Weedmaps, a leading cannabis website and major name in U.S. cannabis, is under heavy scrutiny from the federal government. Many speculate that it may be a very serious investigation.
In recent weeks, news leaked of the company receiving a grand jury subpoena. It names 25 members of the company including its co-founder Just Hartfield, as well as more than 30 other individuals, businesses, and outside investment companies. The subpoena also requested corporate documents including information on company employees, HR data, finance and tax info, calendars, notepads, contact lists, diaries, and information about outside business deals.
According to Leafly,experts say Weedmaps could be facing criminal indictment for “alleged violations of drug, banking, tax and/or communications laws.”
The justice department could also be using Weedmaps to get dirt on other parties like black market pot shops or corrupt state officials.
Weedmaps issued a statement to Leafly, which both downplayed the seriousness of the subpoena and touted the company’s prominence in the industry, writing:
“Given our role as the largest technology company in the cannabis sector, from time to time, Weedmaps receives requests for information from government agencies. We cooperate with these requests as we do with all lawful inquiries. Our corporate policy is not to comment to the media about any specific legal matters or inquiries with respect to the company or any of its customers.”
Others say a serious criminal investigation, if that’s what’s happening, would be a long time coming for Weedmaps. The company has boldly advertised unlicensed pot shops in the past, including stores which sold illegal and possibly toxic vape cartridges.
“These guys were sabotaging the entire system,” Omar Figueroa, a cannabis criminal defense attorney and author of the book Cannabis Codes of California: Legalization Edition, told Leafly. “It’s part of the reason why the regulated market is unworkable for honest operators who play by the rules.”