Dispensary locating start-up WeedMaps.com is committing $2 million to get marijuana legalized in California. A campaign committee called “Californians for Sensible Reform” received $1 million on Friday, April 17, 2015. The company will also put up another $1 million to a political action committee called “Californians for Sensible Reform PAC“, which supports marijuana friendly candidates.
Justin Hartfield, Weedmaps CEO, and one of the officers of “Californians for Sensible Reform” stated:
“We’re doing it because legal adult use of marijuana is inevitable. California has always an innovator and we’re falling behind other states.”
“We wanted to do it to make a statement that we’re serious about this.”
According to Troy Dayton, CEO of the ArcView, the donation would be “by far the largest investment by a single business” in the cannabis industry toward a legalization effort. While the $2 million is a “donation” toward the legalization effort in California, it is an “investment” in that legalizing pot for the state would vastly expand the WeedMaps’ customer base.
Big money investors, along with businesses in the cannabis industry, are starting to put money into various legalization efforts around the country at an increasing rate. It’s a sign that the “smart money” is feeling confident in risk/reward considerations for the industry as a whole, and are looking to stake out advantageous ground.
The marijuana industry is the fastest growing industry in the U.S. with an astonishing 74% growth in the last year. As big as the current market is for legal marijuana in the U.S., legalizing recreational pot in California is expected to dwarf anything the industry has seen to date. Some are saying it could double the size of the whole industry in the country.
With so many different marijuana legalization ballot initiatives filed or being drafted to be filed in California, it’s anyone’s guess which one will ultimately win out. With WeedMaps diving in head first with the $2 million investment, other companies and investors are bound to jump into the fight as well.
WeedMaps may have just set off an all out drag out fight for the supremacy of the California ballot initiatives. It remains to be seen if this will be a good thing for the overall movement and its people.
Californians will be able to decide for themselves in 2016.