MJBiz CEO Chris Walsh Stepping Down

Walsh helped launch MJBiz in 2011, becoming CEO in 2020.

Longtime cannabis industry insider Chris Walsh, CEO of trade show and news publishing company MJBiz, is stepping down from the helm next month.

Chris Walsh, CEO, MJBiz

According to MJBizDaily – one of the publications Walsh helped launch in 2011 – he was tapped as CEO in 2020, after initially serving as the company’s founding editor.

Many credit Walsh and MJBiz with helping bring the cannabis industry more into the mainstream of U.S. business, with the annual MJBizCon trade show in Las Vegas, the news website MJBizDaily (originally known as Marijuana Business Daily), its sister publication MJBizMagazine, and the annual MJBiz Factbook.

The trade show in particular, MJBizCon, grew by leaps and bounds throughout much of the last decade, going from just a few thousand attendees in its early years to a high point of roughly 35,000 attendees in 2019, as the U.S. cannabis industry itself exploded in popularity and headcount.

The company was purchased for $120 million in January 2022 by Emerald X, a subsidiary of Emerald Holding, which runs roughly 150 trade shows across the country every year, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol EEX.

Walsh said he doesn’t have any plans for his next venture.

“This is the natural evolution of companies, industries, and my career,” Walsh said. “Things change. MJBiz is in a great place.”

Emerald X leadership thanked Walsh for his time with the company and wished him well.

“We are grateful for Chris’ leadership during this year of transition with Emerald and respect his legacy here,” said Karalynn Sprouse, an executive vice president for Emerald.

Walsh is also the latest longtime employee to depart the company. A number of other staffers departed after the acquisition deal this past January, including two that moved to Green Market Report. But MJBiz has made a number of high-profile reporting hires this year as well, such as New York City-based Chris Roberts.

John Schroyer


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