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Leafly CEO Tim Leslie.
(Photo by Daniel Berman via Leafly)

Leafly laid off 91 employees Monday, just two months after eliminating 54 positions at the online cannabis brand. The Seattle startup that once employed about 300 now has 140 employees remaining.

The company attributed the layoffs to the coronavirus outbreak that has investors spooked.

“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.”

Employees were offered one week of severance pay. Leslie said Leafly’s smaller workforce will allow the company to be “financially self-sufficient” during the pandemic.

Social distancing mandates are causing dispensary sales to skyrocket, Business Insider reported. Stores are staying open as states including California deem the cannabis industry “essential.”

In January, Leafly let 18 percent of its workforce go. Leslie said those layoffs were in response to “market realities of the technology and cannabis sectors.”

Leafly’s new Cannabis Guide. (Leafly Image)

Leafly is an online and app-based resource for cannabis information and sellers. It also publishes cannabis-related news. In October Leafly launched a rebranded website and interactive cannabis guide, which uses data and design to create a visual language for the plant.

Leafly brought on 150 employees in 2019 and moved into a larger headquarters building last year to accommodate for growth before implementing a hiring slow down.

The site’s global internet traffic and engagement has fallen over the past few months, according to Alexa data. Competing resources such as weedmaps.com and wikileaf.com have seen increasing traffic.

Leafly is the latest in a series of Seattle companies laying off employees because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Pacific Science Center let more than 300 people go. Co-working startup The Riveter and clothing rental service Armoire are using a Washington state policy that lets companies put employees on a temporary layoff, or “standby,” which allows workers to collect unemployment benefits with the expectation to return to work within eight weeks.

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