WikiLeaf, Giving Consumers The Power To Set Their Own Marijuana Prices
Read the article on Cash Cow Cannabis site.
It comes as no surprise that marijuana prices vary from state to state in the US. Like any other flourishing industry, product costs reflect an initially high consumer demand that tapers off over time. In order to provide thrifty consumers a money-saving tool, serial entrepreneur Dan Nelson founded Wikileaf. Nelson conceived the idea in 2013, and has worked with a generous developer to create Wikileaf’s framework. Together, they collected marijuana prices and dispensary locations. This data allows consumers to search for cannabis based on price and proximity. Essentially, Wikileaf will find the closest dispensary in your price range. Putting that kind of power in the hands of the consumer should spark more competitive pricing.
I recently interviewed Dan to learn more about his entrepreneurial process.
CCC: How did you go about attracting media attention?
DAN: I emailed writers at TechCrunch and Elite Daily who agreed to do a story on my company and the day after it was published a wave of press came in. It also lead to being discovered by a company from New York who offered funding.
CCC: In your interview with Nextshark.com you mentioned being approached about becoming a publicly traded penny stock. Could you expand a little more on why you didn’t want to go in that direction? Wouldn’t it have helped you grow faster?
DAN: It wasn’t really an official offering to go public. It was more of a reverse merger which is another way to become publicly traded without resorting to an initial public offering. I would essentially merge with a company that is already being traded as part of a bigger portfolio. I wasn’t interested in that.
CCC: Did you seek investment?
DAN: Well, after I was mentioned in TechCrunch and Elite daily I was approached by a New York company who offered us funding. After that, I received interest from more private investors.
“For now we are allowing dispensaries to list for free which is a big deal because there are websites out there charging $300-$400 to list their menus.”
CCC: What obstacles are you currently facing?
DAN: The biggest obstacle is advertising since it’s not allowed. Facebook and Twitter don’t allow for cannabis themed advertising so only organic growth can be done which is way too slow. Even Google ads disappear after it shows up. The second obstacle is the app store which doesn’t allow for dispensary pricing to be displayed so instead apps will direct clients to their main site and deteriorates the user experience.
CCC: How are you going to monetize?
DAN: For now we are allowing dispensaries to list for free which is a big deal because there are websites out there charging $300-$400 to list their menus. However, in 2016 we will be changing our pricing model in order to monetize. We’ll soon reach 3000 visits a day which is more incentive for dispensaries to sign up before year end.
“Marijuana prices will absolutely go down.”
Perspective and Outlook
CCC: What would you have done differently if you had to do it all over again?
DAN: I wouldn’t do much differently. Maybe gather the dispensary data faster. I feel like I’ve made the right choices but that doesn’t mean six months from now I could look back and say to myself “that was a mistake”. We are going to be adding more features to the site as it grows so there will be more choices made.
CCC: What are you views on Marijuana prices in the future?
DAN: Marijuana prices will absolutely go down. Originally medical marijuana was supplied by a handful of sources at steep prices but over time more suppliers showed up and prices went down. The big obstacle now is recreational marijuana prices because they are so high and it’s only a matter of time for laws to change and more suppliers to show up.
In the next few years we should see the dominoes fall as states start to relax their laws. This will lead to federal marijuana legalization. One thing is for sure, Dan is not waiting around to add more features to his arsenal. He’s already prepared for when the light turns green.
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