Seattle marijuana startup Leafly raises 23M as recent legalization boosts cannabis market

(Leafly Picture)

Seattle-based on-line hashish market Leafly has closed 23 million in new funding, GeekWire confirmed with the corporate. The recent money infusion comes because the hashish market sees a rise in gross sales as extra states legalize pot and dispensaries have been declared important companies in the course of the pandemic.

The startup plans to broaden its on-line market that lets prospects and retailers purchase and promote hashish. Leafly additionally serves as an educational resource. The platform has 120 million annual guests.

The funding shall be used so as to add to the corporate’s 160-person workforce and follows a collection of layoffs over the previous few years.

Yoko Miyashita (Leafly Photograph).

In January 2020, Leafly reduce 18% of its workers, or 54 positions, which then-CEO Tim Leslie attributed to “market realities of the know-how and hashish sectors.” It reduce 91 extra workers two months later, citing the uncertainties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Leafly is at present underneath the management of CEO Yoko Miyashita, a former Getty Pictures exec who was beforehand the corporate’s basic counsel after becoming a member of in 2019

Leslie, a former Amazon exec who was Leafly’s CEO for lower than two years, is now a founding father of a farming nonprofit known as Dwelling Roots.

Leafly spun out of Seattle marijuana funding agency Privateer Holdings in 2019.

The corporate’s income primarily comes from a month-to-month subscription charge paid by hashish retailers to be listed on the platform and to entry e-commerce instruments. It additionally makes cash from promoting.

The hashish trade noticed a 71% improve in gross sales in 2020, in response to Leafly’s report primarily based on marijuana state tax and income data. Individuals spent about 18.three billion on hashish merchandise final yr.

Leafly mentioned marijuana legalization traits are accelerating the hashish market. The corporate will use the brand new funding to gasoline advertising and marketing on the east coast, the place a number of states have legalized marijuana just lately. 

Leisure marijuana is authorized for adults in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana is authorized in an extra 20 extra. A few of these adjustments have been made this yr, with New York legalizing pot on March 31, and each Virginia and New Mexico passing related laws, which is able to take impact this summer season, in response to Insider.

Different firms are responding to the development — tech-giant Amazon simply introduced it could cease screening sure job candidates for drug use, and it backed federal laws that may legalize and decriminalize pot.

Buyers are additionally getting on the hashish growth. Dutchie, an Oregon-based hashish e-commerce platform, introduced 200 million in new funding in March. The corporate was valued at 1.7 billion.

One other hashish firm, Weedmaps, went public and formally started buying and selling on Wednesday.

Leafly has raised 38 million in whole funding. The latest spherical was led primarily by current buyers, however Leafly didn’t disclose particular companies or people.