Media Archives - Green Market Report

StaffStaffMay 22, 2018
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5min3911

The cannabis industry took a big leap towards the mainstream earlier this month with the official launch of the world’s first cannabis focused communications firm, AxisWire.

Founded by a seasoned team of cannabis professionals, AxisWire was created in response to the severe lack of access to basic business services that many entrepreneurs take for granted.

Although cannabis is legal in some shape or form in more than half of the United States, many newswire services and public relations firms have refused to do business with anyone associated with the cannabis industry; due primarily to the substance’s Schedule I status and fears of federal interference.

Despite the lack of access, the cannabis industry has flourished nonetheless. According to a report by ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics, the economic impact of the cannabis industry is expected to grow to $40 billion by 2021, leaving plenty of room for savvy operators to fill the void left by traditional communications firms.

“The cannabis industry is on the brink and ripe for a platform that will provide the infrastructure for all cannabis businesses, journalists and PR representatives to be able to access one another and exchange their news,” commented AxisWire founder and CEO, Cynthia Salarizadeh. “After two years of development, our team is confident that AxisWire will stand at the center of all things media for cannabis.”

Conceived of as a one-stop-shop for the cannabis businesses to grow their brand, AxisWire offers a variety PR and marketing tools, like its  STAR (Submit To A Reporter) source locator subscription service. With STAR, entrepreneurs hoping to grow their cannabis brand can get connected with journalists looking for expert sources for a small fee.   

One of the most powerful tools in AxisWire’s employ is its newswire service. Cannabis brands signed up with AxisWire can have their press releases distributed to over 1,700 targeted journalists and producers at industry specific publications as well as hundreds of publications like Forbes, The Washington Post, CNN, TIME, Business Insider, and VICE. In addition to distributing press releases, AxisWire also offers a service to write them as well.

But it’s not just as simple as sending out a press release and hoping for the best. In many states, like Washington, there is a myriad of confusing rules and regulations regarding cannabis advertising. To help assist their users stay compliant with state law, AxisWire has partnered with the cannabis compliance firm CannaRegs to offer discounted compliance consultations.

In addition to compliance, AxisWire also offers media consultancy services where businesses can learn how to maximize their marketing strategies and increase brand awareness. Led by Evan Nison, the company’s Chief Public Relations Officer and founder of the PR firm Nison Co., AxisWire’s media consultancy team is backed by some of the best PR and marketing minds in the business; with experience ranging from Fortune 500 Companies to small businesses.

In a statement, AxisWire Chief Marketing Officer of AxisWire and Founder of Wick & Mortar, Jared Mirsky, said that the creation of of AxisWire was a no-brainer and expressed excitement at bringing the new platform online.

“It only makes sense that something like this should exist, especially given the fact most traditional marketing methods aren’t so traditional for the cannabis industry,” explained Jared Mirsky Chief Marketing Officer of AxisWire and Founder & CEO of Wick & Mortar. “We are forced to be even more creative in our approach and often rely on so-called ‘cannabis marketers’ to help move our brands. I am extremely excited to bring this platform to the forefront for my clients and the industry, and proud to be part of this new venture with AxisWire and our team of cannabis industry leaders.”

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 27, 2018
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9min2130

The Denver Post has been making its own headlines lately because of historic staff reductions and the resulting editorial-page public push back against the newspaper’s hedge-fund ownership. Now it turns out that The Denver Post is no longer staffing its marijuana news site The Cannabist.

“I am absolutely gutted today,” said veteran journalist Ricardo Baca, who founded Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency in early 2017 after resigning from The Post, where he worked as a reporter, critic, and editor for 15 years. “We were so lucky to know The Cannabist as we did, and The Denver Post was lucky that we caught this lightning in a bottle during those historic days. We avoided the blind, pro-legalization activism of publications like High Times, and we also were an objective news source to counter prohibitionist misinformation that had plagued so much of the mainstream media’s irresponsible coverage of cannabis throughout the last eight decades.”

The Cannabist was founded in 2013 by Baca as Colorado launched the country’s first adult-use cannabis market. As The Post’s first-ever Marijuana Editor, Mr. Baca and his team built the site from scratch and developed a robust national readership that appreciated the site’s journalism-first approach to covering the newly legal cannabis industry. It even spawned a feature-length documentary called Rolling Papers—a film “more about marijuana journalism than the big picture, and as such it’s a worthwhile endeavor,” wrote Chicago Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper in his three-star reviewdocumented both The Cannabist’s debut and the 2014 world premiere of state-regulated legal marijuana sales.

“These layoffs are putting The Cannabist on life support and destroying The Post’s ability to comprehensively cover Colorado, and it is entirely to blame on Alden Global Capital, the black-hearted hedge fund that owns Digital First Media and 100 American newspapers, including The Post. These vulture capitalists are literally hated throughout Denver, and while everyone from Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock stands in support of The Post, we need to continue to let Alden Global Capital know that they are not welcome in Colorado, and they need to sell The Denver Post to a more responsible owner who will finally curb this undemocratic bloodletting.”

Journalism Jobs In Decline Overall

Of course, this story is being played out across the country and isn’t unique to Denver. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts is projected to decline 9 percent from 2016 to 2026. Employment of reporters and correspondents is projected to decline 10 percent, while employment of broadcast news analysts is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026.

The BLS wrote that declining advertising revenue in radio, newspapers, and television would negatively affect the employment growth for these occupations. Some organizations will likely continue to use new forms of advertising or offer paid subscriptions, but these innovations may not make up for lost print ad revenues.

The BLS also forecast that declining revenue would force news organizations to downsize and employ fewer journalists. It suggested that increasing demand for online news may offset some of that downsizing. However, because online and mobile ad revenue is typically less than print revenue, the growth in digital advertising may not offset the decline in print advertising, circulation, and readership.

The Beginning Of The End

According to Baca’s new company Grasslands, after Baca resigned from The Post in December 2016, the newspaper started making cuts to the vertical’s staff, cutting the General Manager advertising position and reassigning the remaining two Cannabist-focused sales staff in early 2017. This past December, The Cannabist’s editorial staff was cut from four to three during a separate newsroom-wide staff reduction.

Grasslands also stated that in April 2018, after the newspaper’s editor told newsroom staff that it would be laying off one-third of its editorial employees, two Cannabist staffers announced they were leaving for other opportunities; later that month, Cannabist editor-in-chief Alex Pasquariello was told the paper was cutting editorial staffing to the site and that his position no longer existed.


Tabitha ClayTabitha ClayApril 27, 2018
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7min5920

In an effort to stay ahead of regulators and encourage ethical advertising practices in the industry, the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), the only self-regulatory organization for the U.S. licensed cannabis businesses, published advertising guidelines for industry players. The NACB Advertising National Standard was published Wednesday, April 25, 2018; the organization is accepting comments from members and the public until May 25, 2018. Comments will be reviewed and considered, and it’s possible that the standard will change as a result of public comment.

“Advertising was among the first areas our members identified as critical to addressing for NACB National Standards because it’s through marketing that the industry presents itself to the world,” said Andrew Kline, President of the NACB and a former federal prosecutor. “We are extremely proud that our members took their responsibility to protect consumers so seriously, going even deeper in prohibiting certain content than regulators might expect them to.

According to NACB, the standard is “designed to help NACB members protect consumers and demonstrate to regulators, financial institutions, and the public that NACB members operate at the highest levels of ethics and responsibility.”

Taylor West, Senior Communications Director at Cohnnabis, a division of Cohn Marketing and former Deputy Director at the National Cannabis Industry Association applauded the efforts of NACB, but did express some concerns.

“Any time you’re trying to create standards for an industry it’s difficult,” said West. “I also think that it’s very smart as an industry to adopt some of these voluntary standards; recognizing that there’s going to be a time when governmental mandates are going to come in and if the industry has already agreed to responsible restrictions then they’re going to be in a better position. So I applaud them for that.”

The restrictions set forth in the standard are indeed stringent, with some key parts of the standard that restrict advertising audiences significantly more than the standards in the similar alcohol industry. Alcohol industry standards restrict advertising to mediums where at least 71.6 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be of legal purchase age. Alternatively, the new standard from NACB limits cannabis advertisers to markets where at least 85 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be at least age 21.

When asked about the audience limitations in the new standards, West expressed some surprise and concern as well. “These are definitely more limiting than I think some people would have expected,” said West. “Especially when you compare them, you know, like you said, to the alcohol industry, and also frankly to the restrictions that some local governments have already put in place.”

The standards also ban the consumption of cannabis from advertising, something that might place significant burdens on cannabis companies as they launch media campaigns. According to West, “The restriction on preventing advertisements from depicting the consumption of cannabis, seems a little extreme as well.”  

That’s not to say that West isn’t fully in support of the industry self-regulating to prevent advertising to children and teens, she just sees the complete ban on consumption in advertising as a solution to a problem that might not actually exist yet. “I think it’s important to adopt responsible practices,” explained West, “but I also think it’s important for the industry to be able to work in a way that doesn’t unreasonably restrict them when there’s not an indication that there’s a particular problem.”

NACB is clearly working very diligently to prevent underage cannabis use, and to ensure that marketing within the industry isn’t aimed at kids. Other key portions of the standards include eliminating any offers of gifts or prizes to incentivize purchase as well as restricting the use of toys, cartoon characters, animals or celebrity endorsements in advertising.

“The work we are doing as members of the NACB in creating sensible national standards for our industry will set the stage for the future of the legal cannabis industry in this country,” said CEO Patricia Noonan of NACB member and Colorado-based Wonderleaf. “The Advertising National Standard will one day serve as the definitive set of rules for the marketing of cannabis and  proud we took such care in making it comprehensive to best serve the public good.”

Whether or not the standards will remain as originally published or will be subject to change will depend in large part on industry feedback. According to NACB, after the feedback is considered, the standard may be revised after which time members will vote on the new standard.

 


Curt DaltonCurt DaltonApril 25, 2018
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21min7152

Previously published on Cannabis.net.

The entire business model that the legal marijuana industry has been built on has been shaken with one quote, from one powerful politician.   If you have not followed the news, the Republicans and Democrats now seem to be racing toward legalization of cannabis, as both sides seem to want to get credit for “legalizing marijuana” before the other side can claim it.

First, Senator Majority leader Mitch McConnel from Kentucky introduced a bill that would legalize hemp at the Federal level.  Then, Senator Gardner from Colorado struck a deal with President Trump to protect states’ rights on legal marijuana and open the door to a federal plan for cannabis. (By the way, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has said there is a federal plan to allow marijuana businesses to use banking, it is just not been unveiled, or made legal yet.)

Follow that up and you have Senator Bernie Sanders signing onto the Sen. Corey Booker’s marijuana legalization bill.  Followed up by former Speaker of the House, Senator John Boehner, joining the board of a cannabis company after being “anti-pot” for years while he served in the government.  (He said his thinking on cannabis has “evolved” by the way).  Also joining the same cannabis company’s board was former Massachusetts governor William Weld.

We all see the writing on the wall, but then the absolute game changer showed up.

As Tom Angell reported, the top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, is going to introduce a bill to “remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act altogether so states can set their own policies.”

This one line should shake the cannabis investment industry to the core.

What does a total removal from the “Controlled Substance Act” mean?  It means no DEA jurisdiction or interference anymore.  No FDA interference anymore.  No Federal office interference anymore, including the Post Office.  Substances not on the Controlled Substance Act include peanut butter, tissues, cotton, chocolate, and about 25 million other things.

Why mention the Post Office?  Stay with me and see how this is an absolute game changer of historic proportions.

The is a good chance the Democrats take the Senate and/or House this year, not even having to wait until 2020, but in 2018 midterm elections.  If that happens, Schumer’s bill will sail through both houses and be on the President’s desk quicker than some people think.

What if your whole business model is built on a substance being a restricted or schedule 1 drug, and then suddenly, it is not?  What if you invested millions and millions of dollars based on laws that were about to change?

In economics it is called a negative incentive, referring to the penalties if caught selling cannabis and shipping in through the mail and such.  You could get caught and go to Federal prison.  If cannabis is removed completely from the Controlled Substance list, that negative incentive is removed.  Even if states put penalties on such sales, it will be minor compared to the Federal government past statue.  What can a state do if they catch you selling a substance that is not on the controlled substance act?  What is the fine for sending two pounds of peanut butter to someone, or a pound of your homemade honey?

Will removing cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act make cannabis legal in 50 states?  No, it will remove all Federal jurisdiction over cannabis and associated penalties of growing and selling a schedule 1 drug.  This in effect, will cause cannabis legalization, even if it is not done on paper.

Wait, this is crazy, why isn’t everyone talking about this and doing something? 

The game just changed, and the people who sit on the demand side, like cannabis websites with traffic, are now the hottest investment in the entire world, literally.  The sites that have traffic and can create cannabis orders are now the golden goose of the cannabis industry, the unlimited power to create orders and sell products without having to advertise.

For full disclosure, Cannabis.net is currently talking to 3 groups about a funding round or an outright sale as I write this article.  The golden rule of the Internet, no matter what, is that the most valuable thing in the world is always traffic.  It always has been, and always will be.  Google wants more traffic each day, Facebook wants more traffic each day, Amazon wants more traffic each day.  Traffic is gold, no matter what niche or product you are in, whether selling shoes, pizza, adult content, software, you name it, traffic is king.   The cannabis niche is no different, and even heightened to an extent due to the fact cannabis businesses can’t buy advertising in almost all cases.  If you can’t buy it an ad, you sure better be able to rank well organically, or else you won’t be getting many visitors to your site.

Wait, aren’t you just pumping your own feathers, since you are a cannabis site in a funding round or selling?

Just like we have seen with “brick and mortar” verse Amazon in the past 10 years, cannabis ordering will all be done online within 36 months.  Two clicks, and either delivered to your door that day if you live in a major metropolitan area (think food delivery models now like GrubHub) or delivered the next day by Fed Ex or USPS. (FedEx already delivers cannabis legally in Canada to medical patients, logon, click, pay, select FedEx, done.)

Dispensaries in every legal state are already delivering, most dispensaries, even newer opens, have online order and delivery.  Some even have their own app, or work in conjunction with apps like EAZE and Weedmaps.  The dispensary, in general, is a legal anomaly, it will be something we look back on in 10 years and say, “Really, you use to have to go to a separate place to get it when it was a schedule 1 drug on the Controlled Substances Act?”.

Think that cannabis won’t be everywhere?  Remember when liquor was sold at just liquor stores with a state license?  Now, just about every grocery store and convenience store has, at a minimum, a beer and wine license today.  Ever order wine or beer online and have it sent through the mail or UPS to you?  Just saying, the past may not repeat exactly, but it sure does rhyme.

Online ordering and selling is the future, and he who controls the traffic online controls the order.  Let’s take a look at a few big players already moving toward this model.

Herb.co – The old Stoners Cookbook, one of the most trafficked cannabis sites in the world with about 4 million visitors a month and 10 million-page views a month.  They can create over 200 million video views a month if you count their Facebook page and Instagram.  Matt Grey, the CEO, is not stupid.  Go to their site, they don’t have any ads running.  Wait, what?  They have a program for native ads if people want to buy text stories as well as video packages, but no banner ads.  Why?  Because banners and such don’t make much money in this niche, at least not yet.  Matt got a funding round and guess what he did?  Opened up with a new content team and started selling ancillary items online, like bongs and vapes.   He then put up ads for hiring about 12 new people, a lot for a TECH startup, but not for coders or engineers, instead it was product designers and packaging experts.  He also posted these types of shot.

What is he doing?  He is going to convert traffic to buying customers and then put cannabis in his store, most likely starting Canada.  He can partner with an LP or try and get his own licenses. As they grow and make more partnerships and agreements he can start to sell cannabis online in the US, Australia, Europe, etc.  Do you know how much cannabis you can sell online with 10 million-page views a month and a Facebook fan page with 9,700,000 fans?  Get the store and funnels set up, sell them products, add cannabis into each store per geographic area you can as you get approval or a license, rinse and repeat.

Weedmaps (marijuana.com as well) – The $500 million-dollar company who is thumbing their nose up at the California Cannabis Commission right now is the gorilla in the online cannabis room.  They are already the main menu management website for the cannabis industry, as well as controlling the landscape for daily coupons and specials in the cannabis industry.  They are already taking orders and working with dispensaries and delivery services. Some dispensaries on their map may actually be owned by Weedmaps under shell companies as it is being rumored, hence this model I am talking about already in full effect.  Why on earth would they ever challenge the ruling from the California Cannabis Commission to only list licensed companies on their map, when we know in the long run that is that is what they will have to do?  At the same time, they are pissing off all the legal cannabis dispensaries that advertise with them by also promoting illegal and mobile dispensaries that aren’t paying for licensing and paying taxes?  It seems like an absolutely stupid move unless you are making so much money on the ordering and delivering side, you are thinking you can tie this up in court for 3 years and get all that revenue until you finally must comply.  The only risk that Weedmaps is taking here is California calls on the Feds and starts talking about the RICO Act and “aiding and abetting a class 1 drug”.  As we saw with Backpage getting shut down, the Feds can move in and close your site while you debate for years in court.  Weedmaps being open for 3 years while lawyers argue is a good move, the Fed’s seizing the site while you argue for a few years is bankruptcy.  I am guessing Weedmaps has some good lawyers and has thought this out very well.

Leafly and Eaze – Both owned by Privateer Holdings and have raised over $55million dollars on these two sites alone. Why?  Leafly is the prominent strain guide in the industry and runs a strong 2nd place to Weedmaps in dispensary menu management and mapping.  EAZE is a fully compliant delivery service now serving multiple states through their app and website, with California being their largest base of over 350,000 registered users.  EAZE takes the funnel even deeper by also running EAZE MD, which allows a person to get a medical marijuana card through their online service.  You can literally get your medical marijuana card, place an order, and have it delivered within an hour to your house while never leaving your driveway.  How easy would it be for Leafly to put an “ORDER NOW” button next to every strain that is indexed, send that person to a menu, see if EAZE services that zip code, and the deliver an ounce of Blue Dream to someone?

High Times –  The gold standard of cannabis names, but admittedly got left behind in the digital revolution.  That could all change as they are attempting a reverse merger on the NASDAQ stock exchange that would give them a $250mil market cap. They just bought Green Rush media for $7mil as a pure traffic play.   Green Rush reported around 10 million-page views a month in the press release, but it is hard to find confirmation of that by looking at their Alexa or SEM Rush stats.  Issac Detrich of MassRoots is an investor in High Times now, MassRoots just happens to be working on new apps for mapping and menu management.  Follow the money and connect the dots.

CannaSOS– A cannabis site that just completed a successful ICO and is already selling cannabis products online in their store.  Based out of Canada and developed in Europe, they will have the capital to deploy in this same arena.

MarijuanaStocks.com – one of the most valuable domains for the future as people looking for cannabis stock information might surge in the next few years, ya think?  At around 300,000 visitors per month and already getting calls about funding and being bought out by major stock market players.

Wait, all the companies you mentioned are websites that are privately held, any “real” companies doing this??

Have you ever heard of Namaste Technologies out of Canada?  Publicly traded and very crafty in setting up this exact model, build out demand and then fill in supply, a “Lean Start-Up” diagram.  They currently have 30 websites in 30 countries (languages too) that sell ancillary products like bongs and vaporizers.  Coincidently, they just happen to buy Cannamart and they are very close to being able to sell cannabis online to all their Canadian traffic.  The retail license should get approval this month.  Build up millions of page views in your store and then add in your cannabis products where you can, and geo-target them.  Did you see they also announced a deal in Australia?  You can see where this is all going…(PS- full disclosure, I am long Namaste stock).

Cannabis websites with traffic are worth more than gold right now to growers, big sellers, and people like Namaste, Eaze, etc.  Since they are unable to take $10,000 a day and put it into ads on Facebook, Instagram, or Google, traffic is even more valuable.  Large players need to lock up sites that rank well and have traffic to ensure future profit margins.  Do you want to compete with Matt at Herb.co or Cannabis.net for an order or click when we pay $0.03 in content costs for that lead?  What is the cost of a new client for a dispensary right now?  Since they give so much away in coupons and credit on your first visit to a dispensary, I am guessing the ballpark of a new lead or a new client is north of $100 overall when you consider things like rent, employees, compliance, grow facilities and such.  I am guessing the lifetime value of a customer to a dispensary is in the thousands, hence, still a good return.

Do you want to have a contest on who wins if I can get a cannabis order for $0.03 online, give it to a provider or ship it myself, and create margins through the mail of over 100% per order?  As Jeff Bezos so eloquently said, “Your margins are my opportunity.”  The cannabis niche if removed from the Controlled Substance Act, will be no different, margin compression from the Internet will force some brick and mortars to close up shop.

It is just a numbers game, and the sites with traffic are beyond valuable.

Wait, if we remove cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act, won’t’ Facebook and Google allow ads and then we have a competitive marketplace?  Yes, and no. Google and Facebook could change their policies after a Federal change, but how quickly?  A year?  Two years?  If 8 Southern states keep cannabis illegal at the state level, will Google and Facebook allow ads and just block those states?

Either way, if they do allow ads, and we are all competing on the same landscape of $25.00 clicks for the keyword “Blue Dream” or “Kiva Chocolate Special”, online sites with traffic are still creating hundreds of “free orders” from organic traffic, hence keeping our cost per lead 75% below what a brick and mortar is going to have by just using AdWords.

What does it all mean?

Cannabis sites with traffic are sources of unlimited orders.  Create more and more good content, great a good opt-in or sales funnel, and you are off in the race to become the Amazon of Weed.  They can become the source of a lifetime of orders, traffic, and can be set up for all sorts of monetization.  How would Canopy or Namaste like 100 orders for cannabis a day to start online to start?  Aphria interested?  Big Pharma about to sell cannabis-based medicine might just be interested, no?

If cannabis is removed from the “Controlled Substance List” completely, you just removed all the disincentive for cannabis websites to get in the game and sell cannabis.

Investors, dispensaries, and large cannabis funds have a choice, invest and buy cannabis sites now, or they will turn into your competition within 24 months.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerApril 23, 2018
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5min6882

Every day around the world, content is being created and deleted in a never-ending cycle that mirrors our own circle of life. For the most part, the content that gets deleted from social media platforms, such as YouTube or Facebook, gets deleted for good reason. Sometimes the content is illegal or it violates community policy. But then sometimes content gets deleted for the wrong reasons, political reasons.

And when content gets deleted for political purposes, those affected are left crying foul and wondering what is it they did to earn their deletion. One need only look as far as Marihuana Television, a Spanish-language YouTube Channel, to find a perfect example.

For many Spanish-speaking cannabis users, Marihuana Television is their go-to source for all things cannabis. Featuring how-to guides and up-to-date news, Marihuana Television looks like any other mainstream YouTube channel but with cannabis; which is why many were shocked to find that the channel had been deleted with no explanation.

Although cannabis itself is illegal in most of the developed world, cannabis content is not. While you may not be able to purchase a cannabis ad on Facebook or YouTube; you can watch, create and share cannabis contently freely on the internet. On YouTube alone, there are hundreds of thousands of cannabis-centered channels, which is what makes Marihuana Television’s deletion all the more strange.

Typically in order to determine whether or not to ban/delete an account or channel, YouTube uses a strike system. If a user violates YouTube community standards or violates copyright law, the user will get a strike. Just like baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out; unless it’s a particularly egregious violation, in which case the user is instantly banned.

But by all accounts, Marihuana Television was compliant with YouTube policy. There was no warning and there were no strikes, the channel was simply deleted. The creative minds behind Marihuana Television think the channel’s deletion is part of a wider effort on behalf of YouTube to censor Spanish-language cannabis content on the platform, and in a statement, they issued a fiery condemnation of the site.

“From Marihuana Television we want to denounce cannabis censorship, freedom of expression and information after the closure of our channel. During the last 6 years, our Youtube channel has been a reference of information on the cannabis culture in Spanish,” reads the statement. “Therefore, Marihuana Television will continue to be faithful to its founding principles. We will keep fighting for the right to inform the millions of people throughout the world who use marijuana in a responsible way.”

Although tracking the exact number of cannabis videos and channels that have been unfairly deleted on YouTube is incredibly difficult, if not next to impossible, there is some anecdotal evidence to bolster the claims made by Marihuana Television.

Some Spanish-language cannabis YouTube channels similar to Marihuana Television, such as Growbarato and Lamarihuana.com, have found themselves either deleted or issued strikes from YouTube in recent weeks. Other channels, such as Undergrow TV, have issued their own statements condemning the censorship and some have started petitions asking YouTube to stop their censorship of cannabis-related videos.

Although the path forward for the people behind Marihuana Television is not entirely clear, the group is currently considering taking legal action if possible. For the time being, however, Marihuana Television will continue creating content, only this time it will be shared on Vimeo instead of YouTube.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtFebruary 7, 2018
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2min2950

CannaBIZ and Company will be live today at 1 pm eastern on Facebook. 

Join us for our weekly half-hour CannaBIZ and Company broadcast LIVE on our Facebook page. Hosted by Jamie Cooper and Debra Borchardt and powered by Cannabiz Connection and Green Market Report.
Debra will be interviewing Cannabis Benchmark’s CEO Jonathan Rubin on wholesale cannabis prices. Rubin will be talking about how harvest season is testing the national bottom in prices. You don’t want to miss that!

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 29, 2018
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3min3440

Advertising Week and PRØHBTD MEDIA have extended their exclusive strategic partnership to further develop content and consulting services for brands in the cannabis space and beyond. The two companies first teamed up last year at Advertising Week in New York where PROHBTD impressed the New York crowd with its video stories on emerging cannabis brands like the chocolatier Defonce.

The partnership is starting strong with a video docuseries called “Branding Bud,” along with an editorial platform and a podcast series that will examine cannabis brands. There will be a special focus on what goes on behind the scenes of building a brand in the cannabis world and how that effects design, marketing, and diversity.

PRØHBTD MEDIA CEO and founder, Drake Sutton-Shearer, said, “We’re honored that Advertising Week has chosen to continue working with us. With the cannabis industry positioned to exponentially grow beyond $40 billion within the next five years, cannabis brands need help telling their stories to mainstream audiences and potential acquirers. Mainstream brands also need guidance to communicate with cannabis consumers in genuine and brand-safe ways. This partnership enables PRØHBTD to continue our mission of connecting brands with consumers via the Advertising Week platform.”
Advertising Week APAC, which takes place from 30 July and 2 August 2018, will see the debut of the “Cannabis in Australia” sessions to help educate and introduce leading cannabis brands to the Australian market, before returning to the United States for Advertising Week in New York in October 2018.
“The Advertising Week platform has always been about helping brands and marketers navigate what’s coming next in the technology and marketing space,” said Lance Pillersdorf, Advertising Week co-founder, and COO. “We’re excited to expand our partnership with PRØHBTD MEDIA to ensure the Week continues to bring a fresh perspective and provocative global conversations to delegates all around the world.”
Advertising for cannabis companies is a huge challenge since many of the traditional outlets are off limits. Cannabis companies are finding that building a brand name is harder than normal since even social media outlets reject the most innocuous ads. Last year’s cannabis sessions at Ad Week in New York were heavily attended as there was a large desire to learn more about cannabis branding.

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtNovember 15, 2017
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4min3690

Public relations company  KCSA Strategic Communications has taken the lead among New York media companies to get involved with cannabis industry companies. As a result of this commitment, KCSA has launched a new podcast called “The Green Rush.” The podcast has been launched in conjunction with a dedicated public relations branch with investor relations and a social media cannabis practice. The new website created for this new arm will serve the specific needs of leaders in the cannabis industry across the entire supply chain.

KCSA is using “The Green Rush,” hosted by Managing Partner Lewis Goldberg and Managing Director Anne Donohoe, as a platform for conversations with industry leaders, the media, cannapreneurs and public advocates about the big issues facing this dynamic industry. The company has been working with clients in the cannabis space for more than five years and has deep institutional knowledge as well as access to decision-makers, investors, entrepreneurs, and analysts who are writing the rules for this new marketplace.

 

“The Green Rush is real. With nearly 300 publicly listed cannabis companies, tens of thousands of retail investors, and a seemingly insatiable appetite in the mainstream and trade press for stories about cannabis companies, the opportunity to help shape this industry was too interesting to ignore,” said Mr. Goldberg. “While the cannabis industry is still very young, and sits in a regulatory gray area, we believe that we are only at the very beginning of defining this growing industry.”

KCSA has always been a forward-looking public and investor relations agency, and it is with that in mind that they decided to launch this practice, headed up by Mr. Goldberg on the public relations team and Managing Director Phil Carlson from the investor relations team.

“Companies need the ability to tell their stories effectively to investors, market participants, regulators, legislators and even consumers. KCSA has a proven track record of working with entrepreneurial companies, C-suite executives and boards to define and deliver a clear message, call to action and then measure the impact that we have on a company’s bottom line,” continued Mr. Goldberg.

Mr. Carlson added, “The appetite among institutions for information about publicly traded cannabis companies has never been greater. While there is a massive reticence to invest institutional dollars in this sector, the flow of capital from high-net-worth individuals, family offices and general partners at hedge funds and private equity firms into cannabis companies is accelerating. Facilitating access to these types of individuals and capital is the type of value that our cannabis practice brings to our clients every day.”

“The Green Rush” podcast is a weekly, 30-minute show and can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and other popular podcatchers. Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Donohoe will be speaking with lawmakers, investment bankers, CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors, among others who are transforming cannabis away from the shadows of the black market into a thriving, legitimate industry.

Initial guests on “The Green Rush” include Alan Lien, Founder and President of Solis-Tek, Alan Brochstein, founder/creator of 420 Investor and New Cannabis Ventures and Debra Borchardt, Co-Founder, CEO, and Editor-In-Chief of Green Market Report.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtNovember 2, 2017
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4min9280

The Federal government says marijuana is illegal but is sanctioning cannabis advertising in an airport. Organa Brands, one of the largest privately owned cannabis companies launched the first ever in-airport public service announcement (PSA) about cannabis. SecurityPoint Media is the company behind the campaign and whose programs have been vetted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The campaign will debut in airports in Southern California with branded trays across all terminals at security checkpoints. The message will read, “Cannabis is legal, traveling with it is not. Leave it in California.” It is expected to be seen by 15 million people.

Organa Brands approached SecurityPoint Media with the idea and is paying for the PSA. The airport has the ultimate say over the campaign and its wording. “The TSA doesn’t get involved in ad copy,” said Joe Ambrefe, Chief Executive Officer of Security Point. “All the airport people approved of it,” he added. Ambrefe did concede that the TSA does have its eye on it and would step in if it was problematic. “It’s a positive message,” he said.

TSA officers do not search for marijuana, but if they observe it can refer the matter to a law enforcement officer. The TSA was established in 2001 following the September 11 attacks to detect terrorism and was moved to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

“When we first came up with the plan, we thought there was no chance that the airport or the TSA would ever approve us running a PSA in this space. We are still so amazed to see them in use at the airport,” said Brittany Hallett, Marketing Director at Organa Brands. Organa Brands believes this public service announcement will lead the movement for the next generation of cannabis advertising and legitimize their position as a cannabis powerhouse.

“This is a step in the right direction toward further acceptance of cannabis as a mainstream business,” says Jeremy von Heidl, Co-founder, and President of Organa Brands International. “We wanted to get out ahead of recreational legalization in California with a meaningful public service announcement. The security trays have been a great way to reach our consumers and the reaction has been overall very positive. I think it’s a huge sign of changing perceptions around cannabis that you can walk into an airport and see our brands and our messaging in security trays at the checkpoint.”

The 12-month campaign is seeking to educate cannabis consumers as California enters its first year of legalized adult use marijuana. In a statement, the company said, “By running a public service announcement in a major airport for the first year that California offers recreational marijuana, Organa Brands hopes to ensure the focus at the security checkpoint remains safety and security.”

Hallett said, “The message the trays carry is an important one. We’re very excited for the public to have better access to this information as we move into a new recreational market in California.”



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