Weedmaps to stop advertising unlicensed pot businesses

The major online pot shop directory and cannabis marketplace Weedmaps says it will no longer allow unlicensed marijuana businesses to advertise on its site. (Source: Weedmaps)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The major online pot shop directory and cannabis marketplace Weedmaps says it will no longer allow unlicensed marijuana businesses to advertise on its site.

The decision announced Wednesday followed pressure from state regulators and the legal cannabis industry in California, who argued that the company's practices were propping up the black market after legalization there.

Licensed recreational marijuana businesses rejoiced. Ryan Kunkel, owner of Have A Heart dispensaries, said black market operations on Weedmaps are his biggest competitor in California, and Jerred Kiloh, a dispensary owner who heads the United Cannabis Business Association industry group, predicted that half of the state's illegal market could dry up once Weedmaps cuts access.

Weedmaps said it was making the change to emphasize social justice, saying it will help some minority-owned unlicensed businesses obtain licenses.

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