Crain Communications Acquires Financial News Brand Green Market Report

NEW YORK—Crain Communications has acquired Green Market Report, a digital media brand that covers financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Green Market Report was launched in 2017 by co-founders Debra Borchardt, a financial journalist and former Wall Street executive, and Cynthia Salarizadeh, a seasoned public relations expert and legal cannabis industry insider. The acquisition will be finalized on Sept. 30, 2021. 

“We are excited to add Green Market Report to our now 21-brand portfolio,” said KC Crain, president and CEO of Crain Communications. “They focus on the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry, so it’s a natural fit with our other business brands.”

Green Market Report, which includes a network of freelance journalists and garners 150,000 monthly page views, is led by Borchardt and located in New York.

“Crain is one of the highest quality business news organizations in the country,” said Borchardt, CEO and co-founder of Green Market Report. “Their team, resources, and respected journalism will make the perfect partner as Green Market Report continues into the future. The combination of Crain’s experience and Green Market Report’s expertise will turn us into a leader in the industry, and I’m personally excited to be a part of that growth.”

This deal comes two years after Crain’s acquisition of GenomeWeb — an online news organization covering trends in genome sequencing — in 2019, both contributing to the company’s overarching goal of portfolio diversification.

Green Market Report will join Crain Communication’s family of brands that spans across 10 offices and includes 650+ employees, with headquarters in Detroit and additional main offices in Chicago and New York.

Emmy Award-Winning Executive Elizabeth Browde Joins A New Cannabis Channel As COO

NEW JERSEY: Emmy award-winning media executive Elizabeth Browde is taking her talents to cannabis media, joining as COO of A New Cannabis Channel, a mainstream omni-channel scheduled to debut on 4/20/2021.

Ms. Browde, whose vast experience includes significant roles in platform start ups, television programming, celebrity global brands, brand building, TV commerce, will join CEO Kerri Accardi in the venture, designed to bring a variety of cannabis-infused edutainment programming to the canna-curious.

“Our focus is on educating the mainstream through compelling content, high-quality production, innovative advertising, and easy accessibility,” Accardi told MJNews. “We are on a mission to educate the world about cannabis.”

Scheduled for a soft launch on the stoner holiday 4/20, A New Cannabis Channel, will feature original programming with the leading voices in cannabis business, science, sports, medical, growing, and consumer culture.  Super Bowl Champion Marvin Washington will host “5th Quarter: What Happens After the Game.”; Nurse Heather Manus will host “Nurse Talk: Nurses Take on Medical Cannabis”; while “Faces of Cannabis” will feature thought-leaders in legal cannabis and hemp.

“This isn’t your stoner channel.” Browde tells David Rheins, “It is really about showing people the many uses of cannabis, and providing them with the information and tools they need to make decisions about how and when to use cannabis.

Listen in on this Marijuana Channel One exclusive, as MJNews Network’s David Rheins talks to Elizabeth about the role of media in the cannabis cultural revolution; women-run enterprises and how they are changing the canna-business; and the programming that will soon be coming to a screen near you.

Are We Sleeping On The Women In Cannabis Media?

Recently, 420MEDIA CEO Kerri Accardi sat down with Tracy Lamourie for MJ News to discuss the exciting launch of her groundbreaking new venture A New Cannabis Channel

Here’s a peek into that conversation:

TRACY LAMOURIE: You have been doing some amazing things in the media and the cannabis space, and now you are combining the two in a way that I don’t think people are seeing just how groundbreaking it is!

KERRI ACCARDI: Maybe that’s because we didn’t Press Release our every move!

TRACY: Right! But now you are finally ready to let some of the secrets out! Can you tell us a little bit about the exciting things you have got going right now?

KERRI: Absolutely! I’m the founder of 420MEDIA, a full-service marketing and content creation agency.  Over the past 6 years we have been documenting the legalization of cannabis in the US. Currently we are in the process of launching a cannabis TV channel across ROKU, Apple TV, Firestick TV, Android TV, two mobile apps and online, with original programming, including a docu-series.

We are bringing education through entertainment with unprecedented opportunities for targeted advertising to cannabis and CBD companies.  We are super excited to take a very fragmented space and streamline the information to the mainstream while showcasing products and services in a way the public has yet to see.

There are so many people that they hear about CBD or they hear about the benefits of cannabis,  but they don’t know where to find a product or even worse they try a product that’s called CBD and it doesn’t work and right away they’re judging CBD as nonsense, but when you read the bottle it’s really hemp seed oil or something that doesn’t have CBD in it at all.

We really want to help guide people seeking knowledge. At the end of the day, we all have an endocannabinoid system with receptors for the plant on a molecular level. I don’t think the majority of people really understand that – and when they do it’s going to be a game changer.

TRACY: Absolutely- you’re talking education, you’re talking entertainment, the business of cannabis, literally anything relating to cannabis you will find on this channel. I know to bring something like this together doesn’t happen alone and you really have been able to gather an incredible team, some big names not just from cannabis but from the advertising world, from the world of marketing, from the world of media – you are bringing them all together, can you tell us about some of the people you have behind you and some of their experiences before joining you on this groundbreaking project in the world of cannabis.

KERRI: We have a phenomenal team that has come together absolutely from the mainstream industry. We have Emmy award winners; we have advertising executives – in fact the person who is creating our logo created one of the most iconic advertising campaigns I think ever in the world!

TRACY: Unbelievable!

KERRI: We will put names and more information and promo out over the next few weeks.

TRACY: I’m excited to see this develop. Can you tell me some more about the content, and I know it is incredible – you have got people at the top of their industries from athletics to the medical fields, not just one doctor but probably ten from across America – can you tell us a little bit about the content and the experience of gathering that over the years? I know it is a literal library, or a museum of cannabis history over the last few years.

KERRI:  Yes -we have a massive library of professionally filmed content – literally over 300 pioneers- on camera plus products, music, panels and speakers, and original programming.

Super bowl champion Marvin Washington hosts one of our series which explores cannabis from an athlete’s perspective. We have him in a CBD lab, pharmacy, events, as well as closed sets interviewing fellow NFL players and nurses – so it really is different insights coming through him.

Then we have another series hosted by a nurse and educator Heather Manus that is more geared to the medicinal side of the plant. What is the endocannabinoid system? Dosing, our receptors, what are the products and the different methods of ingestion and how does it affect us. Why is this plant working for people? We have another series called “Faces Of Cannabis” featuring over 30 pioneers sharing their story and insight into cannabis – from Wanda James who is on Netflix right now, to a child named Landon Riddle who is cancer free for seven years and he is nine years old to Dr Dina, the women the show “Weeds” was based on. We have a lot.

To me, in a time that is so divisive – to have over 300 people on camera to camera of different ages, ethnicities, and financial backgrounds that agree on one thing is pretty powerful.

TRACY: I know you have spoken in the past about the personal part of your mission.

KERRI: It’s super simple. I left New York on December 10th, 2013 I left on a mission to educate the world about cannabis.  My Aunt Kathy died. My best friend, my mentor, my everything. She died, and she didn’t have to. She definitely didn’t have to suffer like I watched.

I knew that no one would listen to me unless I knew what I was talking about, so I started at the bottom, literally – learning how to grow, meeting with patients, doctors, growers, lobbyists and more. This was back in 2013 in CA – it was a much different world.

In January 2014 NY quazi- legalized medical cannabis through executive order and thus 420MEDIA was born.

TRACY: What a journey. Somewhere your aunt is smiling down on you right now saying, ‘WOW! I inspired all this.’  You really are changing the world with this.  That’s not just language, people are going to see that as this develops – it’s going to be epic.

KERRI: What people don’t understand is that cannabis isn’t new, this medicine isn’t new, even the cannabis industry isn’t new – it’s new in the regulated space. California has been legal-ish for over twenty years and has been helping thousands of people.

TRACY : Now let’s talk a little about the business of cannabis, and I know from a business perspective it’s often difficult to get your message out in the space, struggles around advertising, struggles around restrictions and limitations on social media, lots of barriers about getting your message out there that we don’t face in messaging with other consumer products. So what you are doing is absolutely valuable to people in the cannabis marketing space.  Can you tell us a little bit about this really unprecedented advertising opportunity?

KERRI:  Everything was born out of a problem, and the problem is that brands do not have a place to advertise consistently. I learned about this over the past 6 years of owning an agency and having different television deals and advertising opportunities. They can just change their mind and the rules and the pricing and all sorts of craziness. This was created to enhance cannabis brands and products and give them a place to advertise and share their information very similar to television and TV commercials and when we go back into production we will have opportunity for product placement and sponsorships, so it is a space that will literally give brands the opportunity to showcase their product in high level content that has a truly targeted audience – because you aren’t coming to this channel to watch a baseball game.  You are coming to this channel to learn about cannabis

What’s the value of your athlete CBD cream being seen in a series hosted by a Super Bowl champion who also happens to have a case going to the Supreme Court over the legality of cannabis? What does it mean to have your brand showcased amongst medical professionals discussing the benefits of cannabis?

TRACY: So right now, can companies get involved? Right now, is there opportunity?

KERRI: Yes! What we are doing now, given the COVID-19 situation, is selling permanent placement in three of our series where we will build in commercials to showcase those brands and services. If you are in a series with Marv Washington, for example, you are in there forever. So, brands are getting multiple digital assets and a lifetime value. If they don’t have a commercial, we can have it created for a slight up-charge. If they do have a commercial, they can send it to us, and it will literally be edited in as if it was a part of that series. It is only for our inaugural series!

TRACY: So right now, anyone can get in on the ground floor, in there forever, they can basically write their own story right now as far as where they want to be.  As a publicist and a marketing person, I’m definitely excited about this for my own brand and for my clients, it’s great to be able to get in on the very beginning.

PRØHBTD Accelerates Growth With Two Office Openings In Canada

Cannabis Lifestyle Media and Brand Platform Expands Operations to Toronto and Vancouver

CANADA: PRØHBTD, a leading cannabis lifestyle media and brand platform, recently opened new offices in Toronto and Vancouver. The first international expansion beyond PRØHBTD’s primary Los Angeles headquarters, the two offices will lead the company’s growth strategy in Canada in advance of the country’s legalization of the recreational cannabis market on October 17.

The team of six staffers, situated in Toronto’s Liberty Village and downtown Vancouver, are led by Shelley Madison, Senior Producer; David Brott, Director of Brand Partnerships; and Joel Yatscoff, Senior Product Designer. Madison leads all creative content production while Brott leads the company brand partnership efforts, and Yatscoff is responsible for product design and packaging innovation.

“We already work with a number of brand partners across the border so it was a logical expansion to support those efforts,” said PRØHBTD CEO Drake Sutton-Shearer. “We have built our reputation on creating premium cannabis content and helping companies develop their brands, and to now expand these offerings directly in the Canadian market is an important next step in our journey to taking the company public.”

Shelley Madison has more than a decade of experience in the media industry with a focus on creative partnerships, storytelling and content production. Working as both an Executive Producer and Producer, Shelley has collaborated directly on films with Academy Award winning actors and directors including James Franco, Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, Werner Herzog and more.

Before joining the PRØHBTD team, Joel Yatscoff founded Burning Tree, a consultancy that specialized in supporting cannabis companies with packaging and labeling. Additionally, he was Head of Product Development at HIKU Brands (recently acquired by Canopy) where he re-imagined products for the Tokyo Smoke and Van der Pop brands. His projects have been recognized internationally including for the prestigious XPRIZE and James Dyson Awards.

David Brott has successfully spearheaded marketing and sales departments within creative agencies, large tech corporations and startups in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Taiwan, selling to decision makers in Fortune 1000 companies around the world.

The expansion follows PRØHBTD’s series A round of funding, which secured USD $8 million from investors that included Ontario’s Serruya Private Equity and The Delavaco Group. It represented the single largest round of funding for a media related company in the cannabis industry to date. In addition to the Canada office openings, the funding has accelerated the production and distribution of PRØHBTD’s slate of original content, and deepened the expertise and capabilities across the company through soon to be announced new executive hires.

PRØHBTD Secures $12 Million Funding

CALIFORNIA: PRØHBTD, a leading cannabis lifestyle media and brand platform, has raised USD $12 million in funding, $8 million of which was recently secured from a Series A round of investment. In addition to being a lead investor, the Delavaco Group acted as the sole strategic advisor to PRØHBTD. This financing represents the single largest round of funding for a media related company in the cannabis industry to date and follows an initial $4M of seed funding.

According to company press release the funding will be used to accelerate the continued production and distribution of PRØHBTD’s slate of original content, make new key hires and deepen the expertise and capabilities across the company through strategic acquisitions, as it continues to help cannabis companies build their businesses and reach global audiences.

PRØHBTD will soon announce its plans for a Canadian public offering that will provide investors with an opportunity to participate in the future growth of the cannabis industry’s leading modern media company.

Aaron Serruya from Serruya Private Equity said “We’ve seen every media opportunity in the cannabis industry but none of them compare to what the team at PRØHBTD has built. We expect great things from the company and we’re excited to support the team’s global vision.”

PRØHBTD has built a first of its kind cannabis ecosystem that includes a brand creation and product development platform, complemented by an original content studio and expansive media distribution network. Through the company’s in-house creative agency, more than 60 cannabis brands partner with PRØHBTD for brand and product development, design, market strategy and branded integration within its original content, which is led by Chief Content Officer Josh Otten and his team of award winning content creators.

PRØHBTD built the first and largest multi-platform video network in the cannabis industry. In addition to the company’s flagship lifestyle destination www.prohbtd.com, video content is syndicated across 15 different partner platforms including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon, Android TV, Dailymotion and others, which saw more than 21 million video views in May with an average view through rate of 3:45 minutes. This reach and engagement provides cannabis brands with effective means to reach an available audience of more than 100 million consumers when many traditional media platforms are restricted or closed to them.

In an online universe littered with throw-away social videos and outdated cannabis narratives, PRØHBTD has quietly built the world’s largest cannabis lifestyle original video library. This library is currently being licensed to third parties to extend the PRØHBTD brand into new global markets.

“We started PRØHBTD to tell cutting edge stories through premium lifestyle cannabis content in a way that no-one else was doing,” said Drake Sutton-Shearer, CEO of PRØHBTD. “We are fortunate to have such an incredible group of investors and advisors so now it’s time to turn up the heat and accelerate our global mission to mainstream cannabis and connect brands to consumers. Game on.”

The financing comes with additional revenue generating agreements from leading companies across the cannabis industry who have selected PRØHBTD to invest in and partner with. This is a testament to the momentum and strength of the core business that the company has built over the past four years.

PRØHBTD continues to strike exclusive strategic partnerships that connect the company and the industry with Wall Street and Madison Avenue. Its partnership with Advertising Week helps mainstream companies to connect with the cannabis brands of the future and understand who the cannabis consumer is. After last year’s history making event in Times Square, the company is headed to Sydney, Australia on July 30th to introduce international cannabis thought leaders to the APAC region, before returning for Advertising Week New York in October.

Additionally, the exclusive partnership with Entrepreneur Magazine will produce the inaugural “Top 100 Cannabis Entrepreneurs” list, which will spotlight 100 visionaries and leaders in this exciting industry and introduce them to the mainstream business community.

Future plans include launching educational and experiential programs to help consumers better understand the many benefits of cannabis as a health and wellness tool.

In addition to the PRØHBTD founders Drake Sutton-Shearer (CEO), Josh Otten (CCO) and Kieve Huffman (COO) investors and advisors include Donald Glover, Swedish House Mafia’s Axwell Hedfors, Joel and Benji Madden, Peter Lewit, Steve Shapiro, Joey Houssian, Serruya Private Equity, Delavaco Capital, Cresco Capital, Green Acre Capital, Clarus Securities, Explorer Equity Group, Vector Management Partner Andy Mendelsohn, Advertising Week founders Lance Pillersdorf and Matt Scheckner, Guggenheim Media Managing Director Kraig Fox, Wharton Marketing Professor David Bell, former Tribeca Film Festival and droga5 CEO Andrew Essex, NYC design firm 2X4, Mesh Ventures, former Coca-Cola and MDC Partners executive Craig Binkley, Shevin Law Group founder Eric Shevin, Peter Witting, EPIC Records EVP and CFO Lynn Hazan, 414 Media Advisors, Therapy Studios and Therapy Content, Chris Berman, Format Entertainment CEO Dave Jordan, CAA’s Ryan Harlacher, Executive Producer and former HBO and Televisa executive Michael Garcia, Language Media CEO Ryan Tomlinson and Sheppard Mullin Blockchain and Digital co-team leader Jim Gatto.

 

Cannabis Marketing — Not Just Blowing Smoke

By Kerri Accardi

Turn on the TV at home, listen to the radio in the car, or surf the internet anywhere and you will be feed a steady diet of drug ads. Some are so frequent that you can recite the side effects by heart. But where are the cannabis ads? Why aren’t legal cannabis companies running media campaigns? We all know Budweiser is the King of Beers, but who is the Potentate of Pot?

The main reason we do not see more cannabis commercials, even in states that have medical and adult use laws, is not legal prohibition as you might suspect. It is because most cannabis companies are unaware that they are legally able to bring their cannabis business to both broadcast and digital media channels.

420MEDIA is a full-service media agency that works exclusively with cannabis brands. It has established distribution relationships across mainstream TV, industry and consumer print publications, digital media platforms, OTT, and dispensary programming, providing the cannabis and hemp industry with integrated cross-platform solutions across both traditional and new media marketing channels, enabling mass reach and demographic and geographic targeting.

It hasn’t been easy. The push-back has come from the cannabis industry shying away or questioning the validity of mainstream advertising. Broadcast television and mainstream radio have been extremely cautious, often changing their minds about broadcasting an ad at the last minute.

https://youtu.be/BA1yGPpIEo8

The landscape is changing rapidly. Patients are changing public perception about cannabis with their compelling and honest stories of hope. In the world of ‘Fake News’ real voices do matter. And the story of a person using cannabis to manage a medical condition moves the discussion beyond stoner jokes.

Education is the key. Informed consumers and regulators will be able to see through the myths and the misinformation. Whether it’s about the way cannabis affects our bodies, the economy, brands, products or our rights — we all need to know!

The cannabis and hemp market are growing at a rapid pace — lack of knowledge will be the only thing that holds us back from flourishing as an industry and nation. Within five years, cannabis and hemp will become more normalized through media, people will be healthier and wealthier, and our economy strong.


Kerri Accardi is the visionary behind 420MEDIA offering a unique combination of full-service digital marketing services, media distribution, and industry expertise.

 

Leafbuyer Partners With DOPE Media

COLORADO: Leafbuyer Technologies, a leading cannabis technology platform, has announced a new partnership with DOPE Media. The new partnership will significantly expand the reach of Leafbuyer’s deals platform to millions of new cannabis users across North America.

Leafbuyer, a leading cannabis deals network, drives business to dispensaries and product clients through its online platform and network of sites. The announced partnership is expected to capitalize on DOPE Media’s website traffic and industry reputation.

Kurt Rossner, CEO of Leafbuyer, says the primary purpose of this partnership is to expand Leafbuyer’s reach and better serve their clients and consumers. “We are always seeking valuable partnerships with consumer-facing content producers, so forming a long-term relationship with DOPEMagazine.com was a perfect fit. We believe this deal complements our existing array of partnerships with websites like Grasscity.com and Voice Media Group. The broader the reach of the Leafbuyer Network, the more value we will be able to drive our customers. DOPE has a great presence on the West Coast and that is where our highest growth markets are right now,” Rossner added.

A new featured online widget will appear on each page of DOPEMagazine.com The online tool will allow consumers to find Leafbuyer deals on their favorite cannabis-related products, without ever leaving DOPE’s website. Consumers will benefit from the sophisticated tool that aggregates cannabis deals into an easy to use online application.

 

Tommy Chong To Launch Innovative Content On Cannabis Club TV

CALIFORNIA: Cannabis Club TV, which bills itself as the first Direct Out Of Home (DOOH) and Over the Top TV (OTTtv) portable broadcast network devoted to the cannabis industry — at retail, in your pocket and at home — has announced it has signed Tommy Chong to host a travel show, one of  twenty new channels with a variety of different shows from sports to cooking, that the network plans.

Chong’s show will follow a format reminiscent of popular outlaw chef Anthony Bourdain, and will showcase the best cannabis flower and concentrates from the world’s top growers — from Humbolt to Amsterdam to Nepal to Kentucky.

“I’m excited to announce that I’m developing a cannabis travel show, where I explore all the unique cannabis cultures this planet has to offer. I love to have a Cannabis Club TV channel playing while I’m carving and testing my handmade water pipes,” says Tommy Chong, cannabis pioneer.

Cannabis Club TV has retained Damanant to be their official agency of record.

MANTIS Makes List Of Top 100 Largest Digital Networks In The US

CALIFORNIA: Cannabis-friendly marketing platform MANTIS Ad Network announced that it is now one of the top 100 largest digital networks in the US, per Quantcast.

According to company sources, MANTIS web properties generated more than 526M page views and reached over 32M visitors in the month of July, an increase of over 1200% and 160%, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Traditional, mainstream advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook have taken a cold-shoulder approach to companies focused on the legal cannabis industry, forcing brands to get creative and try alternative advertising avenues like MANTIS.

“With MANTIS, we can fully express the true nature of our products, which gives us the power to directly brand ourselves to a wide variety of potential customers that fit our target audience. The platform is incredibly user-friendly and allows us to generate valuable traffic to our website which has ultimately led to a high level of conversions. I’d absolutely recommend other companies in the niche give MANTIS a try; it’s a no-brainer if you ask us.” – Greg Gaston, VaporNation

 

420MEDIA Hosts Cannabis Casting Call At Spokane Job Fair Saturday June 20th

WASHINGTON: So you want to be a canna star.  420MEDIA, a Seattle-based video and entertainment company, is casting for talented, ambitious, and entertaining actors and hosts who are passionate about cannabis for a series and commercials that will premier on its new online cannabis TV network, “Hmm Did You Know.” 

“Bringing stunning, cinematic image quality and production value to cannabis businesses and products is the mission of firm’s founder and driving force, New York filmmaker Kerri Accardi, “Our strong roots in digital media allow us to embark on creating powerful videos and photographs for commercial and social media platforms. From concept to creation, our dedicated team utilizes cutting-edge visuals along with groundbreaking research to provide digital content of the highest caliber.”

Accardi determined that launching its casting at the MJBA Job Fair in Spokane (Saturday, June 20th at the Spokane Convention Center) was  the ideal venue to kick off the groundbreaking series. “ We couldn’t imagine a better way to assess Eastern Washington’s newest talent,” Accardi told MJNN, “Those that pass the first round of auditions will be interviewing cannabis employers and potential employees on camera.”

420MEDIA is a VIP Sponsor of MJBA Job Fair Spokane, and a national member of the Marijuana Business Association. The company is in expansion mode, and will be at the Job Fair seeking to hire DP’s, editors, photographers, graphic designers, web developers, animators, associate producers, and project managers.