Cannabis advertising platform Weedmaps started trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday in the wake of the completion of its merger with special purpose acquisition company Silver Spike Acquisition Corp.
The transaction brought California-based Weedmaps, a leading but sometimes controversial online marketplace for cannabis consumers and businesses, $579 million in gross proceeds, according to a news release.
In connection with the closing of the deal, Silver Spike changed its name to WM Technology. Its Nasdaq ticker symbol is MAPS.
Shares were up 9% Wednesday at more than $20 each.
The transaction was approved unanimously by Silver Spike’s board of directors. It also was approved by stockholders at a special meeting last week.
Chris Beals, Weedmaps chief executive officer, said in a release that the merger will enable the company to accelerate its growth as it benefits from ongoing legalization across the country.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, the company generated net income of $39 million on $162 million in revenue.
Weedmaps, which has been operating as WM Holding Co., has run into issues with regulators in recent years.
In early 2018, California regulators ordered the company to stop carrying advertising from illegal cannabis retailers.
Weedmaps also was the focus of a federal investigation at least partially tied to its relationships with licensed and apparently illicit California companies.