Cannabis platform Leafly goes public with $385M valuation via SPAC merger

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Leafly, an online cannabis guide and news website based in Seattle, plans to go public via a merger with Merida Capital Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in New York.

At closing, the combined company is expected to be valued at roughly $385 million with equity value of approximately $532 million, according to a news release.

Existing Leafly shareholders are expected to own approximately 72% of the combined company.

The deal will give Leafly up to $161.5 million to expand its business in states that recently legalized marijuana, including New York, according to Reuters.

Merida, a so-called blank-check company, will adopt the Leafly name, and the combined company’s common stock is expected to be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LFLY, according to the release.

Options for raising capital are limited in the cannabis industry, so SPACs have gained popularity as a viable alternative to more traditional funding methods.

Leafly offers a subscription-based platform for more than 7,800 brands and 4,600 paying retail subscribers, the release noted. Approximately 55% of North American retail cannabis licensees use the company’s services.

“With this transaction, we are looking forward to … creating more personalized consumer experiences, driving more value to our retail partners, amplifying brands on our platform and further scaling our presence in local markets as legalization continues,” Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita said in the release.