A friend recently gave me two copies of Northwest Leaf, the Pacific Northwest’s leading medical marijuana magazine. Get this: four-year-old Northwest Leaf ‘s May 2014 issue is 104 pages of jam-packed original content and … an unbelievable amount of marijuana industry advertising. Its monthly circulation is 30,000. Check out the issue here.
Should Magazines Be Doing Marijuana?
Should they? Well, you are some of the last people that I have tell that the print publication industry’s circulation and advertising are in steep decline. The FIPP World Magazine Trends 2013-14 chart (sorry about the fuzziness) shows what the future has in store for the print industry. Clearly no big news here.
The big(ist) news for me is that that the marijuana industry is driving the fast-paced growth of a local publication in a state where one of its major daily newspapers shut down a couple of years ago. There is so much interest in this new advertising category that the publisher of Northwest Leaf will be launching Oregon Leaf in July. How many print publishers are launching new publications in these digital times? Not too many.
Should Advertising Agencies Be Doing Marijuana?
Here are two glowing press quotes that give a perspective on the potential size of the marijuana market.
5/9/14 ‘Ganjapreneuers’ scramble for chance at Florida medical marijuana industry – Tampa Bay Times “Pot pioneers are already making money in the 21 states, plus the nation’s capital, that now allow medical cannabis. America’s legal-weed market is expected to bloom to $2.5 billion this year, and pass $10 billion in 2018, according to analysts with ArcView Group, a canna-business investment network.”
5/8/14 Marijuana Boom Spawns Ancillary Businesses – LA Times“ “Legal cannabis sales are expected to grow to $2.57 billion this year, up from $1.53 billion a year ago, according to ArcView Group, a San Francisco investment network and market research firm focused on legal cannabis.”
If that isn’t enough to get your attention, here is a Huffington Post article that predicts: “Marijuana Market Poised To Grow Faster Than Smartphones.” Watch the video and ask yourself if your agency would like a smartphone account. Um, how about a pot account while you are waiting for the call from Samsung?
Should Advertising Agencies Be Doing Marijuana? Um, They Are…
Here is a very long list of agencies in 21 states and Canada that are listing themselves as cannabis marketing experts. In addition to this list, I am aware of two “traditional” agencies that have done branding and advertising for medical (Oregon) and legalized (Washington) Marijuana retailers. If this industry is going to be a $2.57 billion ++ business, I’d suspect that you would be looking hard at this opportunity. Hey, its legal.
Oh, one more thing. The Portland Advertising Federation is going to host a panel on the burgeoning marijuana industry on July 30th. The expert panel will include Wes Abney, the publisher of Northwest Leaf; Ryan McLean, an owner of the brand new Bridge City Collective which owns two Portland dispensaries; Anthony Johnson executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Industry Association and director of New Approach Oregon and Alexa Divett of Oregon’s Canna Marketing & Design group.