“We are still striving to be treated like any other industry,” Dayton said.
In recent months, Walsh — who said he does not smoke marijuana — has become the go-to guy for industry news, profiled by Dow Jones Newswires as a top business journalist in the cannabis business and frequently quoted in the media, including MarketWatch, The Seattle Times, and The Boston Globe. After speaking at the company’s seminar in New York earlier this month, he took a train to Boston to make a presentation at a symposium hosted by the National Cannabis Industry Association.
In between media requests, seminar presentations, and daily online dispatches, Walsh has been working with his publisher, Cassandra Farrington, on the Marijuana Business Factbook being released this week. At $129, the thick 180-page publication includes 69 tables and charts and 21 state-by-state profiles. The factbook scored 21 sponsors — far more than expected — and plans are underway to launch a magazine in the summer that will feature longer, exclusive articles for business owners in the industry, according to Holland. A second national trade show is scheduled for Seattle in November and the firm expects to double the number of exhibitors.
Despite the market domination and national recognition, MMJ Business Daily still hasn’t turned a profit. Over the past six months, traffic has increased 43 percent to 76,000 monthly page views, but that’s a modest count compared with other business sites. The company expects to break even in 2013 and hopes to make money by next year. Holland blames the slow revenue growth mostly on the price sensitivity of the marijuana industry.
“You can only charge a fraction of the prices you’d get for similar products in a more established market or in corporate America. This is still not a market traditional publishers and trade shows can make a quick buck in,” she said. “However, we have lots of experience in watching the bottom line and building a publishing brand through high-quality editorial. And we are committed to the long haul.”