Back in August, online marijuana advertising giant Weedmaps pledged to stop advertising unlicensed cannabis shops and now apparently, as of the beginning of the year they have expunged some 2,700 unlicensed shops from their site. A boon to licensed operators who put in the time, effort, and capitol to become part of the legal market. Unlicensed shops do not pay for a license, or state and local excise tax, thus not passing those costs along to their customers. This pricing undercut has been a problem for licensed dispensaries state-wide.
Loopholes remain however in Weedmaps filtering system. Apparently, the company only requires a listing report the license number or the operator sign an agreement stating the shop sells only CBD products. Weedmaps currently does not have a mechanism to verify the validity of a license number or check a shops offerings.
Remaining on the site as of the beginning of January were nearly double the amount of listings as the number of licensed cannabis shops in California. Even still, some cannabis retailers say they have noticed an uptick in sales since the beginning of the year.