News, social interaction, and… even marijuana have been drastically altered in the information age.
MassRoots is a social media platform targeted directly at marijuana connoisseurs. Members of the site use it in a similar way to traditional social media outlets such as Facebook. However, as Facebook cracks down on marijuana-related companies, activities, and picture sharing, MassRoots encourages 420 discussions. Over 900,000 users have signed up to the site.
Earlier this week, MassRoots Inc.’s application to join the Nasdaq listing was denied. Nasdaq claimed they could not move forward with the application since MassRoots may be “aiding and abetting” the distribution of a federally banned substance. While the site features many user submitted pictures of marijuana, MassRoots does not have a marketplace or mechanism where members can directly buy or sell anything. MassRoots plans to appeal with the Nasdaq Listing and Qualifications Board.
“With this decision, we believe that the Nasdaq has set a dangerous precedent that could prevent nearly every company in the regulated cannabis industry from listing on a national exchange. This will have ripple effects across the entire industry, making it more difficult for cannabis entrepreneurs to raise capital and slow the progression of cannabis legalization in the United States,” stated MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich. “This decision must not be allowed to stand and we’re asking cannabis supporters, activists businesses, and investors to write a brief note to the Nasdaq in support of our planned appeal.”
The Denver based company has 33 employees and has secured approximately $6.5 million in funding. They hoped to be the first cannabis-based company to be listed on the Nasdaq. That may still happen, even if it takes time. “We have a market cap of over $40 million and we have well over 300 shareholders,” Dietrich said. The company appears to be on solid footing despite the setback.
Federal reclassification of marijuana is possible by as early as this summer. Perhaps that would change the way in which Nasdaq views MassRoots.