Cannabis tech platform Weedmaps makes its Nasdaq with $579 million in gross proceeds

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

On Wednesday, June 16, cannabis industry-focused tech company Weedmaps began trading on the NASDAQ. Shares climbed nine percent on this date, at which point they were valued at more than $20 each.

Weedmaps’ stock market debut comes amid its merger with Silver Spike Acquisition Corporation a special purpose acquisition company. Headquartered in California, Weedmaps earned $579 million in gross proceeds through the transaction.

This is according to an official news release from the company, which is renowned for connecting cannabis consumers, brands, retailers, doctors and patients through its popular website and mobile application.

Following the closing of Weedmaps’ NASDAQ deal, Silver’s name changed to “WM Technology”. Cannabis stock market investors and traders can find the company’s NASDAQ listing under the ticker symbol “MAPS”. 

Silver Spike’s board of directors agreed in unison to the transaction, which previously gained stockholder approval. The stock officially started trading under the ticker symbol “MAPS” on June 16. It previously traded under the ticker “SSPK”.

Weedmaps’ NASDAQ deal will aid the company’s expansion efforts

As more U.S. states enact cannabis legalization laws, the timing couldn’t be better for Weedmaps’ NASDAQ deal. According to the chief executive officer (CEO) of Weedmaps, Chris Beals, the merger will help Weedmaps—the most widely used and downloaded cannabis mobile application on the Apple App Store and Google Play—to maximize growth. 

Net income of $39 million on $162 million in revenue was recorded by Weedmaps for the financial year ending December 31, 2020. Although the cannabis company’s financials are looking good, Weedmaps has encountered troubles with regulators over the last few years.

For example, at the beginning of 2018, California State regulators instructed the company to halt cannabis advertising from illicit retailers; Weedmaps found itself at the focal point of a federal investigation regarding its association with licensed and illegally-operating California companies.

The NASDAQ is a hot pick for cannabis stocks

An increasing number of legal and licensed cannabis companies are starting to trade on the public stock market, with the NASDAQ being a favored choice. Tilray Inc. (TLRY) and OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (OGI) are just two examples of top-trading NASDAQ pot stocks.

Based on the list of cannabis stocks represented by the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), the legal sector is outshining the broader market. This was made clear when MJ revealed that it had provided a total return of 54.0 percent over the last 12 months. 

To put this into perspective, the Russell 1000 index—which comprises approximately 92 percent of the total market cap of all featured stocks in the U.S. equity market—had a total return of 44.8 percent during the same period of time.

A broad spectrum of companies’ shares are actively trading on the NASDAQ, such as companies in the energy, finance, high-tech stocks, capital goods, technology, public utilities, transportation, consumer durables and non-durable products space. 

Some other popular cannabis stocks include Village Farms International Inc. ( VFF), Hydrofarm Holdings Group Inc. ( HYFM) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB).