Cannabis Dispensary Review Site Weedmaps Leaks Evidence of Fake Reviews

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Weedmaps has been a highly useful company for helping patients find marijuana dispensaries in their area. A cannabis dispensary pays Weedmaps to display their location and the strains currently available and this allows patients to make an educated choice about which dispensary will have what they need. Due to the strict regulations around advertising marijuana businesses, weed dispensaries don’t have many options available for getting the word out about their store. Facebook and Google ban all ads that promote any kind of drug use so dispensaries depend on the services of Weedmaps and their rival, Leafly, to get the word out about their store.

Multiple Reviews; One IP Address

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Weedmaps has enjoyed rapid success in its relatively short history.

The issue that has arisen lately lies in the Weedmaps cannabis dispensary review section. As it turns out, a large number of the reviews are coming from the same IP address. What this means is that multiple reviews for a single business are likewise being written by one single device or internet user. Many reviewing services like Yelp screen for fraudulent reviews by restricting how many reviews can come from each IP address. It would seem that this kind of screening has slipped the notice of Weedmaps software which renders a lot of business reviews as untrustworthy.

A Brief History of Weedmaps

This discrepancy may be due to Weedmaps growing so rapidly as a company. The startup was co-founded by Justin Hartfield and Keith Hoerling who launched the company in 2008. Since then it has grown to become a multi-million dollar company with over 200 employees. The site hosts a database of over 3,000 dispensaries, information on over 950 marijuana strains and the site receives approximately two million monthly visitors. Chris Beals, the President of Weedmaps Media Inc. said that while they were concerned about reviews, their company was generally more focused on having accurate lab information available to viewers. Now that the issue has been revealed, Beals said they are developing automated tools to help the company’s 15 moderators.

Competition Among Cannabis Dispensary Cataloging

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Massroots have recently become competitive in cannabis review services.

While all this is going on, another start up is entering the cannabis dispensary listing game. MassRoots is a social network for the marijuana community that currently has approximately 900,000 users. After receiving many requests by users to expand in this direction, MassRoots has decided to expand its services to include being a Dispensary Finder. They have already signed up over 100 dispensaries and are offering rates that are incredibly affordable. Dispensaries can sign up for $42 a month as a limited time special. The price will increase to $99 a month after Sunday which is still incredibly affordable, given that Leafly listings range between $450 to $995 a month and Weedmaps options are anywhere between $399 to $10,000 a month. The expansion will make it easier for MassRoots users to find dispensaries recommended by others on the social network.

As marijuana continues on its path towards legalization, it’s likely that companies like these will continue to spring up and become more competitive with each other. Perhaps the competition will also continue to raise the quality and industry standard of each of these companies as well.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Leafly put this article out there (La Times) as my collective is currently flooding Leafly with proof of fake reviews and pay-to-edit options, a literal financial fraud agreement.

    No coincidence Leafly pulled all caregiver(delivery/donation) listings and then this article shows up.

    BIG TOBACCO IS TESTING FAKE WEED IN ARIZONA AND LEAFLY IS SPONSORING THE EXPERIMENT! Nothing but diversion tactics. They fail if word spreads and enough people wake up to fake weed sold at PR prices.

    I haven’t seen real weed since moving to Az but all the dispos get rave reviews, patients claiming its the best legit med just like from norcal. But: There is not a single 3 star dispensary in Az, yet no ratings fall below 4.6 on ANY review platform.

    Weedmaps is not innocent either, they promote listings of brokers who send thru the mail, bait and switchers scammers with a known history, etc. David Keith Howard has listings in every city. He is a well known methabilly scammer (The Humboldt Connection)

    I would rather buy weed off meetme than trust any positive dispensary review: Ive seen the faces of patients here. They all look pissed waiting in the lobby to buy shitty re-scented premature hay with God knows what else fed into the plant (probably testing pharmaceuticals, this weed taste so bad they could hide just about anythtin it.) ALL POSITIVE LEAFLY REVIEWS ARE FAKE.

    One dispensary has 4, 000+ positive reviews for horrible weed at insane prices… And the rest want to catch up. Theyve all been BUSTED working together to keep quality standards low and price high.

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