WM Holding Company, LLC, a Leading Technology Platform to the Cannabis Industry, Completes Business Combination With Silver Spike Acquisition Corp.

Public company to be named WM Technology, Inc. and common stock to begin trading on the Nasdaq under symbol “MAPS” on June 16, 2021

CALIFORNIA:  WM Holding Company, LLC, a leading technology and software infrastructure provider to the cannabis industry, announced today that it has completed its previously announced business combination with Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. (Ticker: “SSPK”).

The transaction was unanimously approved by SSPK’s Board of Directors and was approved at a special meeting of SSPK stockholders on June 10, 2021. In connection with the closing, SSPK changed its name to WM Technology, Inc. The ticker symbol for the common stock will change from “SSPK” to “MAPS” and will begin trading as such on the Nasdaq Stock Market on June 16, 2021.

Founded in 2008, WMH operates Weedmaps, a leading online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers and businesses, and WM Business, one of the most comprehensive SaaS subscription offerings sold to cannabis retailers and brands. The Company provides software and other technology solutions and is non-plant touching. WMH has a history of growth since its inception. From fiscal year 2014 through 2020, the Company grew revenue at a CAGR of 35% and expanded its gross margin rate from 92% to 95%. For the year ended December 31, 2020, WMH generated $162 million of revenue, net income of $39 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $43 million.

WMH’s senior management team will continue to lead the now combined company, including Chris Beals (Chief Executive Officer), Arden Lee (Chief Financial Officer), Juanjo Feijoo (Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer), Justin Dean (Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer), and Brian Camire (General Counsel).

“We are excited to complete this business combination, which will further advance our mission to power a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy, further solidify our position as a leading technology platform to the cannabis industry, and accelerate our growth,” said Chris Beals, Chief Executive Officer of WMH. “We continue to benefit from strong, sustainable macro tailwinds as cannabis legalization advances throughout the U.S. and internationally. As a public company, we now have an even stronger platform to advocate for legalization, social equity and licensing in many jurisdictions, while providing cannabis businesses with the tools needed to succeed in a highly complex world of regulations. We are well positioned to continue scaling the Weedmaps marketplace in service of our users, while expanding the functionality of our WM Business SaaS offerings in service of our clients.”

Scott Gordon, CEO and Chairman of SSPK, commented, “We are proud to complete the combination of Silver Spike and WMH, further establishing Weedmaps as a leading online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers and businesses, and WM Business as the most comprehensive SaaS subscription offering sold to cannabis retailers and brands. We believe WMH is the most compelling investment opportunity in cannabis today and as a public company, WMH is uniquely positioned to deliver on its vision of helping licensed cannabis businesses thrive while driving growth and returns for shareholders.”

Transaction Overview

The transaction provides $579 million of gross proceeds primarily comprised of $254 million of cash from SSPK’s former trust account and $325 million of cash from a private investment in public equity (PIPE), not including transaction fees. The PIPE is anchored by investors including funds and accounts managed by AFV Partners, the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds and Senvest Management LLC along with a $35 million commitment from Silver Spike Capital. $125 million in proceeds will be delivered to the balance sheet of WMH as primary capital, including to pay transaction expenses and used to fund the company’s planned growth, including further scaling its cloud-based WM Business SaaS subscription offering, and growing its active user base and business listings in the U.S. and international markets. $455 million in proceeds will go to existing WMH equity holders. WMH’s executive officers have rolled 100% of their equity holdings as part of the transaction. A more detailed description of the transaction can be found in the definitive proxy statement filed by SSPK with the SEC on May 26, 2021.

Advisors

Rothschild & Co. served as exclusive financial and capital markets adviser and Cooley LLP and Dentons LLP served as legal advisors to WM Holding Company, LLC. Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated and Piper Sandler & Co. served as joint placement agents and financial advisors. BTIG, LLC, Canaccord Genuity LLC, JMP Securities LLC, and Trust Securities, Inc. also served as capital markets advisors and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal advisor to Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Jonathan Dennis served as legal advisors to the founders of WM Holding.

Eaze Releases 2020 State Of Cannabis Report: “How Cannabis Consumers Responded To Crisis”

Analysis of consumer choices in 2020 across the world’s largest cannabis market offers important lessons for emerging markets nationally and globally

CALIFORNIA:  Eaze, California’s largest legal cannabis marketplace, today released its sixth annual Eaze Insights State of Cannabis Report. The 2020 report, “How Cannabis Consumers Responded to Crisis”, looks at aggregate consumer trends driving the world’s largest cannabis market in a year rocked by unprecedented cultural, economic and public health challenges.

The report aggregates Eaze’s proprietary data to illustrate the behavior of the over 400,000 consumers who purchased via the platform in 2020. With 6.5 million legal deliveries completed to-date, Eaze can offer unique insights into how 2020 impacted consumption, uncovering patterns that can be generalized to markets nationally and globally.

Key findings include:

  • Consumers relied on cannabis delivery during quarantine. Consumer demand driven by COVID-19 led to significant increases in the number of new deliveries and order size.
  • Calls for social justice elevated equity brands. 2020 saw a greater demand for social equity products, underscoring increased consumer awareness – especially among customers over age 30 – about the importance of BIPOC-owned brands.
  • Edibles won the year. Edibles became the most popular product category across major markets and age groups, reflecting the public health focus on COVID’s respiratory impacts. Cannabis drinks especially benefited from the shift to Zoom socializing.
  • A tough holiday season increased consumption. Consumers used more cannabis over the 2020 winter holidays, when many celebrated without their families.
  • Cannabis helped us stay sexy at home. Consumers increasingly relied on weed to increase their sexual satisfaction during stay-at-home orders.
  • Cannabis won the 2020 election. Cannabis legalization in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota united voters on both sides of the aisle and outpaced presidential candidates in key states. In Arizona, Mississippi and New Jersey, cannabis got more votes than either presidential candidate. Consumer anxiety, meanwhile, fueled a demand uptick as votes were tallied.

“In this crisis year, cannabis emerged as an essential product and a unifying political issue,” said Ro Choy, CEO of Eaze. “Consumers relied on delivery during the pandemic and policymakers in emerging markets should look at the data and anticipate how robust demand for legal delivery will work in their communities. The report also shows consumer excitement for social equity brands, affirming that putting money in the pockets of BIPOC entrepreneurs is good business and a direct way to address the War on Drugs.”

The full report can be found here.

WM Holding Company, the Leading Technology Platform to the Cannabis Industry, to List on Nasdaq Through Merger With Silver Spike Acquisition Corp.

  • WM Holding Company, LLC (“WMH” or “WM Holding”) operates Weedmaps, the leading online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers, and WM Business, a comprehensive software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) subscription offering for cannabis retailers and brands
  • The merger advances WM Holding’s mission to power a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy and capitalize on its position as the largest technology provider in the sector
  • The estimated post transaction equity value of the combined Company is approximately $1.5 billion and provides up to $575 million of gross proceeds through the approximately $250 million of cash held-in-trust by Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. and a fully-committed common stock PIPE of $325 million
  • As a result of outsized demand, the PIPE offering was significantly oversubscribed and upsized, including investment from funds managed by AFV Partners, the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds and Senvest Management LLC along with a $35 million commitment from Silver Spike Capital
  • WM Holding’s executive officers will retain 100% of their equity in the combined company, which will have approximately $100 million of cash on hand after closing

CALIFORNIA: WM Holding Company, LLC and Silver Spike Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, announced today a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in WMH becoming a public company. The combined company will be led by Chris Beals, Chief Executive Officer of WMH, and is expected to remain listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Company Overview

Founded in 2008, WMH operates Weedmaps, the leading online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers and businesses, and WM Business, the most comprehensive SaaS subscription offering sold to cannabis retailers and brands. The Company solely provides software and other technology solutions and is non-plant touching. WMH has grown revenue at a CAGR of 40% over the last five years and is on track to deliver $160 million in revenue and $35 million in EBITDA for 2020.

The cannabis market in the U.S. is expected to double over the next five years as the majority of U.S. adults support having legal access to cannabis. Despite these expectations of growth, cannabis users in the U.S. are still a small sub-segment of the population today, and retail density is still low across the majority of states with regulated legal cannabis markets. The regulations related to these markets are often complex and disparate across states as well as cities and counties within regulated states. Cannabis itself is a highly complex and non-shelf stable consumer product. These dynamics present a challenging and sometimes uncertain environment for consumers seeking legal cannabis products and for businesses selling to cannabis users while operating in a compliant fashion.

WMH addresses these challenges with its Weedmaps marketplace and WM Business SaaS subscription offering. Over the past 12 years, Weedmaps has grown to become the premier destination for cannabis consumers, with over 10 million monthly active users and over 18,000 business listings across every U.S. state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with a legal cannabis market. Clients of the Company maintain listings in 9 international countries outside of the U.S. Through the Weedmaps website and mobile apps, WMH provides consumers with information regarding cannabis retailers and brands, as well as the availability of cannabis products, facilitating product discovery and online order-ahead for pickup or delivery by participating retailers.

The Company’s cloud-based WM Business SaaS subscription offering provides cannabis retailers with an end-to-end operating system to access valuable users, grow sales and scale their businesses at a compelling return-on-spend. This “business-in-a-box” functionality ranges from integrations supporting product menus that have online order-ahead, delivery order fulfillment software, data & analytics, a point-of-sale solution and a wholesale marketplace. WMH has been investing in and optimizing its WM Business software solution to also facilitate compliance for businesses amidst the complex, disparate and constantly evolving regulations governing the cannabis industry. Underlying this compliance functionality is a proprietary and sophisticated rules engine that is a core underpinning of the WM Business SaaS platform.

Chris Beals, WMH’s Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead the Company along with the existing management team. Silver Spike’s CEO and Chairman, Scott Gordon, will join the merged company’s Board of Directors upon completion of the transaction.

California Bureau Of Cannabis Control Announces New API For License Search Data

CALIFORNIA:  The Bureau of Cannabis Control announced the launch of a new Application Programming Interface (API). The API allows stakeholders to obtain license data that can be integrated into their own software. Users may use the API to obtain information for a single license, a list of licenses, or the entire license directory in a single request. The data available through the API mirrors the publicly-available data in the Bureau’s license search and is updated nightly.

“The API was developed to provide stakeholders with an additional tool to access the Bureau’s licensing data and to provide greater flexibility in utilizing that information,” Bureau Chief Lori Ajax said.

This API allows users to access all the publicly-available Bureau licensee data in a convenient comprehensive format. The information available through the API allows the user to confirm with certainty that they are not supporting an illegal cannabis business. Third party software application providers can utilize the API to go ‘straight to the source’ instead of relying on self-reported data from businesses or manually looking up every retailer.

To get started, please consult the API User Guide here – https://bcc.ca.gov/about_us/documents/iservices_api_user_guide.pdf. The guide contains step-by-step instructions about how to receive licensing data from the Bureau through the API.

For questions or issues not addressed by the API User Guide, please contact the DCA iServices API Team at the following email address: iservices@dca.ca.gov.

Metrc Awarded Oklahoma Seed To Sale Contract

OKLAHOMA: The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has signed a contract with Metrc, a national company in 14 states, for the implementation of a statewide seed-to-sale tracking system. The contract creates a system to track marijuana plants and products from a plant’s growth stage through sale to patients. It serves as part of OMMA’s larger efforts to ensure accountability and safety within the state’s medical marijuana industry.

OSDH Names Twelve Member Medical Marijuana Food Safety Standards Board –

OMMA Interim Director Dr. Kelly Williams said “The seed-to-sale system will greatly expand our compliance capabilities and improve the effectiveness and speed of any future recall efforts. It will also allow us to detect unusual patterns that may indicate product diversion.”

Metrc offers integration features with many seed-to-sale software systems used at an individual-level by licensees, and all commercial licensees in the state will be required to either integrate with or input their information into the state’s seed-to-sale system.

Dr. Williams added, “We know that businesses will have many questions in the coming weeks, and we will answer them as quickly as possible.” OMMA will also keep the public updated as the system is implemented. It is expected to take up to six months.

Helix Technologies Launches Nation’s First Online MMJ Reciprocity Platform In New Mexico

COLORADO:  Helix Technologies, announced today that New Mexico’s online medical marijuana reciprocity portal is live and has been serving out of state patients living or vacationing in New Mexico for almost a month as of this writing.

The system, which is the first of its kind for US medical cannabis programs, allows state regulators to electronically register and track out of state patients into the patient registry. The system decreases time and costs associated with paper only patient registries and allows the state to track and enforce dispensing limits in real time to prevent potential diversion to the black market.

The new platform benefits all stakeholders in the New Mexico industry as it allows out of state patients a convenient way to access medical cannabis while enjoying the many outdoor and cultural opportunities in New Mexico. Since going live with the reciprocity module on July 1st, more than 1,700 out of state patients have been registered for the program. “We’re encouraged by the ability of this platform to assure people visiting New Mexico get the medicine they need when cannabis has been recommended as a treatment by their medical provider at home,” said New Mexico Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program Director Dr. Dominick Zurlo. “We appreciate the efforts of Helix Biotrack to work with us toward the goal of assuring visiting patients experience uninterrupted treatment and relief for their medical conditions.”

“We are always looking for ways to work with our Government partners to improve transparency, ease of use, and ultimately public safety,” said Helix Biotrack COO Dr. Moe Afaneh. “This is the first step towards digitally bridging states’ medical markets, while ultimately improving access for patients looking to explore New Mexico, bringing in new patients for the industry, and saving everyone time and money in the process. We’re very proud to bring another industry-first innovation to Seed to Sale Tracking, with more to come.”

U.S. District Court Dismisses TCPA Lawsuit Against Eaze, Upholding The Ability Of Legal Cannabis Industry To Enter Binding Contracts

eaze

Ruling sets important precedent for both California’s legal cannabis market and legal cannabis industry in America

CALIFORNIA: Eaze Technologies, Inc. today announced that it obtained a complete dismissal of Williams v. Eaze, Inc., a putative nationwide class action lawsuit brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), by successfully enforcing the arbitration agreement in its Terms of Service.

In her lawsuit, Plaintiff Farrah Williams, attempted to circumvent the arbitration agreement in Eaze’s Terms of Service by arguing that cannabis contracts cannot be “formed” because cannabis is illegal under federal law. The court rejected this claim, thus preserving the ability of cannabis businesses, operating where cannabis is legal under state law, to enter into and enforce basic contracts with customers, individuals, and other businesses.

“This ruling is enormously important for the entire industry, as contracts across California and nationally could have been invalidated had the court found for the Plaintiff,” said Andrea Lobato, Chief Risk Officer at Eaze. “We are pleased to have successfully defended the basic right of legal cannabis companies to enter into contracts.”

After substantial briefing and argument led by Boies Schiller Flexner partners, Albert Giang and Michael Roth, the district court concluded that a proper contract had been formed, delegated other disputes to the arbitrator, and dismissed Plaintiff’s nationwide class action. Specifically, while noting that the case raises interesting issues about “ganjapreneurship,” the Court concluded that Eaze’s business “is legal under California state law” and arbitration was required under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).

“The court correctly found that cannabis companies are not barred from forming and enforcing basic contracts, and that Eaze’s business is legal under California state law,” said Giang. This ruling sets an important precedent for California’s legal cannabis market, and more broadly for the legal cannabis industry in America.

 

Cannabis and Hemp Extraction Explained: Ethanol vs. Supercritical

The hemp industry is projected to grow into a $16 billion industry by 2025, and the cannabis (legal marijuana) industry is expected to grow to a $66.3 billion industry during the same period. Keeping this trend in mind, it is now a good time as ever to invest in these burgeoning markets. And if you are a consumer of hemp or cannabis-based products, expect to choose from a wide variety of CBD based products ranging from oils, creams, and balms to foods, beverages, and tinctures.

So why is the industry booming? First off, the demand for CBD based products is on the rise. This is attributed to the fact that CBD has numerous health benefits, such as managing anxiety and depression, relieving chronic pain, treating acne, and alleviating cancer-related symptoms. As an organic option, it has gained considerable popularity among people who want to distance themselves from the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

Secondly, the recent wave of legalization of the hemp industry has generated an influx of new entrants in the market. Many countries, including the US and most countries in Europe, allow the manufacture, sale, and purchase of hemp-based CBD products with regulated amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and it is responsible for giving the user a “high”. Therefore, with strict regulations on THC content, usually below 0.3%, CBD products are being made safe to consume.

As for cannabis-based CBD products, many analysts and professionals in the field claim that the legalization of cannabis is not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”. While some countries, such as Australia, have only legalized medical cannabis, others, such as Canada, have made it completely legal. It is expected that the wave of global cannabis legalization is imminent.

Furthermore, changes in public perception regarding the legalization and consumption of CBD products have transformed the industry. With people favorably viewing both cannabis and hemp for their numerous medical benefits, the previously held stigma attached to cannabis plants is rapidly dissipating.

Since CBD-based products have garnered massive demand and attention, it is only logical to assume that consumers want the best products on the market. In this regard, it is exceptionally helpful for consumers to familiarize themselves with the different methods of cannabis and hemp extraction. Since the quality, purity, and potency of the final product directly depends on its extraction from the cannabis plant, it is helpful to recognize different extraction methods.

This article will explain the difference between the two most widely used cannabis and hemp extraction methods, namely ethanol extraction and carbon dioxide (CO2) supercritical extraction. So read on to find out the processes, advantages, and disadvantages of each method.

Ethanol Extraction of Cannabis and Hemp 

With rapid advancements in technology, companies have been able to build cannabis extraction machines that allow for safe, efficient, clean and environmentally friendly extraction of hemp and cannabis. These machines are specifically built to be sustainable and provide economies of scale for commercial production.

In this regard, one of the most innovative methods of extraction has been the development of the ethanol extraction system. While ethanol extraction has been used in the food and pharmaceutical extraction industry for decades, the latest ethanol extraction machines have successfully eliminated the need for post-processing methods such as winterization and filtration.

Ethanol

How Does Ethanol Extraction Work?

Since ethanol is a highly polar solvent, it can bind to virtually all the substances in the cannabis plant. This means that unwanted compounds, such as fats, lipids, waxes, and even chlorophyll can be extracted. Previously, attempts at extracting CBD from cannabis or hemp using room-temperature ethanol required post-processing techniques to separate the essential from the non-essential compounds.

However, engineering efforts have found a way around that. Nowadays, ethanol is supercooled and its polarity is manipulated so that it only extracts the desirable compounds from the cannabis plant or the biomass. The ethanol makes use of something called a negative pressure to “pull” out the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis or hemp plant.

This process requires a Solvent Storage Tank for the supercooled ethanol, a Holding Tank for the cannabis or hemp plant, and an Extraction Vessel for the ethanol to pass through the plant to extract the useful chemical compounds. Highly efficient machines may contain other pieces of equipment, such as sock filters and pneumatic actuators to help filter out the plant material and maintain pressure differentials, respectively.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Ethanol Extraction

Following are the advantages of ethanol extraction:

  • It helps achieve a 98.6% efficiency during extraction.
  • It is safe to use since it eliminates the need for heat or high pressure. Ethanol is also FDA approved as a food-grade solvent.
  • It does not require post-processing.
  • The end-product is of superior quality and high concentration.

Following are the disadvantages of ethanol extraction:

  • The equipment may require considerable investment costs.
  • Skilled people will be needed to operate the machinery.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction of Cannabis and Hemp 

Carbon Dioxide is another widely used method of cannabis and hemp extraction. Since CO2 is a gas, changes in temperature and pressure are needed to convert the CO2 into a solvent state to enable it to extract the needed cannabinoids. This state, referred to as supercritical, allows the CO2 to behave both like a gas and a liquid at once.

How Does CO2 Extraction Work?

The CO2 extraction method primarily uses three different equipment. The Compression Chamber helps the CO2 to go beyond its critical state, therefore converting it into supercritical CO2. This is passed through the cannabis or hemp plant in the Extraction Vessel to pull out the useful compounds. The desirable components of the extraction process are then collected in a Separator while the CO2 is condensed and prepared to be reused for the next extraction cycle.

The process, which uses high pressure, requires somewhere between 1500 psi to 2000 psi. This makes it demanding in terms of power requirements. Furthermore, CO2 is considered a weak solvent, which means that that extraction cycle must last a minimum of two hours and still have a yield below that which is achieved from ethanol extraction. This makes it rather difficult to scale out the production process using CO2 extraction method.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of CO2 Extraction

Following are the advantages of CO2 extraction:

  • It doesn’t contain any residuals post-extraction.
  • The equipment can be tuned and customized for a specific type of extraction, such as temperature-sensitive extraction.
  • It doesn’t pull out any large unwanted molecules such as chlorophyll.

Following are the disadvantages of CO2 extraction:

  • CO2 is a weak solvent compared to ethanol.
  • The equipment is very costly and needs high safety standards for setting up.
  • The usage of high pressure and temperature requires superior safety standards.
  • The machinery is advanced and requires technical expertise.
  • The machinery is prone to wear and tear due to high-pressure used in the process.

Eaze Partners With Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Santa Monica And Recreational Embassy To Debut Eaze Hospitality

CALIFORNIA: Eaze, California’s leading cannabis delivery marketplace, announced a new partnership with Recreational Embassy, an elemental curator of cannabis and hemp solutions for the luxury hospitality market, to bring high-touch cannabis experiences to luxury hotel guests with the launch of Eaze Hospitality. The Eaze Hospitality concierge service will debut at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Santa Monica, marking a first-of-its-kind intersection of tourism and the cannabis industry.

“The partnership with the Fairmont and Recreational Embassy is another proof point that cannabis is normalizing,” says Sheena Shiravi, Senior Director of Marketing at Eaze. “Offering adults in-hotel access to safe and legal cannabis at California’s luxury tourism destinations reinforces how beneficial it is to incorporate cannabis into every aspect of your life.”

Eaze Hospitality is designed to meet the needs, tastes, and lifestyle of the luxury cannabis consumer. Features include a concierge service that serves as a resource for guests’ questions and supports a positive cannabis experience. Eaze Hospitality is committed to educating both new and existing customers about the benefits of cannabis and the innovative products available to them.

“Hotels should have a safe, legal and thoughtful approach to meet the needs of the modern luxury hotel customer,” says Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Director of Sales and Marketing, Rebecca Huetter. “By partnering with Recreational Embassy, we are able to provide the contemporary level of hotel amenities our guests have come to expect.”

“Being present is what the new modern luxury travel experience is all about, and cannabis is the key wellness product to help you get there,” said Lauren Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of Recreational Embassy. “As we guide the hospitality industry along this fresh customer journey with integrity, Eaze Hospitality reinforces the overlap between the new cannabis consumer and the modern luxury traveler.”

The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, California is the first property to leverage Eaze Hospitality to facilitate access to legal, compliant and brand-aligned hemp and cannabis products and services. Guests aged 21+ will have access to customized in-room menus that feature low-dose and non-inhalation hemp and cannabis products. Through Recreational Embassy, the hotel will also offer bespoke CBD products including a custom scented fig CBD-infused bath bomb inspired by the property’s signature fig tree.

The potential to holistically reshape the signature elements of a luxury property hotel-stay by integrating hemp, cannabis and CBD products offers an unprecedented opportunity for hotels to drive incremental revenue. “We bridge the gaps between both those experienced with cannabis and those we call ‘canna-curious’ who are interested to learn more,” says Brian Applegarth, Chief Education Officer of Recreational Embassy. “The most common questions we hear from visitors are about how to get cannabis products and where to enjoy them. Our goal is to minimize confusion for hotels and their guests while maximizing on-property experiences and driving incremental value.”

Leafly Announces Leafly Learn Online Education Platform for Training & Certifying Budtenders

WASHINGTON: Leafly, the world’s leading cannabis resource, today announced Leafly Learn, an online education platform created to empower cannabis retail workers to serve customers with confidence. To celebrate, Leafly is hosting a 16-city tour across North America to bring Leafly Learn directly to budtenders. Leafly Learn and the Budtender Education Tour will teach budtenders about the science of cannabis and how it can be applied to budtender best practices in order to help customers discover the products best suited for their needs.

“Budtenders are the face of the cannabis industry and the frontline for guiding customers toward products that will work best for them,” said Rebecca Kelley, content director at Leafly. “We built Leafly Learn with an understanding of the crucial role budtenders play in educating customers, and created this learning platform so that budtenders everywhere can feel supported in their careers and have more confidence in their product recommendations.”

Leafly Learn will be exclusively available to retailer clients of Leafly, who can use the curriculum and the newly unveiled Leafly Cannabis Guide to provide training to budtenders as part of their professional development. According to the 2019 Leafly Jobs Report, there are more than 211,000 jobs in legal cannabis, many of which are budtenders new to the industry. According to a recent industry report, more than 90 per cent of consumers seriously consider a budtender’s recommendation when making a purchase decision, highlighting the need for budtender education efforts like Leafly Learn.

To kick off this initiative, Leafly is taking Leafly Learn on the road to 16 cities across North America, meeting directly with thousands of budtenders to provide hands-on training based on the Leafly Cannabis Guide:

Leafly Learn Budtender Education Tour

  • Phoenix, AZ: October 7, 2019
  • Los Angeles, CA: October 10, 2019
  • Portland, OR: October 12, 2019
  • Vancouver, Canada: October 17, 2019
  • Seattle, WA: October 24-25, 2019
  • Calgary, Canada: October 30, 2019
  • Chicago, IL: November 4, 2019
  • Detroit, MI: November 5, 2019
  • Toronto, Canada: November 8, 2019
  • Boston, MA: November 11, 2019
  • Baltimore, MD: November 13, 2019
  • Orlando, FL: November 19, 2019
  • Miami, FL: November 21, 2019
  • Oklahoma City, OK: December 1, 2019
  • Denver, CO: December 4, 2019
  • Las Vegas, NV: December 9, 2019

“I was a budtender before I worked at Leafly, and I know a thousand questions come your way when helping customers select the right products. As the cannabis market expands and more people make careers of budtending, it’s a huge priority for us at Leafly to ensure budtenders have the support and education they need to make cannabis a positive experience for all customers,” said Maria Sharp, manager of partnerships and education at Leafly.

Retailers interested in Leafly Learn and the Budtender Education Tour can find more information here.