Seemingly endless discourse has been devoted to determining the industries with the potential to thrive regardless of the state of the economy. Sectors like this are notoriously difficult to find and yet, there is one that remains largely unheralded in spite of its consistently strong performance. While tech companies and retailers have felt the pinch of the broader economic pull-back, sales of medicinal cannabis have followed and exact opposite trajectory, surpassing the performance of blockbuster drugs like Viagra and many others. Some estimate the medicinal cannabis industry to be worth as much as $45 billion.
The economically insulated nature of the industry and the strong demand; however was not lost on the founder of General Cannabis Inc. (CANA), a technology-based Internet marketing services company that counts itself among the pioneers of the emerging sector. The company has seen 21 months of consecutive revenue growth, as its host of medical cannabis related websites attracts million of visitors each month. The public embrace and proven profitability of WeedMaps.com, the company’s cannabis dispensary and doctor database and finder site, have prompted General Cannabis to further capitalize on the robust medical cannabis industry.
Its latest venture is called GrowShop.com. The site, which commenced beta testing on October 7, leverages WeedMaps.com technology, to build a comprehensive database, allowing gardening and hydroponic businesses to increase online exposure through upgrades and features designed to heighten visibility. GrowShops.com helps listed businesses augment customer interaction by enabling registered users of the site to write reviews for and rank each business according to their personal experiences, similar to the Yelp platform.
Simultaneously, these reviews simplify the process of finding a hydroponic specialist that fits a consumer's needs.
The debut of the site also marks General Cannabis’s expansion into international territory, a move expected to enlarge their user base and increase the number of businesses looking to gain exposure via the platform. The beta site is currently available in six different languages and the company anticipates as many as 10 once the site’s presence broadens.
The revenue growth at WeedMaps elucidated the fiscal potential for technology-based medicinal cannabis platforms for General Cannabis and the company is doing its best to continue to capitalize by broadening its scope both geographically and in terms of their services.
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