MJBiz Acquired by Emerald Holding for $120 million

Denver-based MJBiz, well known for its online B2B news and business content, has been acquired by Emerald X. Emerald is a subsidiary of Emerald Holding, a media and event company based in New York, and acquired MJBiz for a total of $120 million.

The acquisition includes MJBizCon, MJBizDaily, Hemp Industry Daily, MJBiz Magazine as well as The Emerald Conference, which MJBiz acquired back in 2020. According to Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s president and CEO, this acquisition will greatly benefit his company. “We have long admired MJBiz’s sterling reputation for being the most trusted event and content producer serving the business side of the cannabis and hemp industries and their respective participants. MJBiz’s leading event and content portfolio coupled with their 365-day engagement platform, which connects the entire cannabis supply chain, will diversify our collective product offerings, enhance our growth profile and enable us to deliver even greater value to our customers over the long term.”

MJBiz’s CEO Chris Walsh also shared that this move represents the cannabis industry’s growth. “This really highlights the rapidly growing interest in cannabis from all corners of the business world, the market’s vast potential and the success of not only MJBiz, but also of the entire industry,” Walsh said. “We’re seeing these types of deals across cannabis as pioneering companies such as ours level up to more effectively tap and foster the industry’s next wave of growth.”

MJBizCon’s most recent event was held in October 19-22, 2021, and attracted approximately 27,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada. The event boasts that it’s one of the largest and long-lasting cannabis business events, and will be celebrating its 11th year of operation in 2022 with the expectation that attendance will reach up to 30,000. Tentatively, the event date is set November 15-18, 2022. The Emerald Conference is slated to occur between February 27-March 1, 2022.

Emerald works on over 142 events and 16 media projects that cover a wide variety of markets, including design, equipment, retail, safety and security, and technology. The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, International Pizza Expo, Modern Day Marine, Retail Innovation Conference & Expo, Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, to name just a few events, are all hosted by Emerald.

According to MJBizDaily, the current team of about 40 people will continue working under its new company ownership, while Emerald employs over 600 people. CEO Chris Walsh, Senior Vice President of Events and Sales Jess Tyler and Senior Vice President of Content and Audience Development Pam Moore have been confirmed to continue working as part of MJBiz’s day-to-day activity.

Co-founders Cassandra Farmington and Anne Holland will also continue to consult. MJBiz Co-founder Cassandra Farmington is confident that MJBiz being absorbed into another will only strengthen both companies. “Our organization has experienced massive growth since its inception, initially as a how-to resource to help dispensary owners run their businesses better, into our position today as the leading commercial resource for the cannabis sector,” Farmington said. “Integrating with a larger organization provides the additional resources and channels to unlock the next phase of MJBiz’s growth and is the right next step in our evolution as a business. We chose Emerald because they clearly value the unique aspects of our brand and are committed to serving the industry’s expansion.”

Aside from the $120 million acquisition amount, but MJBiz notes that the earnout is based on future financial performance calculated as “an amount equal to the average MJBiz EBITDA over the past two years minus $13 million—multiplied by 9.3.” Emerald’s Chief Financial Officer projects that this earnout could amount to somewhere between $30 million to $50 million in early 2023.

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City of Denver Releases Annual Report on Local Cannabis Industry

Officials in the city of Denver released its annual cannabis industry report, which covers a wealth of information about most recent data and its comparison to previous years.

A report called “The Denver Collaborative Approach,” conducted by the city of Denver, Colorado, was released on September 20. This report has been consistently published every year since 2015, one year after recreational legalization was implemented. The report covers a wide variety of industry facts and figures, including cannabis taxes, sales and revenue, noteworthy accomplishments and more.

“As legalization spreads across the United States, Denver remains squarely in focus. More than ever, the city is looked at to provide guidance on how it effectively implemented and continues to manage the first-of-its-kind sales and commercialization of voter-approved retail marijuana,” the report states in its introduction. 

It continues to recap the fluid efforts of the Denver Office of Marijuana Policy and how it is constantly at work to ensure that the city’s cannabis industry remains compliant. “Denver continues its collaborative approach to marijuana management, remaining nimble and flexible to keep pace with the sustained growth of sales and innovation in the marijuana industry, while remaining in constant communication with the industry and residents to ensure balance among many competing interests.”

In January 2014, Denver was home to 731 medical cannabis business licenses and 270 retail licenses. As of January 2021, the number of licenses is much more balanced, sitting at 441 and 476 respectively (although January 2020 showed similar results).

The report’s sales data only reflects sales that were collected in 2020. Between 2019 and 2020, recreational cannabis sales increased by 18 percent, and medical cannabis sales increased by 31 percent. For the entirety of the state of Colorado during the same timeframe, recreational cannabis sales increased by 25 percent, with medical sales expanding at a rate of 31 percent.

Unsurprisingly, 32.6 percent of the state’s recreational cannabis sales came from the city and county of Denver. This exhibits a consistent decrease in sales from Denver, which suggests that cities outside of Denver have continued to grow and expand. As a whole, combined Colorado retail and medical cannabis sales is recorded at $715 million during 2020 (a 21 percent increase from 2019).

So far in 2021, $24.6 million of the city’s cannabis revenue was granted toward “affordable housing and homelessness services, youth violence prevention, STAR program pilot implementation, leases and other one-time equipment costs.”

The report spotlights some of the city’s accomplishments between 2014-2020, which includes donating money toward various community services, such as free after-school and summer programs for children and the establishment of a recreation center in 2018. The report also notes what other changes it seeks to implement. First, the city intends to examine how it can further assist local cannabis businesses on a financial, technical and business support level. It also aims to “provide social equity applicants licensing exclusivity for most licenses for the next six years and the exclusive ability to conduct deliveries for the next three years.” 

Second, it wants to continue a focus on clearing cannabis-related convictions with its Turn Over a New Leaf Program, which was first put into effect in 2019. So far, the program has received 583 applications, and 94 convictions were labeled as “eligible” for expungement.

“Under the leadership of Mayor Hancock, the city has adopted a collaborative model to manage marijuana, which includes multiple agencies working together to preserve, protect and enhance Denver’s excellent quality of life. This work is grounded in the city’s priorities of marijuana management, including robust regulation, strict enforcement, effective education and equitable access to the industry.”

The report’s last section goes into great detail about the city’s law enforcement data, including details about black market sales and common offenses. The Denver Police Department collected 3,098 pounds of illegal cannabis in 2020. Local police report that cannabis-related offenses account for less than one percent of all crime in the city of Denver, with a total of 435 in 2020 (out of the city’s total offenses across the board, which sits at 73,322).

“The Denver Collaborative Approach” report is a valuable source of information regarding the city’s cannabis industry, and it’s a positive example of a city embracing all aspects of cannabis within its borders.

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Legal Pot Delivery Sales Launch in Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado-based dispensary Strawberry Fields and the Doobba delivery service announced pot deliveries will be open to the public today, August 23. The companies completed their first six legal pot deliveries on August 19 during a soft launch test round.

Strawberry Fields is Denver’s first dispensary that received a permit for delivery, while Doobba was Denver’s first delivery service to receive a license, and several other companies are in the process of nearing operation. 

In order for a dispensary to offer delivery, it is required to either qualify under a social equity designation intended to benefit communities negatively impacted by the War on Drugs, or partner with a social equity delivery company—Doobba, in this case. Strawberry Fields chose the latter route, partnering with Doobba to meet the city’s requirements. 

Per city code, dispensaries cannot operate delivery themselves; instead, they must go through third party transporter businesses. The city has issued four transporter licenses, according to Denver city data.

Doobba’s owners, the husband-and-wife team Ari and Karina Cohen—plan on expanding into more dispensaries in the future. Ari qualified for social equity status because he has previously been arrested for cannabis “lifetimes ago.” The company was close to an agreement to deliver for L’Eagle, according to Doobba co-founder Ari, and is in talks with other companies such as Seed & Smith.

“We are thrilled to be able to deliver cannabis to customers in Denver and Aurora,” Doobba co-founder and CEO Karina Cohen told High Times. “It’s a first step in helping Doobba in ending cannabis prohibition. Customers who live in Denver and Aurora can also sign up for unlimited delivery membership on doobba.com

Both of the Cohens have a long history of working in the cannabis industry, and together, they are excited to take on these new challenges. 

How Cannabis Delivery Works

Ordering cannabis delivery works in a similar manner to ordering food or alcohol delivered to your door. Think DoorDash for weed. Customers go to the Doobba or Strawberry Fields websites, or they can go through one of several online dispensary menu services, such as I Heart Jane, for delivery. They then choose a time frame for the delivery and receive updates via text message about their order’s progress. 

Doobba is currently giving customers a two-hour time frame for deliveries.

Denver allows people ages 21 and older to order cannabis for delivery between the hours of 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Deliveries can cross into other jurisdictions that also allow delivery, such as nearby in Aurora.

Last July, Doobba handed in the first application for a license to deliver cannabis. Strawberry Fields will rely on Doobba for the time being to carry out deliveries across Denver city proper during the early stages of the rollout.

Currently only five other dispensaries are permitted for delivery in Denver: Cookies, Denver Kush Club, Diego Pellicer, L’Eagle and Star Buds. But Strawberry Fields and dooba are the first to become operational, as none of the others launched delivery services yet. A small number of stores and transporter services are currently awaiting approval from the city.

It appears as though several other companies are positioning to get involved in cannabis delivery as well. “Most people still don’t know this is available,” Cohen told Westword. “Like anything that’s new, normally it would take a year for everyone in Denver to realize they can do this. We’re going to try our darnedest to get to that point within three months.” Delivery sales are poised to become a convenient way to order cannabis in the area.

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Thursday, April 8, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, April 8, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Virginia moves cannabis legalization to July 1 2021 (Leafly (AP))

// Investigators in Matt Gaetz inquiry looking into Bahamas travel sources say (NBC News)

// Alabama House Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Already Passed The Senate (Marijuana Moment)

These headlines are brought to you by Atlantic Farms, a Maine-based multistate cannabis business with operations in Maine and Massachusetts. Atlantic Farms is looking for people to help it grow and evolve as investors. Open up TheAtlanticFarms.com for more on the company and email info@theatlanticfarms.com to learn about investment opportunities.

// Texas Lawmakers Tackle Marijuana Decriminalization Medical Cannabis And Hemp In Committee Hearings (Marijuana Moment)

// Plus Products 2020 Revenue Increases 15% to $15.9 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Trulieve Raises C$250 Million Selling Shares at C$50 (New Cannabis Ventures)

// South Carolina Senator Threatens To Block ‘Every Single Other Bill’ If Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Get A Vote (Marijuana Moment)

// Green Thumb poised to build out $50 million cannabis facility in New York (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Denver discusses permanently allowing drive-thru walk-up dispensary sales (Denver Channel 7 ABC)

// States Keep Repeating the Same Mistake With Marijuana Legalization (Slate)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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10 dispensaries to buy weed in Denver

Denver offers unlimited variety and customer care when it comes to its many dispensaries — no surprise since it’s one of the top destinations for selling weed. You can even find cannabis-friendly AirBnBs among the gorgeous views and vast outdoor recreation activities. But with so many good options, where can you find the best of the best when it comes to cannabis quality and assurance? 

Below, we compiled our Weedmaps’ exclusive, curated list of the best dispensaries to buy weed in Denver. By gathering amazing reviews, robust menus, verified products, and more, we’ve summoned excellence and assurance for cannabis consumers across the spectrum. 

For an in-depth peek at all 2020 Best of Weedmaps offerings, check out the top-rated dispensaries in your state.

Where’s your favorite dispensary? 

Alternative Medicine of Capitol Hill

Chock-full of stoney cannabis products including over 100 edibles and 30 homegrown strains, AMCH is often lauded for the quality in their quantity. Reviewers appreciate their friendly service and knowledgeable budtenders, with many noting the staff’s openness and vast cannabis knowledge.

Check out AMCH on Weedmaps

Leiffa — Medical only

Known for their potent concentrates, Leiffa keeps their inventory stocked with exotic genetics to guarantee variety and quality for their many medical patients. Stop by on Wednesdays for 15% off on all Leiffa rosin and premium rosin. 

They’ve also partnered with Green For Green, and have been lessening their environmental impact by offering recycling of used cannabis containers right at the dispensary.

Check out Leiffa on Weedmaps

Wolf Pac Cannabis

If you’re a first-time patron of Wolf Pac Cannabis, expect 10% off your order, along with Denver veterans and birthdays. Customers love the vibe and helpful staff along with rotating deals. Many reviewers also mention their unique merchandise often, so you might walk out with fresh bud and new attire.

Check out Wolf Pac Cannabis on Weedmaps

Herbs 4 You

Herbs 4 You is the perfect place to find markdowns and deals with their numerous awards programs, including punch cards, Belly Rewards, and O.pen Vape Rewards, giving you discounts and free items alongside their daily specials.

Check out Herbs4You on Weedmaps

Denver Dispensary

Veterans and industry employees always receive 10% off at Denver Dispensary. And if you’re searching for a wide selection of CBD products, look no further — Denver prides itself on offering a nice variety. Speedy service and quality cannabis keep customers coming back for more. 

Check out Denver Dispensary on Weedmaps

The Lodge — High Street

Along with affordable daily deals, The Lodge holds a 5% discount on all military purchases and 10% off for Key & Support Badge holders. Regulars can also earn points that grant them a joint, an eighth, or a quarter for just a penny while receiving deals that aren’t advertised through The Lodge’s website. Wallets are definitely kept full after every visit.  

Check out The Lodge on Weedmaps

Local Product of Colorado

Local Product of Colorado boasts tons of deals including daily discounts and 10% off for veterans and military personnel, students, industry employees, and seniors. Customers love their points programs and evening “Hash Hour,” where you get $7.10 off all solventless hash. Reviewers are happy with their receipts and appreciate the welcoming and friendly service. 

Check out Local Product of Colorado on Weedmaps

Mile High Green Cross

With fire strains and incredible customer care, Mile High Green Cross is a Denver staple where everyone is treated like family. Newcomers are grateful for the highly-knowledgeable staff who are always happy to help, while longtime fans note Green Cross’s warm and amiable vibes since opening their doors in 2009. 

Check out Mile High Green Cross on Weedmaps

Doctors Orders

Daily deals can be a great way to save money, but some days may offer discounts on products you never consume. Enter Doctors Orders. Not only do they offer daily deals, if you come in for Early Bird (8:00 am – 10:00 am) or Night Owl (8:00 pm – 9:45 pm) hours, you can choose any daily deal to apply to your order — no more waiting for your favorite day. 

In addition to the perks above, the know-how and hospitality displayed by the staff has made this spot the only dispensary many regular customers frequent. 

Check out Doctors Orders on Weedmaps

LOVA — Edgewater

LOVA is one of those rare dispensaries open for late-night shopping, so you can conveniently stock up on LOVA’s incredible selection. Monthly and weekly specials and informative staff produce a memorable experience for everyone walking through their door. 

Check out LOVA on Weedmaps

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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