February 5 2021,


Courtesy of Weedmaps

For much of its 13-year history, Weedmaps had little competition for the title of most important marketing platform in cannabis. The “Yelp of weed” was often the only way dispensaries and their customers could find each other.

  • The company has evolved into a diversified cannatech player and late last year, its parent company filed to go public on the NASDAQ at an anticipated $1.5B valuation. 

Weedmaps continues to be among the most prominent, and occasionally brash, advertisers in cannabis, even as lack of access to mainstream channels like Facebook and broadcast television remain limited at best. 

In an interview with WeedWeek, chief marketing officer Juanjo Feijoo discussed the company's recent sponsorship of Mike Tyson's return to the ring, advertising in airports and who he's trying to reach.

Read the whole thing.


Meanwhile, Weedmaps competitor Leafly partnered with Jane Technologies in a bid to improve the e-commerce experience.

  • And in another retail-oriented deal, loyalty marketing platform SpringBig acquired fast-growing BudTender, which enables dispensaries to collect feedback from customers.

In the biggest cannabis-related acquisition yet, Jazz Pharmaceuticals said it would buy GW Pharmaceuticals in a $7.2B cash and stock deal, the strongest indication yet of big drugmakers’ long-speculated interest in cannabis.

  • In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved GW’s Epidiolex, a CBD-based pharmaceutical, as a treatment for severe pediatric epilepsy disorders. It was the first time the agency greenlit a cannabis-derived drug.
  • U.K.-based GW has also developed a medicine containing CBD and THC which has won approval in several countries as a treatment for multiple sclerosis-related spasticity. It’s currently in late-stage trials under the brand name Sativex, with an eye on U.S. approval. 

Cannabis executives have long been wary, not to say paranoid, of Big Pharma. But observers I spoke to don't think it threatens the REC industry.

Here's what the deal does mean.

  • As pharma and the cannabiz circle each other, MJBiz asks what's next.
  • Also, a new bipartisan bill would regulate CBD as a dietary supplement, likely accelerating its uptake by mainstream retailers and consumer packaged goods companies.
    Nutritional Outlook
IN THE NEWS — 2/6/21


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