses on its site — a major change that could doom many illegal operators. 

The decision comes after months of pressure and legal threats from state regulators. 

Thousands of consumers rely on Weedmaps to locate dispensaries near them. And right now, many of those dispensaries are illegal. Consumers’ continued reliance on the black market is the number one challenge facing the state’s legal industry, so Weedmaps’ announcement is a major victory for the marketplace.

In a statement, Weedmaps downplayed the state’s role in its decision. The company said it’s trying to promote social equity in the cannabis industry instead.

Bureau of Cannabis Control chief Lori Ajax praised the move:

“Today’s announcement is a step forward for the legal California cannabis industry, which will aid consumers in identifying licensed cannabis businesses when looking to purchase safe cannabis.”