New Denver-based website called ‘Groupon’ of marijuana

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Medical marijuana

Medical marijuana

DENVER — A new website is being called the “Groupon” of marijuana because it offers deals on the drug. It’s based in Denver and its operators are banking on the popularity of marijuana.

How popular is pot?

Just ask Neal Bigelow, the manager at the time, said, “Even with ourselves growing it at a 10,000 square foot warehouse it’s hard to keep up with that demand.”

Bigelow runs one of the 520 medical marijuana dispensaries with doors open in Colorado. His shop has 300 members, purchasing pot for upwards of $200 an ounce.

The new “green rush” is what everybody is calling it.

Brian Shapiro plans to capitalize on what’s estimated to be a $1.5 billion industry nationwide. Shapiro, a certified public accountant, doesn’t use the drug himself, but believes the buds hold big business.

He’s the founder of cannasaver.com, a start-up cannabis coupon company. “People have been calling us the ‘Groupon of Marijuana,’” he says.

Pot shops pay a monthly subscription fee to post deals on the site.

The site went live four months ago. Shapiro says he has seen 30 stores subscribe, with 65 coupons currently up for grabs.

Donald Carson says he uses marijuana daily for headaches. He was asked if one of the deals on the site, two ounces for $300 including tax, was a good deal. “Yeah, that’s a very good deal. That’s about a $50 savings I think.”

He hadn’t heard of Canna-Saver before CNN showed it to him. “This is actually pretty cool,” he says.

It’s that kind of reaction that’s turned the dispensary’s then-manager Neal Bigelow into a believer. His shop was one of the first to subscribe.

He has the coupons to prove people are finding the website. He’s posted deals on everything from marijuana infused apple crisp to the nitro torch.

“With the Canna-Saver coupon we’ve had to reorder them and keep on selling them because we do have a profit margin on them even with the deal,” Bigelow says.

It’s too early to tell whether the website has staying power.

But its founder is optimistic, saying the site is already making $3,000 a month. That’s before marijuana is legal to sell for recreational use in Colorado. That starts in January.

Researchers estimate more than 642,000 Coloradans will use the drug next year. That’s more than the population of Denver.

And with the trend of more and more states legalizing some form of marijuana, Brian Shapiro believes his marijuana coupon company could be his niche in the already bustling business world of online deals.

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