US leaps ahead of Canada in the online weed war

Though Vancouver has a (somewhat justified) reputation as “Vansterdam” due to its lax views on pot, a healthy tech scene, and a representative from both tribes in the form of our beloved Uncle Weed, wily developers south of the border have leapt ahead of us with WeedMaps, an application that rates cannabis clubs in California. Aiming to become the “Yelp of cannabis clubs,” the app is a mashup of Google Maps that pinpoints the location of clubs in relation to their proximity to the user. Currently the site focuses on California, one of the most liberal states in the union regarding pot, though it is branching out to other states.

But even though the service has seen substantial growth since launching in July 2008, and even though the new U.S. Administration is much more lax regarding marijuana than the previous federal government, WeedMaps biggest obstacle may be the fact that Yelp already rates cannabis clubs. Not to mention the fact that American VC money may be a little leery of a business built on pot.

Clearly, the gauntlet has been thrown. Canada has much more liberal attitudes to pot, and Vancouver has a community of designers and developers who are currently being upstaged by their colleagues to the south. Uncle Weed, raise the flag and crack the whip.