IRVINE, Calif., and BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Weedmaps completed the acquisition of cannabis-focused digital menu and ad company Enlighten in Q1. This acquisition brings in two key Enlighten features: SmartHub, a subscription software that powers in-dispensary digital menus and kiosks; and AdSuite, an in-store digital ad inventory for brands to reach consumers at the point of purchase. These solutions now allow Weedmaps to provide a comprehensive advertising offering to clients as part of WM Business.
“This acquisition positions us to be a tremendous partner to retailers and point-of-sale providers where we can ingest and cleanse point-of-sale data one time, enrich it from our brand information catalogs and have that power engaging and transactable experiences for consumers across the Weedmaps marketplace, web ecommerce and in-store kiosks,” said Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps, during the Q1 $MAPS earnings call on May 4.
Enlighten was founded in 2018 when co-founders Jeremy Jacobs and Colby McKenzie identified the lack of resources available to consumers who wanted to become educated on the industry, as well as the lack of opportunities for cannabis brands to advertise.
“We both had strong experience in digital signage and the tools to quickly scale an operation, so the opportunity seemed obvious and compelling,” said Jacobs, CEO of Enlighten and now Vice President of In-Store Solutions at Weedmaps. “In hindsight, the industry evolved much more rapidly than we ever would have predicted, and our company evolved along with it, but those core value propositions carried through.”
Thanks to the acquisition, Weedmaps will now be able to offer marketing options in dispensaries, at the point of purchase. While Weedmaps has led the online cannabis space, the tools Enlighten brings into the fold allow Weedmaps to offer omni-channel marketing throughout the buying journey regardless of if the customer is shopping from their computer or at a physical storefront.
“The cannabis industry is growing at an incredible pace and consolidation is/was inevitable,” Jacobs said. “As Enlighten considered what aggregator was best to roll into, it became clear that not only did Weedmaps offer incredible synergies, but the company was incredibly well positioned to sustain its leading position among canntech companies in the years to come. In our experience, no one works with more retailers and has more cannabis data than Weedmaps. It seemed like a natural fit for Enlighten to be able to empower Weedmaps customers with what we believe to be the first truly omni-channel offering.”