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Leafly Business Model and Revenue Insights

By Abhishek Goel 22nd July 2021

Third-world countries have broken conventional beliefs and have given rise to some of the current trends. Countries like the United States and Canada are leading the way in legalizing the use of marijuana. We’ll talk about the Leafly business model in this article and its contribution to this industry.

Marijuana use is now legal in 33 states across the United States. As marijuana becomes more widely available for recreational and medical purposes, it has created new business opportunities. By 2023, the legal cannabis business will reach nearly $40 Billion.

The E-commerce space has attracted the majority of industries to go online in some capacity. Hence, more businesses are attempting to join the on-demand era to cater to the rising customer base that prefers the convenience of on-demand services.

We have compiled a summary of everything about Leafly, including its business and revenue model, to give a better understanding of how the cannabis delivery business operates.

What is Leafly?

Leafly is a widely-used and well-known online resource for medical patients and cannabis enthusiasts worldwide. The delivery platform has undoubtedly influenced the visual design world in the whole cannabis industry. Founded in 2010 by Brian Wansolich, Scott Vickers, and Cy Scott, the company was sold to cannabis investment firm Privateer Holdings.

The company was embarked on a new mission to provide cannabis administrators with credible information to leverage better business results in no time. The platform has created the world’s largest web portal for all the essential information while beneficial for patients to have quick access to get their medicines delivered at their places.

With around 15 million monthly visitors and more than 40 million page views across mobile apps and websites, Leafly is one of the largest cannabis platforms globally. Additionally, the platform enables its users to rate and review different cannabis dispensaries and strains of cannabis. Hence, they allow consumers and patients to determine which cannabis products are appropriate for desired effects or particular preferences. 

Leafly was the first cannabis company to advertise in The New York Times. In addition to this, they generate money by selling, advertising, and listing packages for the cannabis industry.

Leafly business model blog

Leafly Business Model:

Firstly, Leafly began as a popular strain review website and recently expanded its platform to include a dispensary directory. Indeed, the website has grown to become the most popular marijuana company directory and community on the internet.

Possessing knowledge from the cannabis domain, Leafly has its platform for delivering marijuana. Having said this, they increase sales without having to compete on an aggregate platform or cooperate with another provider. 

Many marijuana dispensaries are seeking to be a part of Leafly in order to gain exposure. So, let us take a look at how it is gaining more traction.

Strain Explorer

Leafly allows consumers and patients to search for cannabis strains based on medicinal needs such as nausea or anxiety and desirable effects such as creativity or euphoria. The strains are organized periodic table manner, with color-coding to indicate if they are hybrid, Sativa, or Indica.

Dispensary Locator

Additionally, Leafly users can search for dispensaries by entering their zip codes, state, or city name. On the Google map, all of the closest dispensaries are shown, making it easy for users to find and purchase the medications they require. Besides, they can look at detailed dispensary profiles that include reviews, menus, store locations, and images, among other things.


Users of the popular solution, Leafly, can provide their reviews of dispensaries they have visited or strains they have tried. Additionally, the weed delivery platform provides them with a brief comment section to share their thoughts and rating option, helping them rate the dispensaries. Users can also evaluate the strain based on desired effects, summary data, qualities, and other factors.

Leafly Revenue Model: How the Weed Delivery Giant Makes Money?

According to the report, pharma businesses are anticipated to attain a mixed market size of $2.7 billion by the end of 2023 and about $360 million in the next four years. In fact, The key growth drivers for weed and e-pharma are the increasing smartphone usage and internet penetrations and the ease of ordering anything through an eCommerce platform.

Delivery Fees & Commission:

Firstly as a business, Leafly earns revenue by placing commissions on the sellers using their platform to reach new customers and use its delivery chain. On the customer front, charging them delivery fees to connect them with their preferred stores makes the transaction smooth and quick. 


In fact, many on-demand platforms offer advertising services as a way to boost their revenue. Leafly offers advertising services to interesting stores and dispensaries wanting to promote their products, in return, charging them for displaying their ad on the app’s screen.

Membership Plans:

They are selling membership plans to the clients. Apart from their regular shopping, this package will provide them with additional exclusive discounts and incentives. Also, reduced delivery fees or other such incentives could be made possible by the ideas.

Hike in Prices:

As demand grows, raising the price of the products can be another way out.

Leafly business model generates revenue by selling online display ads and priority listing packages to companies in the cannabis industry. The display advertising campaigns are sold on a Cost Per Impression model. 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.

Furthermore, let us gain more insights into the cannabis market. 

The statistics of the cannabis market 

Recreational and medical cannabis are the two types of cannabis available on the market. Since the legalization of medical cannabis, it has become an on-demand business. Let us look at the report to see how it has grown over the years and since legalization.

  • According to the study, the global legal cannabis market would grow from 14.9 billion dollars in 2016 to 42.7 billion dollars in 2024. With this graph, it is safe to conclude that the cannabis business is rapidly expanding and has reached a point where it benefits both customers and marketers.
USA Marijuana Market
  • Increased marijuana consumption worldwide has emerged as a market-changing trend, providing a glimpse into the dynamic cannabis sector.
  • The total sales of legalized recreational marijuana amounted in 2018 — $4.4 billion.
  • The total sales of recreational marijuana in the U.S. have generated — $11.67 trillion.
  • The recreational marijuana market in the U.S. is valued — $3.2 billion.
  • In the next decade, the recreational marijuana market will be accounted for — 67%.
marijuana distribution in USA

In a nutshell

These statistics and facts reveal that the cannabis delivery sector has already flourished on a global scale and will continue to do so in the years ahead. As a result of this fact, worldwide marketers have engaged in the profitable cannabis delivery business.

Given the growing competition in the cannabis delivery business worldwide, startups and established companies are considering investing in cannabis delivery app development to gain a firm foothold in the market.

All in all, the Cannabis industry poses some significant upside for technologically transformative businesses. In addition, there are a few major players that are tapping into the medical marijuana delivery market. Leafly, Eaze, Weedmaps, Budly, Heyemjay are some of the leading platforms in online cannabis delivery services.

Indeed, Leafly is the most trusted platform for discovering cannabis products and purchasing them from legal, licensed sellers worldwide. Subsequently each year, over 120 million people use Leafly to learn more about cannabis and place online orders with local businesses.

Leafly by the numbers in 2021 

So far, Leafly has recorded over 4+ million orders placed online with 120 million website visitors. With more than 4500 stores listed online, Leafly is leading the way for online cannabis delivery. In addition to this, Leafly is the leading customer acquisition tool for more than 8,000 brands and 4,500 retailers who use Leafly to make millions of online orders happen every year.


As the statistics depict, the on-demand cannabis delivery businesses are in the limelight and have a bright future ahead. However, there are still a few things that need utmost attention – discovering the right market, procuring the necessary licenses and permissions, taking care of the legalities and development of the platforms. 

In conclusion, take the easy road and have a platform like Leafly with Yelo today. Contact us today to address the needs of the community by starting a cannabis delivery service. Book a free demo now.

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