The New Gold Rush – Marijuana Web 2.0
Marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the U.S. with billions of dollars in sales. People are relocating to states that have legalized marijuana with the hopes of being part of the industry, as growers, dispensary owners, or to fill the thousands of jobs that have been created. But there is another group of entrepreneurs who are cashing in on the “marijuana boom” by creating the Web 2.0 for the cannabis industry.
Rather than growing or selling weed, these companies are helping to mature the industry by providing services that facilitate and promote transaction through customer interaction. Some are creating new social platforms that address specific needs and desires of marijuana users. Currently, there are almost 250 marijuana-related apps in the Apple App Store.
CBS News (“How pot smokers find budding romance online“) did an article recently that discussed some notable marijuana-related apps.
- HighThere: A combination between Facebook and Tinder for stoners. Todd Mitchem, a 44-year-old divorced dad who helped create the HighThere app, stated he was tired of having to explain or justify using marijuana to his dates. The app brings together people around the common theme of marijuana.
- Weedmaps: As the name suggests, Weedmaps helps people find marijuana stores in their area through a directory listing of marijuana dispensaries by state.
- Leafly: A “Yelp for weed varieties”. It recently received multi-million dollar investment from an early backer of Facebook.
- BumpUp: “A rewards program for frequent marijuana consumers” from CannaSys, Inc.
Chad Jennewine, CEO of CannaSys, Inc., used to be a grower but now makes his living by helping others sell it.
“That market just gets bigger and bigger and that opportunity continues to grow,” he said. “The dollars signs are definitely in everyone’s eyes.”
As the industry grows and matures, the need for business services as well as social facilitators will become even more apparent. If the Federal Prohibition is lifted, prices and competition will reach true market levels. Marijuana businesses will need to find ways to promote and differentiate their products and services from the competition.
The Marijuana Web 2.0 entrepreneurs are posed to cash in on the new gold rush.