Skip to main content

FS2 – Weedmaps for Cannabis Delivery is the highest ROI ad spend I’ve ever seen

By May 13, 2022September 8th, 2022No Comments

On Wednesday I was catching up w/ Weldon Angelos and he gave me a rundown on the clemencies he’s been working on with Biden’s administration, a call he has with Senator Booker coming up this week, and more. The progress is phenomenal but it leaves me a little shell shocked. How the fuck are we still here? Why isn’t this fixed? If you haven’t already, donate to the Weldon Project here to help get people out of jail for weed. Let’s get into Free Smoke:

“They need it much more than I ever will, I got new shit, I’m gettin’ better still”​

– Drake, Say What’s Real

Weedmaps SaaS is the best business model on the planet

Weedmaps filed their 2021 earnings last week and they’re looking excellent. I’m not your capital markets guy, but I love getting into the weeds on a filing (I am so sorry for that pun you can find an unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email). Basic SaaS niched into a specific industry is probably my favorite business model of all time. I don’t mean to call Weedmaps “basic” by any means, but it started as a business directory and put up $193.1M last year w/ EBITDA over $30M. You love to see it. Weedmaps is building out an entire suite of retailer tools, but in my eyes there is one reason they win: Order flow. SaaS providers will come and go in cannabis and WM will command market share here and there, but the sheer volume of consumer traffic with buy-intent is remarkable. For brick and mortar retailers these are valuable eyeballs that bring customers through the door, but the the attribution is tough going from digital to real world. However, for delivery services capturing orders on platform directly, WM listings might be the highest impact ad spend I’ve ever seen in any industry. ROAS is a common term in Ecomm, it stands for Return On Ad Spend. That is: how many dollars in revenue you get back for every dollar you spend. 4x ROAS is considered excellent in a lot of niches. Looking over the shoulder of delivery services I’ve talked to, I’ve seen 10-20x ROAS all day long. It’s bananas you guys. Considering the importance of delivery to the future of weed, I’m not sure anyone appreciates this slice of their ad platform for what it is. I repeat: I have never seen scalable ROAS like this. For what it’s worth, I do not see this changing as more traditional digital marketing platforms become cannabis friendly. Access to eyeballs is one thing, but consumers who are ready to buy are something else entirely.

To my friends at Weedmaps: Yes, you can absolutely sponsor Free Smoke, just make checks payable to your boy.

Things That Matter

Last week I asked people on Twitter and Linkedin if they thought the black market did MORE or LESS sales on 4/20 than the estimated $153M of legal sales. With 600+ total votes, 80% of your said MORE and 20% of you live under a rock.

  • 85% of Austin TX residents have voted to decriminalize marijuana and I can’t believe we’re still celebrating pathetic wins like this. [Link]
  • Vanguard turned off access to buy OTC cannabis stocks, bunch of boomers. [Link]
  • Glasshouse did the NHC deal! For $22.6M in cash and stock they pick up 2 operating stores that did $15M in the trailing 12, and one more. [Link]
  • Headset reported a 22% decrease in the price of flower in the US so far this year and I’m here to tell you (with no data to back it up) it’s way more than that. Retail lags behind supply chain trends and the change has been much more drastic in California. I assume there’s enough volume in CA to sku the national data? Yes [Link]
  • People on Linkedin are big mad that the west coast is a magic 8 ball on the rest of the industry [Link]

In The Streets

  • Smokiez gummies are now available in 12 states. Why are all these Oregon brands crushing nationally? Hyper competition.
  • Phases is making noise in CA with an emphasis mood, I like the energy
  • Free Smoke has 1,673 subscribers in only 2 weeks and you haven’t even told everyone you know yet.
  • The Korova Twerps Ropes have been approved by regulators in Oregon. No release date set. Candy is important!

Candy is very important

Buyer’s Corner w/ Oren

Click to watch it on LinkedIn

This week on Buyers Corner, Oren get’s into a strain specific live resin disposable from Sauce.​


RCI Hospitality Holdings, the only publicly traded strip club, did their earnings call on Twitter Spaces w/ Liquidity promoting it. I love how weird the world is getting. Highlights included: Dorky analysts fumbling Spaces and making bad jokes before their questions, an acquisition of a club from widow of old guy who died, and a franchising play. Listen to the Spaces here.

Unrelated Vibes


​​Singer Vehicle Design does custom 911 restorations to your design, and it’s sick.

Check out 2 newsletters from by best friends Oren and James:

Thanks for reading Free Smoke, I’ll see you again next Friday. Tell a friend and check out the podcast or else.

Photo via Brett Jordan