Weedmaps co-founder Justin Hartfield foresees big growth for the company in 2014.
The 30-year-old estimates that revenue for the dispensary-listing website will increase 20% over 2013 to crack the $30 million mark. In an interview with the website Mashable, Hartfield predicted that Weedmaps will receive a boost when other states join Colorado and Washington state in legalizing recreational marijuana this year.
Hartfield said the company’s growth has created challenges. Due to Weedmaps’ size, it now competes with Facebook and Google in attracting talented computer programmers. Some prospective hires, however, fear that joining the company could hurt their future job prospects.
“They think about what’s going to happen after they leave our company, and it’s like ‘oh no, is my new employer going to think I’m a stoner because I worked at Weedmaps?'” he said. “So [we deal with] the typical stuff startups go through. It’s just a little extra when your name is Weedmaps.”
He said the stigma exists despite the fact that he’s never been contacted by the federal government about his business.
Hartfield said he also faces challenges with mainstream advertisers who reject his money and pull his ads at the last minute. Hartfield referenced his recent attempt to run a video advertisement in New York City’s Times Square, which was quashed at the last minute when CBS Outdoor pulled his ad.
“It’s happened before,” Hartfield said. “It’s disheartening that it’s 2014 and we’re still dealing with sh*t” like that, but that’s fine.”