We launched Marijuana Venture more than seven years ago, at a time when “green rush” fever was spreading like summer wildfire. There was a huge amount of hype and a lot of big talk.
With the adult-use industry just starting in Colorado and Washington, we figured it made sense to start a monthly print magazine focused on the business side of marijuana. Guess what? We were right.
Today, Marijuana Venture is the only cannabis business magazine that hasn’t drastically shrunk in size or gone away completely.
I’m often asked why we’ve survived and thrived when so many other cannabis publications have gone away, and my answer is simple: At Marijuana Venture, we’ve stuck with a highly focused plan that hasn’t followed the latest fad just because it’s hot on social media. Our trade events are also a good example of that. Both the Retail and Dispensary (RAD) Expo and Interchange shows are highly focused, business events that place getting work done well ahead of partying with celebs or smoking the latest strain.
Sure, you can go to Las Vegas and have a great time in a giant, crowded space with thousands of other folks, but how many real connections do you make and how much actual business will you do?
We started Interchange in 2015 as an alternative to the numerous parties disguised as business events. And we launched RAD Expo several years ago because we noticed that very few of the established marijuana businesses in the Northwest went to MJBizCon. The usual response when asking a dispensary owner why they skipped the Las Vegas show, went something like this: “MJBiz was cool for a couple of years, but I have no interest in greenhouses, nutrients, booth babes or giant parties.”
On the cultivation side, it was a different answer but essentially the same concept. People were interested in getting more efficient and better at growing cannabis at scale. Cultivate, in Columbus, Ohio, is the world’s biggest controlled environment agriculture show, and that’s where more and more cannabis growers are going to learn about cultivation strategies, new technologies, pest management and other subjects.
In a sense, the states with the most established industries — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — have cannabis businesses that have outgrown the “hype” shows and moved on to events and conferences that are beyond the green rush. Those established business owners demand the type of information presented at Cannabis 2.0 events, where the speakers are not former High Times writers, but experienced professionals with college degrees in horticulture, business and hotel/retail management, offering actionable advice on how to be more profitable.
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past seven years. We produce a high-quality product month after month. Our articles are well researched and written by people with real credentials, and our events are all highly focused on business.
If you want to meet face to face with store owners and real business people, check out RAD Expo (www.theradexpo.com) or our Interchange events (www.interchangemv.com). Our fourth annual RAD Expo is November 9-10 at the Seattle Airport Marriott and will be paired with our Retail Vision conference, featuring several top-notch speakers. The next Interchange events are September 15-16 in Portland, Oregon, and October 5-6 in Renton, Washington.
You might not get to smoke the trendiest new cannabis strains or rub elbows with weed celebrities, but you will very likely meet and make a deal with a real businessperson who owns a running — and profitable — retail operation!