More than 235,000 Oklahomans now have medical cannabis licenses, according to January data provided by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.
That’s a whole lot of prospective patients for dispensaries across the state. Since the OMMA began taking applications to sell cannabis, more than 2,200 dispensary licenses have been approved.
While that doesn’t mean there are that many dispensaries in Oklahoma, there are more than enough to make life complicated for those seeking a good deal and good products.
But there’s help out there for the dazed and confused. Home improvement has Angie’s List. Restaurants have Yelp. Employers have Glass Door. But for those seeking assistance deciding what dispensary might be a good fit for their needs, Leafly and WeedMaps provide some guidance.
Founded in 2012, the Seattle based platform has more than 40 million monthly page views. Leafly provides information on a variety of cannabis-related subjects, including a comprehensive strain database.
Locally, it crowdsources dispensary reviews from users who can access the site from a laptop or mobile app. Registered users can also order online from their favorite dispensary for pickup in the store. This can save customers time, and some dispensaries offer small discounts for ordering online. Speaking of deals, Leafly also lists promotions offered by dispensaries that are on the platform.
WeedMaps went live in 2008, making it the most established of the two. About 140,000 people downloaded the company’s app last month. Like its competitor Leafly, WeedMaps sources dispensary reviews from customers and provides a list of specials available at locations near the user. It also has a strain database and recently added an online ordering option for users. WeedMaps also provides users with larger photos of individual products, including flower. The company has branched out, opening the Museum of Weed in West Hollywood, California, last year.
With medical marijuana dispensaries in Oklahoma, it’s often an either-or situation with Leafly and WeedMaps. Few use both platforms, and while both offer a myriad of resources for those looking to know more about what they are buying and consuming, the review sections should be viewed with some scrutiny.
Some dispensaries offer customers a discount for leaving a review, and a 2016 story in the Los Angeles Times found many of the reviews on the platform came from a small number of IP addresses. Questions about the validity of reviews have plagued Yelp, TripAdvisor and other platforms that crowdsource information about businesses. Given WeedMaps and Leafly are built on the same principle, users should take note when searching for a dispensary.