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  • Leafly Slashes 91 Jobs Due To Economic Effects Of Coronavirus

Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continue to surge across the world, causing businesses to shut down for indefinite periods of time. The economic effects of business closures have already begun to sweep through the global market, bringing fears of massive layoffs to a multitude of companies and employees.


The latest cannabis company to cut jobs in direct correlation to economic effects of the spreading coronavirus is marijuana strain and dispensary database Leafly, the largest cannabis website in the world with an excess of 15 million monthly visitors and 40 million page views across its website and mobile applications.




Only two months after Leafly eliminated 54 positions, about 18% of its workforce, citing “market realities of the technology and cannabis sectors,” another 91 employees were laid off on Monday. The company, based in Seattle, Washington, once employed 300 people. That total is now brought down to 140.


“We’re heartbroken to have to let so many talented people go in such an uncertain time,” Leafly CEO Tim Leslie said in a statement to GeekWire. “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.”


On January 21, 2020, Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the first case of COVID-19 in the United States in Washington state. As of the publishing of this article, Washington has at least 2,221 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 110 deaths.


Employees affected by the layoffs were offered a one week severance pay package. Leslie said Leafly’s smaller staff will allow the company to remain “financially self-sufficient” during the epidemic.


Leafly joins a list of Seattle-based companies forced to slash jobs due to the effects of the coronavirus. Over 300 employees were let go at The Pacific Science Center. Collaborative workspace company The Riveter, whose flagship location is in Seattle, and clothing rental service Armoire have implemented a Washington state policy that allows companies to place employees on “standby,” or a temporary layoff. This allows workers to apply and collect unemployment benefits. So far, it is expected for staff to be able to return to work within eight weeks, pending the state of epidemic.


In Toronto, cannabis startup company The Flowr Corporation announced on Monday that it has restructured approximately 25% of its global workforce.


Vinay Tolia, CEO of Flowr, called it "an extremely difficult decision" that will hopefully lead to "a leaner, more efficient organization.”


Flowr’s restructuring is expected to result in an annual reduction of headcount expenses in excess of approximately $6 million.

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Leafly Slashes 91 Jobs Due To Economic Effects Of Coronavirus
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