The Fresh Toast Archives - Green Market Report

StaffFebruary 4, 2020


Editors Note: This story was republished from The Fresh Toast with their approval. The author is David Hodes.

Check the charts of these cannabis companies in the Canadian and U.S. stock market: Tilray$148.30 a share in October 2018, now $18.97Canopy Growth, $51.53 a share in September 2018, now $23.43; MedMen, $6.49 a share in October 2018, now $.40MassRoots $2.04 a share in September 2015, now $.0050, losing nearly $50 million dollars by the middle of 2017 alone. 

Wow. The mightiest companies in the cannabis industry have taken drastic falls over the last few years, most of them coming since late 2018, and the bottom is still not in sight. 

The Canadian and U.S. cannabis stock markets have reached their lowest point since October 2017, after reaching a peaking in January 2018.  

These big cannabis business are founded and managed by men who represent two different bro cultures: the financial world bro culture, which are venture capitalists just making a buck off the latest business bounce, and the canna-bro culture, a startup hustler in a state of almost disbelief as their hobby-turned-goldmine was looking like a billion-dollar-plus easy money take. 

While these two bro cultures both saw a lot of happiness coming their way at first (insert awkward fist bump here), they are now pointing fingers at each other to assign blame for the serious crashing of the cannabis stock market 

At first, industry insiders thought that the cannabis industry would be another run, which was essentially a tech geek bro culture. Tech geek bros like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, all in their early 20s, fiddled with digital magic and changed the world, becoming billionaires along the way. There were massive failures early on, but eventual corrections. 

Startup and investor bros in the tech geek world adopted habits of reckless spending and excessive partying during those heady early days, where bad behavior was not just tolerated but even encouraged, according to an article in the New York Times. 

Now it’s the canna-businesses turn. Fast-moving canna-bros took the industry to unbelievable heights, partying like billionaires-to-be. But as the stock prices show, the correction has begun. The party is over. 

What went wrong? As tricky as it is to create the next greatest software, the guys never had to face a dozen or so of the obstacles that the canna-bros face: Cannabis is a federally illegal substance, a plant that is not easy to grow. Plus, banks don’t serve the industry, insurance is not available, small business loans are not available, you can’t advertise even on Facebook, you can’t distribute across state lines, taxes are so high that consumers go back to the black market, which continues to thrive, and Congress refuses to move the needle on legalization which would fix nearly all of those issues. 

Yikes. Talk about an impediment to success. Jumping into a game like that is not for the faint of heart. Or the killer business builder. 

Tilray’s stunning decline came under the watchful eye of President and CEO Brendan Kennedy, an avid Ironman competitor, and an engineer graduate with an MBA from Yale. 

This nascent industry is full of trapdoors like no other industry, and an entrepreneur and whatever bro-crew he can put together, with solid backgroundin business management or retail or manufacturing, is up against a new kind of monster, Yale MBA be damned. 

Cannabis is a state-by-state mash-up of messy business rules and regulations. Prices go up, taxes go up, packaging and grow regulations change and the investor or startup guru has to retool or rework an entire network of properties or lose an entire crop, spending millions, borrowing more, scaring off investors, while constantly trying to scale up the business and somehow make it profitable. 

medmen facing serious backlash following allegations of racism
Photo courtesy Medmen

That ain’t what cannabros expected. They expected cool parties, wide-eyed respect from business people in other industries, Hollywood celebrities texting them while they lift weights and tan in their local gym showing off their tattoos before jumping into their Maserati. 

MedMen was one of the first huge cannabis businesses, led by cannabis bro guru CEO Adam Bierman, who says he is a canna-bro of Kennedy at Tilraywhich was the first U.S. cannabis company to sell shares to the public, and knows the seven canna-bros (who are actually brothers) at Stanley Brothers, makers of Charlotte’s Web cannabidiol oil. 

Interviewed on stage during the 2019 National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Seed to Sale show in Boston in February, Bierman was, as bros are wont to be, still loud and proud about his business. 

Bierman’s favorite song is Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” which he described as “the soundtrack to my life.” He says that some of these cannabis companies, like Canopy Growth, have crashed because they just “managed stock” with narratives about the industry, instead of concentrating on business fundamentals and building equity with brands. 

The cannabis culture is faced with things that the tech geek culture didn’t have to face, like social media, he says. “We are a public startup coming up in a brand new age of fake news and Twitter and noise and nonsense like that.” That social media noise factor recently jumped up a notch for MedMen.  

lawsuit by the company CFO, James Parker, who was fired in November 2018outlined a classic canna-bro bad behavior scenario at MedMen, involving new houses, private jets, and a custom Tesla, all while Bierman was taking a $1.5 million annual salary. MedMen recently announced layoffs. 

Meanwhile, other class action lawsuits against TilrayCanopy Growth, and others are piling up, and canna-bros are scrambling for cover. Seems like the party is over, broham—at least for now. 

William SumnerAugust 1, 2019


It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for August 1, 2019.

On the Site

Executive Spotlight: Jamie Warm, CEO and Co-Founder of Henry’s Original

Jamie Warm is the CEO and Co-Founder of Henry’s Original. Despite the young age of the legal industry, Jamie has only had one career: growing cannabis. At Henry’s Original,  his responsibilities include setting the overall strategic vision of the company, driving retail penetration and nurturing the financial health of the company.

Tribune Publishing Enters Agreement With The Fresh Toast For Cannabis News

The medical and recreational marijuana industry just received a major boost with consumers.   Like Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Amazon, and other retailers embrace CBD, now mainstream media is working to give consumers the knowledge on how to use and where to shop.   Tribune Publishing Co. (NASDAQ: TPCO), the owner of the Chicago Tribune, NY Daily News, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, Hartford Courant and more along with syndicating content to over 500 United States newspapers, has entered a partnership with The Fresh Toast, one of the largest cannabis media companies in the industry.

Nielsen Predicts Legal Cannabis Sales In The U.S. To Reach $41 Billion By 2025

Cannabis was featured in Nielsen Company’s Total Consumer Report 2019, with the data and information company predicting the sales of cannabis consumer packaged goods to rise 5x that 2018’s sales. They forecast that the sales of all legalized cannabis products in the U.S. could reach $41 billion by 2025.

In Other News


Today, Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA) (NYSE: APHA) announced their financial results for the fourth quarter, ending on May 31, 2019. Net revenue was C$128.6 million, up 75% from the previous quarter. Revenue from adult-use cannabis was C$18.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA from cannabis operations was C$1.9 million. The net loss was C$15.76 million.  “It’s a new day at Aphria. Our team’s solid execution across key areas of our business resulted in strong adult-use revenue growth and a profitable fourth quarter,” stated Irwin D. Simon. “Over the last six months, our organization identified immediate priorities to help generate substantial progress near-term and long-term.”

Harvest Health & Recreation

Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. (CSE: HARV) (OTCQX: HRVSF) today preannounced its unaudited revenue for the second quarter. Revenue is estimated to be between $26-$27 million, and between $75-$77 million when counting pending acquisitions of Falcon, Verano, CannaPharmacy and Devine Holdings and the closed acquisitions of Leaf Life and Urban Greenhouse. The company will release its full financial results on August 15, 2019.

Cadiz Inc.

Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI) announced that it has entered a joint venture partnership with Glass House Farms, which is a division of California Cannabis Enterprises. Operating under the name SoCal Hemp Co., up to 9,600 acres of hemp will be cultivated at Cadiz Ranch in San Bernardino County, California. “The sun-drenched, isolated natural environment at the Cadiz Ranch is ideal for the commercial production of organically sun-grown hemp and natural hemp-derived products, including CBD, which are presently driving market growth,” said Glass House Farms President Graham Farrar. “With plants already in the ground at the largest agricultural operation in San Bernardino County, we are working closely with the team at Cadiz to leverage our collective strengths. We look forward to bringing our full operation online and being a long-term, trusted partner and resource to the local community, our customers and clients.”

Debra BorchardtAugust 1, 2019


The medical and recreational marijuana industry just received a major boost with consumers.   Like Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Amazon, and other retailers embrace CBD, now mainstream media is working to give consumers the knowledge on how to use and where to shop.   Tribune Publishing Co. (NASDAQ: TPCO), the owner of the Chicago Tribune, NY Daily News, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, Hartford Courant and more along with syndicating content to over 500 United States newspapers, has entered a partnership with The Fresh Toast, one of the largest cannabis media companies in the industry.

The relationship should ensure the marijuana and CBD industry each reaches $20 billion in sales by 2022. That’s because millions of average Americans will be exposed daily to cannabis content in one of their familiar news sources – their local newspaper.

“We continue to serve readers with topical, engaging information,” said Colin McMahon, Chief Content Officer of Tribune Publishing.  “We look forward to collaborating with The Fresh Toast.”

Tribune Content Agency, a division of Tribune Publishing, is capitalizing on a growing public interest in marijuana and related products, including cannabidiol (CBD), as well as the medical marijuana movement that has already made doctor-supervised cannabis use legal in two-thirds of US states. Today eleven states plus the District of Columbia have legalized adult-use marijuana.

Many mainstream publications – from AARP to Fox News to the New York Times – have included stories on the industry.   Retailers and brands should get a boost from the deal as marijuana products become more mainstream and customers develop a user comfort level.

This is also a big win for The Fresh Toast, who already partners with Canada’s leading newspaper company Postmedia which makes them the largest voice in the Canada marijuana space.  The majority of marijuana sites focus on the lifestyle cannabis consumer, not unlike Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast.    The Fresh Toast targets the other 91% and their content has been very successful on Apple News, newspapers and on Facebook.

The Fresh Toast has the largest organic traffic and caters to a broad audience.   The timing has also been very good for the company as it also comes as it is close to completing an investment raise.

“We are proud to partner with a respected media company like Tribune” says JJ McKay, founder/publisher of The Fresh Toast.  “Our team works hard every day to provide useful content that meets the consumer/reader where they are and at their interest level.”

The Fresh Toast has identified itself as the mass market media in a crowded space.   High Times, Dope, Civilized and other media companies have expanded into the special event space to earn revenue. MJ Business Daily is an industry site with a large conference component and Prohbtd is a sponsored content/sales site.    The Fresh Toast has had breakout success in expanding past the stoner market into the mass audience.

The Fresh Toast also works in the medical professional space, currently working with over 50,000 physicians to help them understand medical marijuana and giving them opportunities to engage the patient in general treatment options.   The Tribune partnership will open doors to patients who can benefit from medical marijuana and better guide conversations. Tribune is expected to publish its second-quarter earnings on August 7 after the market closes.

StaffApril 15, 2019


The Fresh Toast reported that it has had 11 days of unprecedented traffic with Saturday setting another huge single-day record.   The company’s publisher JJ McKay said that he is expecting a 10-15% increase this month.   “We have rocketed on Alexa, Amazon’s digital tracking service, and surpassed High Times globally as well as maintaining our lead in the US.”

The company stressed that its traffic was organic and not purchased. Some cannabis websites have recently seen their page views plunge as paying for traffic became unsustainable.

PostMedia out of Canada said that The Fresh Toast was their number one cannabis content partner. McKay said that it was the largest mainstream voice in cannabis. “Weedmaps, Leafly and High Times all focus on the stoner/connoisseur – roughly 19% of the market and we have the other 81%,” he said.

Last month the cannabis media company launched an updated, fresh site. McKay said that the company had moved into the dominant consumer and medical marijuana media position in Canada and have laid the framework in the United States. “Once the new site “settled in, it started roaring with traffic,” McKay said, adding that the new platform allowed the company to enhance advertising income and, in April the company would begin posting sponsored content.  “With the updated site, we will be able to take advantage of Apple’s (AAPL) new focus.  Currently, we are a lead cannabis channel on Apple News,” McKay said.

The Fresh Toast stated that from its data sources it strongly appeals to 71% of the market and moderately appeals to another 10%.   “19% of the heavy cannabis users may read us for fun, but maybe not for knowledge,” said McKay. “The flip can be said for the more weed-centric sites like Weedmaps, Leafly, Herb, etc. with them appealing to 19-26% of the market.”

In addition to providing general cannabis news, The Fresh Toast has a partnership with physicians and medical professions and positions the website to be the “medical information source for mainstream physicians and doctor’s offices in the US and Canada” recommended by physicians in clinics and offices around the country.  The Fresh Toast also has a continuum of care for medical marijuana use overseen by a doctor, giving readers a journey from learning about cannabis and their illness, reading patient stories, and ending with how to use the product and where to purchase.

Capital Raise

With equity funding, we will be profitable within a year and highly profitable within two years.  Investors/champions include a former Dan Nordstrom, Carolyn Kelly (former president of the Seattle Times), Glenn Johnson (former EVP/ President Alaska Air Group), Denny Post, and a host of other blue-chip names.  Some investors have chosen to remain private.

StaffNovember 20, 2018


LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2018 /AxisWire/ AxisWire, the cannabis industry’s first tech platform designed for cannabis entrepreneurs to expose their brands and cannabis journalists to seek out breaking stories, announced today the official winners of the inaugural STAR Media Awards.

“Removing the stigma and reversing the perceptional course of cannabis in the world requires mass media and strategic communications efforts,” expressed Cynthia Salarizadeh, Founder of AxisWire and Managing Partner. “The men and women behind changing the conversation and course of cannabis have been largely ignored for their part in industry advancement. In an open effort to recognize their massive contributions, and to provide an opportunity to thank them for their work, the collective teams of AxisWire and a majority of the top PR firms throughout cannabis came together to award the journalists and publications that we have all been working closely with since the start of regulation. They each deserve the recognition.”

Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, the STAR Media Awards were designed to honor excellence cannabis writing; an often under recognized facet of the cannabis industry.  Attending the ceremony were some of the best and brightest in the world of cannabis journalism, many of whom have been covering the cannabis space for decades with little to no recognition.

The 2018 Star Media Award winners are:

  • Best Traditional Cannabis Publication – High Times
  • Best New Cannabis Publication – Green Entrepreneur
  • Best Cannabis Business Publication – MJ Biz Daily
  • Best Cannabis Print Publication – DOPE
  • Best Cannabis Culture Publication – Civilized
  • Best Cannabis Digital Publication – The Fresh Toast
  • Best Cannabis Culture Writer – Michelle Janikian
  • Best Cannabis Cultivation Writer – Danny Danko (High Times)
  • Best Cannabis Business Writer – Javier Hasse (Benzinga)
  • Best Cannabis Mainstream Writer – Alex Halperin (The Guardian)
  • Best Cannabis Freelance Writer – Sara Brittany Somerset (Forbes/Leafly)
  • Best Social Media Impact In Cannabis – Garyn Angel (Magical Butter)

Awards for the evening were presented by our keynote hosts that included Dr. Robert Flannery, Debra Borchardt, Rosie Mattio and Shawna McGregor. The event’s sponsors included Dr. Robb FarmsMood 33 InfusionsSaka WinesPassport CannabisGreenHouse Ventures LLC,PinkHaze, and Gold Q. The evening was flush with brands showering the media with product to thank them for all of their work.

About STAR (Submit To A Reporter):
The STAR Source Locator is the only platform in cannabis of its kind. This service will connect journalists seeking sources and content with entrepreneurs and industry leaders through a vast network of experts in all divisions of the cannabis space.  Subscribers will receive story requests directly to their emails and will cut through the random pitching of press, to an effective pitching process that is directed at stories the journalists are actively working on. STAR is free for journalists and is $99.99 per month for subscribers.

About AxisWire:
AxisWire, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the industry’s first tech platform designed for cannabis entrepreneurs to expose their brands and cannabis journalists to seek out breaking stories. The platform provides a newswire distribution and PR tech suite of services including press release distribution, press release writing, consulting and compliance services. AxisWire also features the STAR Source Locator specific to the cannabis industry to assist in facilitating story development between journalists and brands. This platform was created and now operating through a collaborative merger of the most influential and innovative PR and marketing firms operating within the cannabis industry. AxisWire is positioned to sit at the center of all things cannabis media. For more information, please visit Follow us on social media @AxisWire.

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