Weed is confusing, and that’s how HelloMD is hoping to make a whole bunch of money

CHLOE

Weed can be confusing—and not just because of the cannabinoids.

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in four states and medical in almost five times as many, getting “the stuff” is less about calling up that creepy neighbor of yours and more about figuring out the difference between indica and sativa, hash and tincture.

For patients considering medical marijuana to replace or supplement their current treatment plans, finding the right doctor, getting a prescription or determining which products to use can be down right intimidating. And that’s where San Francisco and Denver-based HelloMD sees big money.

Founder Mark Hadfield started HelloMD in 2012 as a generalized medical app. But after his wife Pamela had an embarrassing experience obtaining a medical marijuana card, he decided to switch gears.

Using HelloMD’s pre-existing technology, Hadfield revamped the app and relaunched it as a more efficient and significantly more discreet means of connecting doctors with would-be patients, Bloomberg reported. With HelloMD, qualifying patients with $49 and a half hour to spare can receive a same-day medical card.

Since the 2015 California launch, HelloMD has emerged as a preeminent online medical marijuana resource.

In June, the company announced its partnership with over 100 marijuana product and delivery companies, effectively streamlining the doctor to retailer process for patients, according to New Cannabis Ventures.

But the most popular is actually a Quora-like information forum. Co-founder Pamela Hadfield told TechCrunch that the company noticed an increase in traffic to their Q&A resource. Users sought answers to difficult questions regarding purchasing and use of medical marijuana.

“It’s a confusing marketplace, it’s so hard to find legitimate, trustworthy information,” she told TechCrunch. “We want to engage [medical marijuana users], and connect them, and become that centralized resource for them.”

The forum allows medical professionals, marijuana companies and other users to provide answers to users’ questions.  Since focusing their resources on the forum, the company’s user sign-up growth rate has increased by 28 percent, TechCrunch reported.

As of July, the company had 70,000 users and hoped to reach 1 million within the next year. That may make it a competitor to MassRoots, the weed social network headquartered here in Denver.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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