Cannabis-Focused Search Engine Caters to Legal Marijuana Companies

Looking for a new way to advertise your medical marijuana dispensary or related business? Or to make money on your site from companies that do? Check out Cheeba.com, a newly launched search engine specifically for the pot community.

The site let’s you scour the web for news, images and video tied to marijuana, helping users narrow down their search and providing more targeted results than, say, Google or Yahoo.

While patients and recreational pot smokers will find plenty to like, the real benefit is to dispensaries and medical marijuana companies. Cheeba.com hopes to fill a huge void by offering medical pot businesses another way to run display ads online and allowing other businesses to reach out to the marijuana community.

Officials from MCN, the company behind Cheeba.com, say the major ad ad platforms like Google AdSense “discriminate” against marijuana-related businesses, making it hard for legit companies to target the cannabis community. Some of these services apparently bar marijuana-related websites from including advertisements of any kind on their sites.

“What we’ve been seeing over the years is that cannabis-based businesses are continually denied services from online ad networks,” Jason Draizin, chairman and CEO of MCN, said in a press release. “Not only does this prevent cannabis companies from utilizing the Internet to grow their businesses, but it also blocks companies from reaching out to the very real medical marijuana community. We launched Cheeba to step up and fulfill those needs.”

The site allows dispensaries, doctors, educational organizations and businesses that cater to the industry  (think lawyers, insurers, accountants, etc.) to run display ads in search results and across a network of cannabis-related websites. It also highlights news and views, lumping them into categories such as “business,” “education,””international” and “medicine.”

It’s a bare-bones site at this point, with few bells and whistles. And there are still some kinks. The most recent posting under the news tab, for instance, is from August 22. But that’s to be expected from a site that just launched. Cheeba.com shows a lot of promise at this point and could help marijuana dispensaries better connect with their customers.

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