The Cannabis Reports team recently heard through our development community that Leafly will be discontinuing their free API services. Some of the programmers working with the Cannabis Reports API were also using photos and data offered through the Leafly API.
Though many of these developers will no longer have access to the information once available from Leafly, Cannabis Reports is committed to filling the void with the extensive amounts of data available through our open API.
The Leafly API consisted of simple endpoints for strains, locations, photos, and reviews. The photos and reviews on Leafly are submitted by the cannabis community, but now the community of cannabis technologists can no longer include that information through their applications.
We are disappointed that the Leafly API has been shut down, because at this critical stage in the cannabis movement, it hurts the whole community when any type of technology resource is suddenly denied to the technologists trying to improve the cannabis space.
Cannabis Loses Access to Data, Again
Earlier this year, developers using the Leafly API received a message announcing the discontinuation of their API program. During the month of February, developers began to see their access terminated, and many folks have expressed their concerns for how quickly the API service was shut down.
This is not the first time that a large cannabis data resource has been stripped from the community. In 2006, Overgrow.com was taken down, along with the 6 million posts contributed by nearly 130,000 users.
At the time, Overgrow.com was the largest source for cannabis information anywhere on the web. The online climate for cannabis was certainly different back in 2006, with legal pressures forcing sites like Overgrow.com and other cannabis information banks to shut down.
“It is with great sadness that I bring you the news that RC and HS (Heaven’s Stairway), OG (Overgrow.com) and CW (CannabisWorld.com) have been taken down by the authorities in Canada. I have it from a bonofide source that it happened on Monday and RC’s computers/servers have most potentially been seized, they spent 2 days going thru his house and removed alot of stuff. His wife and some members of his family were also taken into custody and it’s possible that she may be released tommorrow[sic] on bail….There has not been a peep in the media about this so there could be a reason why it was not advertised by LEO……BE WARNED.”
Cannabis is much more accepted in the online space these days, so it is very unlikely that legal fears drove Leafly to turn off their API services for the majority of users. The announcement from Leafly did note that their API services would return at a later date, although no concrete timeline was provided.
There has been speculation that an open API for general use will never again be available, and that all API services will require some sort of compensation. With the cannabis industry in its infancy, it is certainly an interesting decision on Leafly’s part to completely limit the data available for other consumer applications.
Over the past month, a large number of developers have reached out to our team here at Cannabis Reports with questions about cannabis APIs. The cannabis industry is in desperate need of improved technology, and these software advancements require intuitive programmers to begin developing applications for cannabis.
When developers spend hours building off of a database and then have all of that access taken away, it discourages future developers from entering the space. Cannabis Reports is committed to providing developers with as much data as their applications can responsibly digest.
Developing Around an Open Database
Cannabis Reports regularly communicates with the developers building around our open API, and lately conversations have been centered around the openness and availability of data in the cannabis space. Our team believes that cannabis needs to be supported by legitimate technology in order for the public to feel comfortable with this plant as a medicine, a recreational substance, and a spiritual tool.
Hundreds of developers are currently building their applications using data from the Cannabis Reports database, which hosts data on over 25,000 unique cannabis products, including genetic information on over 8,000 distinct cannabis strains. The Cannabis Reports API is completely open and always growing with producer-defined product details and real-time menu updates.
Cultivators, producers, and retailers are constantly updating their product details and adding new items to our database. Information from the database is immediately reflected through the API, and data is intelligently classified by our UCPC (Universal Cannabis Product Code) codification system – the first SKU system designed specifically for cannabis and already recognized by search engines. You can read more in the Cannabis Reports API documentation. Here is a breakdown of how the UCPC works:
Each product is catalogued as: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
Which denotes: seed company – strain – producer – product – batch
Example product: CYGU9-4JYKY-UY9V7-TAFL2-00000
|UCPC Component||UCPC||Resolves to|
|Seed Company||CYGU9–4JYKYUY9V7TAFL200000||Serious Seeds: CYGU900000000000000000000|
|Strain||CYGU9-4JYKY–UY9V7TAFL200000||AK-47 by Serious Seeds: CYGU94JYKY000000000000000|
|Product||CYGU94JYKYUY9V7-TAFL2-00000||Serious Seeds AK-47 Disposable Vaporizer from BumbleBee: CYGU94JYKYUY9V7TAFL200000|
|Batch ID||CYGU94JYKYUY9V7TAFL2-00000||N/A – This is the parent listing for the product. This product does not have a batch, but information can be stored to account for multiple batches of the same product.|
You can explore over sixty endpoints in the Cannabis Reports API documentation, and make calls directly from those pages. To get your free API key for the open Cannabis Reports database, please create a free user account and then request your API key through your profile admin.
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