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17 Feb 2016

Cannabis in the CV: Four Apps That Are Bringing Medical-Marijuana Users Together; So Long, Steven Cooley

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The Internet and social media have, in many ways, broadened communication and given us all other venues for self-expression—but the stigma still attached to cannabis can hamper a marijuana enthusiast’s online activity.

Case in point: Facebook has long had a ban on cannabis advertising—and as of Feb. 6, began shutting down dispensary pages.

Pot-smokers have often thought of themselves as their own society, so why shouldn’t we have our own social media? Here are a few apps that have answered that question with: “We agree! Here you go!”

Weedmaps

www.weedwaps.com; IOS, Android

Weedmaps got into the cannabis social-media game early, and has been the go-to solution for smokers to find cannabis, and for dispensaries to promote their wares. Users can also post reviews of dispensaries. Basically, it’s like Yelp for cannabis.

The app/website lists thousands of dispensaries across the country. The app and the website both offer geolocation services to tell you the nearest place to pick up some smoke, along with reviews and menus of dispensaries’ current offerings and deals. Launched in 2008, the site now boasts more than 2 million visitors per month.

Leafly

www.leafly.com; IOS, Android

Weedmaps spent many years alone at the top of the 420-app heap, but Leafly is now giving Weedmaps some competition. Leafly has the same dispensary-locating functionality, but focuses much more on specific strains of cannabis: The site includes many strain reviews, and the database includes thousands of strains, searchable by category, flavor, effects, a patient’s symptoms and known conditions. Users can read and post reviews, and find out if a strain is available nearby.

Another very cool feature is the State of the Leaf interactive map: Click on any state, and get the current status of that state’s cannabis laws. Leafly also includes a section of cannabis-related news and articles on topics like current legislation, health and lifestyle.

Duby

www.duby.co; IOS, Android

With Facebook prohibiting more and more cannabis content, there has been a definite gap in social-media options for cannabis enthusiasts. How many times have you tried a really outstanding strain, and just wanted to shout it out to the world (i.e., you know, post it on Facebook)? Enter Duby. Posts are referred to as “dubys.” Like a duby? Pass it by swiping right! Don’t like it? Swipe left to “put it out.” Cute.

Duby is the most-popular online community for potheads, offering all the features of FB without the judgment and prying eyes of those who have not seen the light.

MassRoots

www.massroots.com; IOS, Android

If Duby is the Facebook of cannabis culture, MassRoots is its Instagram. The interface is exactly what you’d expect from something known as the Instagram of weed—filled with pictures of cannabis, and your boss isn’t your “bud.” (That’s MassRoots’ term for connections.)

The result of a marijuana-infused brainstorm between the two founders in 2013, MassRoots has enjoyed amazing growth. The community now boasts more than 775,000 users—more than double the membership six months ago. Founders expect to reach 1 million by 4/20.

Said MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich in a news release: “The weeks leading up to 4/20 are the cannabis industry’s holiday season—a period where millions of cannabis enthusiasts make purchases, buy tickets, and make plans for marijuana’s official holiday. Historically, during the weeks leading up to 4/20, we have experienced significantly higher growth and visibility.”

MassRoots will only benefit from Facebook’s move to further restrict marijuana-related pages, and is becoming a valuable advertising alternative to Facebook for weed businesses. MassRoots also made history as the first marijuana-tech company to go public, in April 2015. According to the MassRoots website, the business hopes to uplist to NASDAQ or the NYSE before the end of 2016.

I’m buying stock tomorrow!

The next time you’re looking for a dispensary, or you just want to show off a favorite strain, your garden or a new bubbler—without your great aunt putting on her Judgy McJudge hat—post away! There are entire online societies just for our tribe!


On a Sad Note

The Coachella Valley cannabis community lost a treasured member on Feb. 15 when Steven Cooley—cannabis evangelist, budtender extraordinaire and manager of PSA Organica in Palm Springs—passed away suddenly while dining with friends.

Steven radiated positive energy like a bright light, and has helped countless people find the correct strain or medication for what ails them. A long-time HIV patient and stroke survivor, Steven attributed his continued existence on this plane to his use of cannabis in its many forms.

Steven was a true believer, a great friend and a wonderful human being. You will be truly and sorely missed, my friend.

In lieu of flowers or cards, please make a donation in Steven’s name to the Desert AIDS Project.

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