Leafly lays off 91 employees with funding on pause

Matt Burns

Cannabis giant Leafly cut 91 staffers this week in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The company said in a released statement that the workforce reduction allows the company to be financially self-sufficient while still being able to operate during the global pandemic.

The 91 employees represented 39% of the company's workforce and came from all departments within the company. In January, the company cut 54 employees (18% of its workforce at the time). Then in February, the company closed its operation in Germany.

Since its launch in 2010, Leafly has become a leading source of cannabis information for consumers, retailers and brands alike. The company is a wholly independent company after spinning out from Privateer Holdings in 2019. The company is lead by Tim Leslie, a former Amazon executive. The three founders, Cy Scott, Scott Vickers, Brian Wansolich, left to start Headset, a startup focused on providing the cannabis industry with advanced analytics.

"We're heartbroken to have to let so many talented people go in such an uncertain time," said CEO Tim Leslie in a released statement. "Although Leafly continues to grow and rapidly deploy pickup and delivery services for retailers and brands across North America, COVID-19 has rocked global financial markets and put further capital investments we were expecting on pause. This workforce reduction will allow us to be financially self-sufficient so we can continue to help consumers and patients learn about and order cannabis online while providing cannabis retailers and brands the services they need during this global crisis."

The company says that the financial crisis caused by COVID-19 put committed investments into Leafly on hold; thus, the company turned to job cuts to ensure the company can operate without outside investments.

After the cuts, Leafly Holdings employs 143 employees, with half focusing on the company's online ordering technology. The company says it will continue to focus on content and building tools for retailers and brands.