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Leafly Business Model/ The Marihuana D2C platform


The use of Cannabis remains controversial in many areas around the world. However, as of 2021, the US has legalized medical Cannabis and CBD products in 25 states, 16 of which also legalized recreational use.

It has become a top-rated product because of its psychoactive effects and all the medical benefits that go along with CBD consumption. In 2019, the legal Marijuana industry was estimated at $13.6 billion, providing 340,000 jobs in-plant handling across the country.

This growing popularity and demand for Cannabis products allowed businesses like Leafly to flourish in recent years. This article will dive into the Leafly business model, explain how it works, and why you should consider starting an on-demand CBD delivery business.

How does Leafly work?

Leafly works as a reliable platform that connects consumers across the country with local retailers, medical marijuana doctors, nearby dispensaries and retail stores, and local pickup and delivery services that offer Cannabis and CBD products.

Currently, more than 4,600 retailers work with Leafly, and their application features more than 230K reviews. The application itself features different options for acquiring your favorite products. This includes ordering and picking up the product yourself from a local store, on-demand delivery, and regular postal delivery.

Depending on the urgency and preferences, you can select from more than 7,800 brands to pick your favorite product.

What are the best-selling points of a platform like Leafly?

Providing a variety of options

We can learn from Leafly that they took advantage of the legalization of cannabis across the country and offered solutions for places where recreational cannabis is not legal.

Aside from recreational Marijuana, the platform also sells a wide variety of CBD products and medical-use products. As a customer, you can select your area and find available products from whatever range interests you.


The number one concern with purchasing cannabis products is the reliability of the source that it is coming from and its safety. Leafly did a great job providing access to certified and legal authorities and ensuring that the products were the highest quality. In addition to that, they implemented many educational resources about CBD and cannabis in general, including podcasts, news articles, and informational videos.

If you are new to the whole concept, you can use their platform to educate yourself and find the right product, whether for recreational or medical purposes only.

What tools do you need to start a similar platform?

Get to know your local market and laws.

Firstly, depending on the country where you plan to start your business, you should look into the local laws regarding cannabis and its general opinion.

Find out the preferred products among your local community and do thorough research on local providers and the quality of their products. Being selective with partnerships will help your website become more reliable and gain a positive reputation over time.

Life with Leafly, their positive reviews, and access to educational materials on their products builds this company such a strong positive reputation and popularity.

Provide access to a certified professional

The stigma around cannabis products means that you need to put additional effort into showing that your products are reliable. Provide your customers with access to a CBD specialist who can advise on what products would suit your customer in a case-by-case manner.

This is a great way to increase credibility as a platform that is just starting and is still trying to gain exposure and build positive reviews. You can do that by implementing a live chat or a high-tech website that will contain accessible communication features and integrations.

Have software that supports excellent delivery service

Building a hub for cannabis and CBD providers is not the most straightforward task. You need a software provider who will provide you with different features and customization options, ensuring that you provide superb usability for the retailers and the end customer.

One of the features to look out for is a rapid delivery system that makes the customer journey as pleasant and straightforward as possible. This includes a clean interface that presents every product visually and descriptively.

Additionally, the ordering process should include a variety of payment options and reliable, real-time delivery tracking.

When attracting retailers to collaborate with, a sound order management system and a delivery dashboard should be the number one feature to include. Retailers who want to be displayed and featured have access to features that allow them to overview every order and monitor the incoming orders.

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