Weedmaps, the first and largest global technology and media company in the marijuana space, announced that Doug Francis has been named CEO, succeeding Justin Hartfield, who is now board chairman for the Weedmaps family of companies.
"Doug and I have achieved many of the goals we initially set out to accomplish when we launched Weedmaps eight years ago," said Hartfield. "It's no secret that Doug has been one of the driving forces behind Weedmaps' success. His clear vision on Weedmaps' necessary strategy to become the first billion-dollar company in the sector is truly second to no one. I look forward to supporting Doug's leadership and accomplishing our next set of goals together."
Francis had served as chief operating officer for the company since 2009. In his new position as CEO, Francis will oversee Weedmaps' growth strategy and lead a global technology team across the U.S., Canada and Europe. He also will drive the expansion of new product offerings, transitioning the company to add an additional enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) set of solutions, while leading the expansion of existing portals and lifestyle consumer facing brands. Francis, who will continue to play an active role in marijuana policy across the U.S., also sits on the board of the California Cannabis Industry Association.
"I am thrilled at the opportunity in front of me and understand its magnitude. Weedmaps is focused on building a world-class enterprise by creating value for both clients and consumers. We are committed to our industry partners and will continue to innovate to provide the best tools and information to service the market," said Francis.
Hartfield, a co-founder of Weedmaps, will continue to play a critical strategic advisory role at the company. He also serves on the boards of NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project. The transition will allow Hartfield to spend more time on these endeavors.
"Justin has done a great job leading Weedmaps and I look forward to expanding on the foundation we laid," said Francis. "His deep industry knowledge and macro understandings will ensure we continue to experience strong growth at Weedmaps."
With more than four million unique visitors per month across its network and over 170 employees spanning three countries, Weedmaps continues to expand its market-leading position into the crucial years before federal legalization.
From medical users to recreational consumers, community leaders to politicians, industry vendors to retail operators, Weedmaps offers an ever-expanding suite of pioneering and innovative technologies, products and services to power the rapidly growing marijuana marketplace.
Conservative estimates set the legal marijuana market in this country at $3.5 billion today and forecast it to grow to $4.4 billion in 2016 and $35 billion in 2020. In addition to the rapid expansion of legalization in the U.S. and Canadian markets, Australia, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand and the U.K. are among many countries evaluating legalization.
Weedmaps is the first and largest global technology and media company in the cannabis space, the leading marijuana dispensary, delivery and retail finder, and a multiple-platform digital hub for the global marijuana community. Weedmaps is meeting the cannabis industry's growing demands for innovative technologies, providing patients and consumers with easy access to the best and most reliable real-time news, entertainment, shopping and information on dispensaries, strains, products, reviews and more.