Weedmaps, facing pressure to work only with legal cannabis shops, lays off a quarter of its workforce

Weedmaps, facing pressure to work only with legal cannabis shops, lays off a quarter of its workforce

Two months after online cannabis directory Weedmaps promised it would stop listing illicit marijuana businesses, the Irvine-based company has laid off 25% of its workforce. More than 100 people across the country, from a writer in Orange County to a policy expert in Massachusetts, were affected by the recent cuts. “Today was my toughest day during my tenure as CEO,” wrote Weedmaps’ leader, Chris Beals, on Twitter as he announced the cuts. Beals declined to discuss if, or how, the layoffs were connected to the financial hit that Weedmaps presumably faces if it follows through on a promise to drop hundreds of unlicensed advertisers from its site by the end of the year. In a press release, Beals blamed the layoffs on a slower-than-expected embrace of legal cannabis by new states over the past year. He also cited a tightening of the tech and cannabis capital markets, which he said has made it tough to land investments to support his company’s growth. And he said states such as Massachusetts that recently have legalized marijuana have been too slow to issue licenses to support a stable industry. “In our own home state of California, three years after Proposition 64 legalized recreational…

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