Characterization of trichome phenotypes to assess maturation and flower development in Cannabis sativa L. by automatic trichome gland analysis

Company typePublic
IndustryMedical & Adult Use Cannabis
FoundedIrvine, California, U.S. (June 13, 2010 (2010-06-13))
FoundersCy Scott
Scott Vickers
Brian Wansolich
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Key people

Leafly is a website focused on cannabis use and education.[3] The company says it has more than 120 million annual visitors and over 10 million monthly active users.[4] Leafly provides a wide range of information on cannabis including 1.5 million consumer product reviews, more than 9,000 cannabis articles and resources, and over 5,000 verified strains in its database.[4] Leafly additionally provides 4,500+ retailers and 8,000+ cannabis brands with e-commerce tools such as digital storefronts, embedded menus, point-of-sale integrations, targeted advertising, and more.[4] The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and from 2012 to 2019 was owned by Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm focused on the emerging legal cannabis industry.[5][6][7] Leafly is now a publicly traded company with 160 employees.[4]


Leafly was founded in June 2010 by Scott Vickers, Brian Wansolich, and Cy Scott.[8] The three Orange County engineers recognized the need for a legitimate strain resource and began to build Leafly as a side project to their jobs as web developers.[8][9][10] Privateer Holdings acquired the company in 2011, at which time Brendan Kennedy became the company's CEO.[11][12][13] Meanwhile, the original founders left to launch a new company named Headset.[14] By July 2011 the website had received about 180,000 unique visitors and was growing at 30 percent per month.[10] In April 2012, Leafly reported about 2.3 million monthly visits and approximately 50,000 mobile app downloads per month.[9][15] In June 2016, the company announced that it received more than 6 million monthly visitors and 31 million page views across its website and mobile applications. [16] On August 2, 2014, Leafly became the first cannabis company to place an advertisement in The New York Times. [17]


On November 6, 2017, Privateer Holdings announced the appointment of Chris Jeffery as CEO; he was formerly co-founder of food delivery service OrderUp,[18] He was replaced in 2018, .[19]

On March 4, 2019, the firm appointed former vice president of Amazon Prime Video International Tim Leslie as its CEO.[20][21] He was replaced on August 18, 2020 by Yoko Miyashita, formerly the firm's General Counsel. [22]

Business model

Leafly generates revenue by selling online display advertising and priority dispensary listing packages to companies in the cannabis industry.[9][23] Display advertising campaigns are sold on a Cost Per Impression model.[8][9] More than 4.5 million orders are placed with businesses on Leafly each year, generating $460 million in gross merchandise value (GMV) annually for Leafly partnered retailers.[4]


Leafly has three primary functions:

Strain explorer

Patients and consumers use Leafly to search for cannabis strains according to medical use, such as anxiety or nausea, and desired effects, like euphoria or creativity.[9][24] Relevant strains are then presented in a format similar to the periodic table. The table is color coded to identify whether the strain is sativa, indica, or a hybrid of both. The problem is that almost every piece of strain data is incorrect and unverified[10][25]

Dispensary locator

Patients can use their zip codes or city and state names to search for dispensaries, which are then displayed on a map of the area. The dispensary profiles include menus, reviews, photos, and store locations.[25][26][13]


Leafly users can write reviews of strains and products they have tried or dispensaries they have visited. For dispensaries and products, reviews consist of a brief comment section and a star rating system that is based on medication, service, and atmosphere. Strain reviews include desirable effects, attributes, and summary information.[26][15][12]

Mobile access

Leafly has mobile applications for iOS and Android devices.[25][27][28][8][10] In 2021, the company launched a new iOS app that enables iPhone and iPad users to place pickup orders for cannabis in legal state markets.[29]


  • 220 million annual sessions[4]
  • 10+ million monthly active users[4]
  • 5,000+ strains in the Leafly database, sorted alphabetically and categorized by indica, sativa, and hybrid[4]
  • 1.5 million product reviews[4]
  • 9,000+ cannabis articles and resources[4]
  • 4,500+ retailers online with Leafly[4]
  • 8,000+ brands online with Leafly[4]
  • 4.5 million orders placed annually[4]
  • $460 million GMV[4]


  1. ^ "Tim Leslie Out as CEO of Leafly After 18 Months".
  2. ^ "General Counsel Miyashita supplants Leslie as CEO at marijuana firm Leafly". 18 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Leafly: the web's ultimate cannabis resource". Engadget. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "About". Leafly. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  5. ^ Eric Mortenson (January 25, 2013). "Investors and entrepreneurs have high expectations - sorry - for cannabis related businesses". Oregon Live. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "Privateer Holdings Team". Privateer Holdings. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  7. ^ Wagreich, Samuel (2013-02-25). "Meet the Man Funding the Cannabis Industry". Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  8. ^ a b c d Dorbian, Iris. "Just In Time For Canada Day, Leafly Expands Order And Delivery System To Country". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  9. ^ a b c d e Taylor Soper (October 31, 2012). "Leafly: Like Yelp and Consumer Reports... for medical marijuana". GeekWire. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d Downs, David (July 6, 2011). " Classes Up The Joint". East Bay Express.
  11. ^ Carole Bass (December 7, 2012). "Joint venture: these Yale MBAs want to put pot in every pot". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Groups waiting to cash in on pot sales in Washington". Fox 12 KPTV. February 14, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Kim Murphy (December 9, 2012). "Plenty of smoke clouds the future of legalized pot in Washington". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  14. ^ "Leafly founders depart, raise cash for new marijuana business intelligence startup". GeekWire. 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  15. ^ a b "The Audacity of Dope". The Economist. February 16, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  16. ^ "Leafly: the web's ultimate cannabis resource". Engadget. AOL.
  17. ^ Tom Huddleston Jr. (2 August 2014). "Marijuana advertiser finds a friend in The New York Times". Fortune.
  18. ^ "Leafly Hires New CEO Chris Jeffery". Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  19. ^ Schaneman, Bart (September 26, 2018). "Cannabis company Leafly removes CEO over company management 'concerns'". Marijuana Business Daily. Marijuana Business Daily. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  20. ^ "Former Amazon Exec Tim Leslie Takes Over Leafly's C-Suite". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  21. ^ Phartiyal, Sankalp (2018-03-12). "Amazon video service looking to expand Indian regional content". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  22. ^ "Meet Yoko Miyashita, CEO of Leafly". Leafly newsroom. 2019-10-01. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  23. ^ "The business of selling pot...legally". Marketplace. 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  24. ^ "Investors see profit potential in new pot law". The Seattle Times. 2012-12-01. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  25. ^ a b c Crook, Jordan (April 20, 2012). "Got Pot? Leafly Can Help". TechCrunch.
  26. ^ a b Deborah L. Jacobs (December 9, 2012). "Postcard from Seattle: New Clouds Hand Over The City As Pot Becomes Legal". Forbes. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  27. ^ Downs, David (February 23, 2012). "Medical marijuana apps on the rise". Sacramento News & Review.
  28. ^ Kirsten Johnson (December 14, 2012). "Obama's hands-off stance may move marijuana businesses forward". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  29. ^ "Leafly Launches iPhone App to Purchase From Cannabis Dispensaries Online". Benzinga. 2021-08-31. Retrieved 2021-10-22.

External links