Why Is Leafly Removing Unlicensed California Cannabis Dispensaries From Its Finder?

Published on February 27, 2018 · Last updated February 23, 2022
Why Is Leafly Removing Unlicensed California Cannabis Dispensaries From Its Finder?

Beginning March 1, 2018, Leafly’s dispensary finder will no longer list California cannabis dispensaries and weed delivery services that lack state licenses permitting them to operate. The state has made clear that only licensed retailers and delivery services may advertise via technology platforms.

This was a difficult decision internally and one that we recognize may inconvenience some of our valued medical patients, adult-use consumers, and longtime dispensary partners. A key piece of Leafly’s mission is to help people find cannabis, and, as such, removing businesses isn’t a move we take lightly.

Since the state began issuing licenses, however, a steadily widening gap has opened up between state-licensed companies and those operating illegally. In February 2018, state regulators sent hundreds of letters to unlicensed businesses advising them to cease operation or risk criminal and civil penalties. Some reports have linked illegal shops to underage sales or other violations of state law, actions that Leafly does not condone.

While California’s rollout of legalization certainly hasn’t been perfect, Leafly supports the move toward a legal, regulated cannabis market. We also encourage regulators at the state and local levels to speed the licensing process and reconsider barriers to entry to the legal market so that all Californians can share in the benefits of legalization.

Wait, I Have a License!

We want to give consumers as many options as possible. If your cannabis business has recently obtained a license or you believe it’s been removed from Leafly in error, let us know! Drop us a line at, and we’ll work to get you up and running.

Oh No, I Need a License!

Operators seeking a state license can apply through the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s website or contact the bureau by phone at (833) 768-5880.

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Leafly Staff
Leafly Staff
Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.
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