LinkedIn for the Cannabis Industry
Between surging sales, increased support for legalization, and more widespread adoption, 2020 was a defining year for cannabis.
Now, as America’s fastest-growing industry looks to 2021, experts view technology as a key driver for keeping cannabis’ momentum going.
Leafwire is doing its part by creating an online platform dedicated to the cannabis and hemp industries.
This platform serves as a Facebook/LinkedIn hybrid. On it, members can create a personal profile, share cannabis industry news, connect with industry professionals, promote events, and look for jobs within the cannabis market.
To date, those working in the cannabis market haven’t had a platform to do all of these things. Despite the industry’s growth, there’s still a stigma around being involved with marijuana. As a result, nearly 70% of cannabis industry professionals don’t include complete detailed information about their cannabis jobs or experience. And many social media platforms regularly delete or cancel cannabis company accounts.
Leafwire is a safe, inclusive space for these professionals. While other platforms offer one or two features (reporting on industry news or posting jobs), Leafwire is the only one to offer everything in one place.
Said Robert Funk, a Leafwire member, “Leafwire is becoming my go-to networking crossroads!”
Leafwire uses a freemium business model. Members can join for free, and then choose to pay for some of the platform’s premium features. These include the ability to purchase ads in Leafwire-related e-mails, ads posted on the platform, marketplace listings, job posts, and premium monthly subscriptions.
Advertising packages can range from $500 to $10,000. Marketplace postings cost $50 per month per post. And job placement postings cost $5,000.
Said a co-founder of a cannabis company that advertised on Leafwire, “We had a 6x return on our investment with Leafwire in 2 days. It was a no-brainer for us.”
Leafwire launched in early 2019. Since then, its member base has grown by 700%. The platform has facilitated more than 700,000 connections within the cannabis industry. And its 2020 revenues as of October were $200,000 — a 75% increase from 2019.
With funds raised, Leafwire plans to implement a ticketing functionality to its Events section. It also aims to build a mobile version of its platform.
Christian has extensive cannabis experience, specifically with respect to legalization.
Prior to starting Leafwire, he was a co-founder of Simplifya, a cannabis compliance company. Before that, he was a partner at Vicente Sederberg, a law firm focused on establishing marijuana legalization.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance from the University of San Diego, and a Law degree from the University of Colorado.
In addition to his role with Leafwire, Marion is CEO of Simplifya, a compliance company assisting cannabis-related businesses. He’s also Founder of Ceylon Solutions, a software development company.
Marion previously co-founded VS Tech Ventures, an organization providing select startups with access to capital and software development services. Before that, he founded Alertsz, a safety technology platform.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Computer Science from the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Emporia State University.
Peter has 20 years of startup experience, including raising capital and guiding early-stage companies.
Most recently, he was a mentor with Venture for America, a non-profit that connects emerging startups with growth opportunities. Before that, he was Vice President of Business Development for Empyr, a financial technology company that was acquired in 2020.
Earlier, he co-founded Plink, a loyalty program that rewards members for dining and shopping at their favorite restaurants and stores. Prior to that, he was Senior Director of Marketing and Industry for Adperio, a marketing and advertising agency.
Peter began his career co-founding Memolink.com, one of the first online points-based loyalty programs. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis.
Prior to his time with Leafwire, Marc was Chief Marketing Officer with Yield Solutions Group, a financial services company focused on the auto industry. Before that, he spent three years as an advisor in the Office of the Mayor in Denver, Colorado.
Earlier, he was Chief Marketing Officer with Plink, a loyalty program that rewards members for dining and shopping at their favorite restaurants and stores. Before that, he co-founded PurePlay.com, a gambling website for poker players.
Marc is credited with designing and implementing the website for Memolink.com, one of the first online points-based loyalty programs.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MBA from Binghamton University.
Michael was previously a regional sales executive for CoachCare, a healthcare company selling patient engagement equipment to health and wellness customers. Before that, he was a sales director for a CBD wellness company.
Earlier in his career, he was a financial sales consultant for Wall Street firms including Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley.
He earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of Akron.