• http://lsminsurance.ca Syed Raza

    Great article and kudos to you for touching on this controversial topic. What new businesses in this space tend to forget is there are two major factors that make online marketing an extremely risky endeavor to undertake:

    1- Regardless of State laws, Marijuana possession remains illegal under Federal law

    2- The black market will continue to thrive as prices increase in the pricate sector (and you can bet the farm on legal pot prices soaring as the industry stabilizes)

  • Scott Davis

    Victimless crimes like not purchasing health insurance?

  • http://visualconnect.com Ian Leong

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but if you broaden your search on YP.com, there will be three results for “Marijuana” in Denver, CO. I doubt many searches are constrained to medical dispensaries subsequent to legalization for recreational use.

  • Chris Silver Smith

    Ian, you’re right – I only tested by searching for “medical marijuana”, “recreational marijuana” and “marijuana dispensaries” in Denver, Colorado. However, when you search just for “marijuana” in Denver as you described, I only see 2 listings, currently, and neither are what consumers would be seeking if they want to buy the product — I’m only seeing “Marijuana Anonymous” addiction treatment center listings for that search.

    I see something of a dichotomy in search engines and online yellow pages alike around this — by contrast, you can easily find ads for other “restricted” types of businesses like Escorts, Adult Toys, Strip Clubs — which are likely shocking to local communities than medical marijuana. Similarly, one can easily find local listings when you search for Vapor Cigarettes and Tobacco Shops. Amusingly, YP.com has enabled keyword searches for “head shops”, which one supposes would provide supplies to people who shop at recreational marijuana stores!

    I suspect that some of the discrepancies among all of these local business guides comes from the fact that the laws changed in those states so rapidly, and the dust hasn’t settled yet. It’s understandable if taxonomies haven’t been adjusted to include such business listings quite yet, and there is complexity around who is legally allowed to advertise what.

  • http://visualconnect.com Ian Leong

    Oh BTW, I should have commended you earlier on a thought provoking post. Speaking of which – I wonder if YP and other horizontal directories have personalized results (similar to Google and Binghoo) based on geography and sequential queries?

  • http://www.localsearchforum.com/ Linda Buquet

    I posted this yesterday, but it does not show in comments.

    There are new or maybe just updated guidelines for Google+ Age restrictions and Regulated Goods and Services.

    Any consultants that have clients in this or other regulated industries might want to have a read.

    Breaking link in case that’s what caused my comment to be moderated:

    https:// support.google DOT com/business/answer/4601912

  • http://www.localsearchforum.com/ Linda Buquet

    There are lots of G+ Local pages in Google Maps though.

    https:// SPACE maps.google DOT com/maps?q=Denver+medical+marijuana&ie=UTF-8