One Million Users and Counting: MassRoots Connecting Consumers and Cannabis Dispensaries
The passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, officially called the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, is expected to bolster the already rapidly emerging hemp industry as it finally legalized industrial hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) that comes from hemp. The signing of the bill has been widely cheered by cannabis industry advocates that argue the broad reaching medicinal benefits of CBD, ranging from anti-aging properties to controlling seizures.
Hemp is defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low (less than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis) concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In layman’s terms, it’s the type of cannabis that doesn’t have the “high” due to THC that is commonly associated with marijuana. For decades, hemp, regardless of its non-intoxicating nature, has been illegal as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act and only allowed to be grown under specific conditions for research purposes as allowed by state law. The Farm Bill changed that.
Little credence has been given to the therapeutic effects of CBD by many pundits due to the lack of clinical research that has been limited because of federal prohibition. However, with medical marijuana now legal in 33 U.S. states – and recreational marijuana legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia – there is no shortfall of advocates touting its benefits.
Further, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this year gave marketing approval to GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, a CBD therapy for treating rare types of epilepsy, making it the first cannabis-based drug ever given the green light, which throws a dart into the notion that CBD has no medical use.
MassRoots (OTCQB: MSRT) is a leading technology platform for the regulated cannabis industry centered on information and connectivity that allows businesses to reach consumers and consumers to make educated purchases based on consumer reviews of thousands of cannabis products. The platform has a wide influence with more than one million registered users.
With the trend towards CBD gaining momentum, MassRoots is preparing to launch a new review and e-commerce platform focused on CBD products. The existing platform has already generated “tens of thousands” of reviews on CBD products, information the company believes will be able to expand its audience by being presented separately from products containing THC. Given its large user base and shift in hemp laws effective January 1, 2019, the opportunity for an online platform offering CBD products is not going overlooked by MassRoots.
On the business side, the company offers its MassRoots for Business portal. The fully-integrated platform was recently loaded with new features and analytics for its dispensary customers expected to drive additional traffic and provide greater insight into consumer behavior. Business clients pay a monthly fee for listing on the MassRoots platform, as well as fees for the company’s new WeedPass Rewards program that enables consumers to earn
rewards (for example, tickets to movies and sporting events) by shopping at dispensaries participating in WeedPass.
Upon the acquisition of the WeedPass.com domain this month, MassRoots initiated an online marketing campaign, comprised of leading cannabis social media influencers on Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter and MassRoots.
Launched only a few months ago, more than 100 dispensaries are already participating in the WeedPass program in the Los Angeles and Denver markets, driving over $120,000 in sales to those dispensaries. There is still plenty of headroom for expansion as measured by New Frontier Financial’s estimate that there are more than 2,500 regulated dispensaries in the U.S.
To that end, MassRoots says it intends to widen the availability of WeedPass outside of California and Colorado into every state with a regulated cannabis market. With Michigan legalizing recreational marijuana and Utah and Missouri making medical marijuana legal by ballot measure last month, the company’s addressable market just got a little bigger.
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