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Wikileaf: The Priceline of Pot?

Maureen Meehan

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Wikileaf, a comparison-shopping website for medical marijuana, is changing how people buy their pot while saving them time and money.

Wikileaf.com allows people to compare dispensary prices and menus as well as research cannabis strains. 

Dubbed the “Priceline of Pot,” the site asks users how much they're willing to spend and how far they're willing to travel for their next toke. Medicinal and recreational dispensaries within the specified area then offer however many grams can be purchased at that price point, using a price comparison model known as the reverse auction.

Visitors can browse nearly 400 strains in the online database, selecting from 1,250 dispensaries in Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state.

Dan Nelson, Seattle-based financial blogger and MMJ patient, founded the company in 2014. “I wanted to create a platform where dispensaries could compete with each other on price,” Nelson told the Inlander. “When dispensaries have strains that have been sitting on their shelves for 10 to 13 days, they are far more likely to liquidate it. Wikileaf highlights that inventory.”

In addition to comparing prices and menus, users can leave reviews (similar to Yelp), or research strains based on recommended time of day and medicinal benefits. 

The site's traffic is steady, growing roughly 10 percent each month and averaging just over 100,000 unique visitors, according to Nelson. WikiLeaf's members include more than 900 dispensaries, and Nelson says the site has been adding between five and 10 new dispensaries daily.

Nelson says the WikiLeaf model is simply taking the cannabis market to its inevitable, consumer-driven conclusion.

“Most mature industries shift to a price-comparison model eventually: airlines, hotels, insurance,” says Nelson. “Marijuana is still in its infancy, but I thought I might as well start the price comparison now, because someone's going to do it eventually.”

 

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