Weedmaps to Cannabis Control: You don't regulate us
Weedmaps, the site that has provided listings of cannabis dispensaries for a few years now, has reportedly sent a letter to California's Bureau of Cannabis Control stating that the agency doesn't have any regulatory power over the site. Weedmaps has come under fire recently for continuing to list unlicensed dispensaries in its listings, and the Bureau would prefer that the public doesn't know about dispensaries selling cannabis in the state without the proper licensing. Leafly is another site that promotes dispensaries, for example, and they recently cleansed their records, only showing officially licensed dispensaries in their listings.
But Weedmaps says it doesn't have to do that. Some of the listings on the site are apparently co-operatives that, though technically unlicensed, are still legal for medicinal sales, at least at the moment. The company also says that just by posting listings on the site, dispensaries are representing that they're in compliance with any laws, though the Bureau has also alleged that although some of the listings on Weedmaps claim to be nonprofit, they're actually making lots of money (including some paid as advertising to Weedmaps directly).
It seems unlikely that the Bureau would take direct action against Weedmaps -- more likely, they would simply go after unlicensed dispensaries through the usual legal channels (which they are certainly doing already). California is also reconsidering its high taxes on legal weed, which are helping to keep the black market going even though recreational cannabis is now legal in the state. The road to making cannabis legal and easily accessible even throughout California is still pretty bumpy, apparently, and though Weedmaps is trying to hold its own ground here, you have to think that eventually the Bureau will either have to crack down on any unlicensed dispensaries, or (hopefully) give them a way to become licensed and official without having to change too much.