Online cannabis website Leafly goes public via SPAC merger with $385M valuation

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A gram of cannabis

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Well-known online cannabis news website and industry guide Leafly has announced that it is preparing to go public. 

The Seattle-headquartered company’s public offering is expected to be executed via a merger with New York-based special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Merida Capital Holdings.

Upon closing, the merger is anticipated to be worth $385 million with equity value of around $532 million. Investors who currently maintain a share in Leafly will gain 72 percent ownership of the combined company, according to a news release.

The deal will grant Leafly a huge pay packet to expand business

In order to become a publicly traded company in the U.S. or Canada, two options are available:

  1. IPO (initial public offering) 
  2. RTO (reverse takeover)

In Leafly’s case, an IPO, the company will sell its shares to the public via a stockbroker.

An additional $161.5 million will be used to expand Leafly’s business across various other states that have recently legalized cannabis, such as New York. 

Merida will take on the famous Leafly name and once the combined company is trading publicly on the NASDAQ, it will use the ticker symbol LFLY.

“With this transaction, we are looking forward to creating more personalized consumer experiences, driving more value to our retail partners, amplifying brands on our platform and further scaling our presence in local markets as legalization continues,” said the CEO of Leafly, Yoko Miyashita, in an official news release.

About Leafly 

Leafly is recognized as the largest cannabis information resource and technology company on the planet. Boasting more than 120 million annual visitors and more than 10 million monthly active users, Leafly prides itself on being a to-go resource for cannabis education and use. 

The company provides cannabis connoisseurs with a subscription-based platform for over 4,600 paying retail subscribers and 7,800 brands. An estimated 55 percent of North American retail cannabis licensees depend on the company’s services.

Back in February, Leafly revealed that it was teaming up with e-commerce platform Jane to amplify the online retail experience for consumers. Jane’s solution attracted more than 17 million orders and generated in excess of $2 billion in cannabis sales within the last year. With more than 1,800 dispensaries and brands utilizing Jane technology, the collaboration positions Leafly to capitalize on an ever-growing market in the U.S.

Despite recent successes, last year saw Leafly encounter numerous leadership changes and employee layoffs. In August 2020, Yoko Miyashita took charge of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position. Since this time, she has been trying to steer the company into a more streamlined and efficient online shopping experience.