Leafly: The Yelp Of All Things Marijuana

Leafly: The Yelp Of All Things Marijuana
Rate this post

Just about every cannabis user has heard of Leafly. Some coin it the Yelp of cannabis, and it truly is. Leafly is a one-stop shop for strain reviews, dispensary locations, and cannabis news.

Just about every strain makes a guest appearance on Leafly, complete with characteristics, lineage, growing requirements and more. In fact, there probably isn’t a marijuana website more comprehensive than Leafly.

Based in Seattle, Leafly is the USA’s free consultancy with regards to cannabis. This website is designed for recreational cannabis enthusiasts and medical marijuana patients alike. The user-friendly interface makes it appropriate for all people, regardless of what information they are seeking about marijuana.

What Is Leafly?

To put it simply, Leafly is the USA’s consultant for all things related to cannabis. On Leafly, you can expect to find up to 50,000 strain reviews and 20,000 dispensary reviews. Reviews are left by the 2.6 million monthly visitors to the website, who keep everybody else up to date on the best strains and the best dispensaries to find them in.

The website is also the home of plenty of articles about cannabis law, marijuana cultivation, and cultural information.

Ultimately, Leafly is a website dedicated to the right of medical marijuana consumers to know what it is that they are consuming. What’s better is that most of the review information is posted by people who have used the strains and dispensaries themselves.

That means no “plug” style reviews, but honest, real information that people can use.

The History Of Leafly

Leafly was originally founded by Scott Vickers, Cy Scott, and Brian Wansolich. The three Kelly Blue Book employees started Leafly in 2010 as a side project, and by the end of 2011, all three had quit their jobs to work exclusively on Leafly.

While all of this was happening, three Silicon Valley engineers had been hunting the USA endlessly for the perfect cannabis project to invest in. Michael Blue, Brendan Kennedy, and Christian Groh created Privateer Holdings, a private equity company, to invest in Leafly.

The investment was to purchase it from the three original founders for an undisclosed amount while keeping  Vickers, Scott, and Wansolich as the “rockstar” employees of the company.

This makes Blue, Kennedy, and Groh the legal owners of Privateer Holdings and Leafly. Funding for Leafly comes from Privateer Holdings, which itself is funded by high net worth, powerful individuals who want to make sound investments in the cannabis industry.

Leafly is completely owned by Privateer Holdings, with the purpose being that investors can make private investments rather than direct investments into the cannabis industry – which can be tricky.

Made by, run by and funded by people who deeply care about cannabis, the website now gets close to 2 million visitors a month. Leafly started out with only three employees, scaling up to six within the first two years and has grown steadily ever since then.

At the time, there was a huge gap in the world wide web for such a service, and for that, it’s no wonder that Leafly has grown to be the size that it is.

Leafly’s Bet On Legalization

Given that Leafly is paid for entirely by investors, it’s obvious that Leafly doesn’t just believe that legalization is around the corner, but that it can profit from this imminent event. In an interview with co-owner Brendan Kennedy, he said:

“We’ve reached the tipping point. People are demanding this and it’s highly likely that medical cannabis will be legal in a majority of the states in just a matter of time.”

It is predicted that by 2025, the medical and recreational cannabis industry will be worth almost US$25 billion. What seemed like something of a risky investment at the time is proving itself to be a worthwhile risk. Every time a new statistic is released, the projection for the cannabis industry revenue continues to rise.

Leafly was founded based on this projection. With more and more people using cannabis, purchasing it and wanting to learn more about it, Leafly is in an almost certain position to continue growing in visitors and users.

Leafly: The Yelp Of Weed

The same way that people who are passionate about food can browse through Yelp, cannabis enthusiasts can browse through Leafly. On Leafly, a customer can find out information about a strain or information about a particular dispensary.

They can also read hundreds of thousands of reviews of just about any product that can be purchased on the cannabis market. In essence, Leafly is the thing you consult when you want to use cannabis.

Business Model

What makes Leafly so attractive compared to other cannabis websites is the smooth, sleek and ad-free layout of the page. There is no onslaught of girls in hot pants smoking bongs, and there isn’t an ad constantly flashing in your face.

On the contrary, the website is built and designed for those who don’t necessarily subscribe to stereotype marketing but fancy themselves, lovers of marijuana, anyway. This means that whether you’re a 90-year-old grandma who wants to use CBD oil or whether you’re 22 and want to get socially high with friends, you can find whatever you’re looking for on Leafly.

So how does Leafly make money, then? Well, Leafly gets dispensaries on board by selling them advertising packages that range anywhere from $195 to $3,000 per month. If you were starting a cannabis business, it would be worth having a mention on a website that brings in 2 million visitors a month, right?

Based on that principle, Leafly has market power with dispensaries as a location for them to advertise not only the dispensary itself but the products that they sell as well as any deals or discounts that they have on offer.

It’s worth noting that the reason so many people use Leafly is that they don’t have to be bombarded with advertising information upon landing. They can browse, ad-free, which is something very difficult to come by in cannabis websites. Leafly’s roundabout way of making money without advertising has probably been one of the most successful moves from this company.

Leafly News

Leafly also features an entire cannabis-related news page. News is categorized into Health, Politics, Lifestyle, Science, Industry, Growing, Strains and Products, Cannabis 101 and even Podcasts. Customers can come to Leafly to learn about what’s new in cannabis in both the USA and Canada, can stay up to date on legal proceedings and can learn a lot of how-tos.

There’s almost nothing that Leafly News doesn’t cover about cannabis. Whether it’s positive or negative, Leafly makes a point of writing about it.

Leafly Events

A calendar of cannabis events can be found on Leafly. Every year, they post an article that is jam-packed with the cannabis events of that year. They make their event recommendations and events not to miss. For a comprehensive list of a year’s cannabis events, use the search bar on Leafly to find events near you.

Leafly Functions

So far, we’ve talked about a lot of the different things that you can find on the Leafly website to satisfy your cannabis curiosities. But we haven’t talked about the first and arguably the most important functions of the website: strain and dispensary searching.

his is probably one of the biggest reasons that people visit Leafly. It is one of the biggest and most comprehensive databases of strains and dispensaries on the internet.

Strain Explorer

Let’s start by looking at the strain explorer. There are a few different ways to search for a strain. If you know the same of it and just want some more information about it, just type it into the search bar. Easy. But if you don’t know which strain you’re looking for, strains are categorized into medical ailments, moods and activities, and other filters such as sativa, indica or hybrid.

Let’s use an example to demonstrate how the strain explorer works. If you are a medical marijuana patient and you are searching for the perfect strain to deal with insomnia, you can enter the strain explorer and begin searching using categories.

In the first category, “Moods & Activities”, there is a sub-category called “Good Night Sleep”. Clicking on this category will reveal all of the strains that are recommended for getting a good night’s sleep.

You might also look at the category, “Medical”, and search for strains in the “Fight Fatigue” sub-category. In this sub-category, you’ll find all of the strains that are recommended for dealing with fatigue.

There are over 500 strains listed on Leafly, each categorized into what they make the user feel, which medical ailment they treat and whether they are indica, sativa or hybrid.

Each strain also contains hundreds of user reviews, so you can see what other consumers think about it, too. It is a complex, sophisticated and elegant system for presenting these strains to the customer, making it easy to search for and find your perfect strain.

Dispensary Locator


The dispensary locator is the search function which allows a Leafly visitor to find a specific dispensary or simply the closest dispensary. When you enter the dispensary locator, there is a map and a search bar.

Working much the same way as Google Maps, a customer can search using the name of a dispensary or the location that they wish to find a dispensary. There is also a “search near you” function. If you type in the name of a location such as San Francisco, for example, all dispensaries in the area will appear on the map.

When you click on a dispensary, Leafly will provide you with more information. The address, operating hours and phone number are listed. Leafly also provides the menu of each dispensary, so long as that dispensary as provided them with their list of products.

Finally, you can select “Reviews” and read about each dispensary’s reviews or even leave one yourself.

Review System

Any visitor can access any of the thousands of reviews that have been left by other Leafly visitors. Reviews can be left for strains themselves, for dispensaries or for other products that are available on the cannabis market.

Customers who have purchased and used the products or dispensaries themselves are usually the ones to leave reviews, and all reviews are accessible. As a Leafly visitor, you can also leave reviews of different strains or dispensaries if you choose. Your review will be available to anybody who comes to visit Leafly.

As a customer, this means that you can read hundreds of reviews about a single product before making a decision to buy it. What’s more is that these reviews are not on the website of the dispensary or product manufacturer.

They are left on a third party website by real customers, giving you the most accurate idea of what a product or dispensary will be like.

The Advantages Of Using Leafly

Overall, it’s worth using Leafly for a number of reasons. For a website that you can go to get cannabis news, lifestyle advice, cannabis product information, strain reviews, and dispensary reviews, Leafly takes the win.

Leafly simply has everything without having to scroll through numerous ads or stereotypical photographs. It is user-friendly, is appropriate for just about any kind of cannabis user or enthusiast and most importantly, is one place you can consult for anything marijuana related.