Top Trending Stories in Cannabis with MJ Biz Daily Editor Chris Walsh

chris walsh marijuana business daily

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Hi I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday look for a fresh new episode where I will take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com. That’s www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com. We’ve talked about CBD or cannabidiol on this show many times. Just to review, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound from the cannabis or hemp plant that has many benefits. Now our friends at Treatibles have put together a wellness CBD chew that can help your dog or cat become more calm and balanced. Valerie wrote in to tell us about her experience.

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Matthew: The cadence of important news stories is heating up as we approach the November elections. Here to help us look at the most impactful news stories affecting the cannabis industry is Chris Walsh, editor of Marijuana Business Daily. In addition to their informative daily news stories, Marijuana Business Daily also hosts the most popular industry conference that I attend regularly. Chris, welcome to CannaInsider.

Chris: Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

Matthew: Chris give us a sense of geography. Where are you in the world today?

Chris: I’m based in Denver. I was actually born and raised here and have witnessed the evolution of the epicenter of the marijuana industry right now which is in Colorado.

Matthew: Yes, wow, you’re a rare native. You’re like Snuffleupagus or some mystical creature like a unicorn.

Chris: Exactly. It’s changing quickly as more people move here in part for jobs in the marijuana industry but yeah not a lot of natives.

Matthew: Chris I want to dive into everything that Marijuana Business Daily is doing, but before we do can you give us a little more background on yourself and your career before getting involved with Marijuana Business Daily?

Chris: Sure yeah I’m a longtime business journalist. I’ve worked at metropolitan mainstream newspapers and even was in South Korea for two years as a business editor for a newspaper out there. So I’m a business journalist. I have an MBA so a lot of people are surprised at my background and some of the other executives because I guess the perception outside the industry of course as we’ve all experience is that it’s a bunch of people in tie-dye and sandals walking around. So no that’s my background. I actually moved to South Korea in 2009 and there were no dispensaries open in Colorado when I left, and when I came back two years later there were more dispensaries in Denver than Starbucks so that’s how quickly the industry grew here.

Matthew: And for listeners that may not be familiar with Marijuana Business Daily, what are all the information and services and conferences you off just to get a broad perspective?

Chris: Yeah we actually started in 2011 which is an eternity in this industry. Five years is a very long time ago. We basically provide news and analysis on our website www.marijuanabusinessdaily.com and then we have Trade Publication, Marijuana Business Magazine that’s print publication. And then we do market research reports, our Marijuana Business Fact Book where we make estimates about the industry and cover things like profitability and revenue metrics for businesses in this industry. Then we’re just as well known for our business to business conferences, the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo. We have our big Vegas show coming up in November where we’re going to have 7,000-8,000 professionals gathered there to learn an network and discuss some of the hottest topics in the industry. So that’s kind of our reach. We provide basically information in various ways to business people.

Matthew: Yeah you know it seems an interesting phenomena is occurring there. There is more and more cannabis conferences popping but people want to kind of net it out I notice, and when I talk to people they’re saying they’re going to yours and maybe an ArcView event or one other, but they’ve kind of said as more grow, they’re limiting to the most important. So that’s great for you, but an interesting phenomenon nonetheless.

Chris: Yeah and we’ve kind of seen this firsthand. We were doing business to business conferences in this industry starting in 2012. So we were the first really to do this. Back then there were medical marijuana conferences, but it would have Cypress Hill has the entertainment and it all the vendors were basically paraphernalia companies, and it was more like a festival or a cultural event and there was very little business focus or education. So again we were the first ones to kind of do the suits and ties type of conferences and since then, as you mentioned, it’s really exploded I think. It went from just us a couple years ago and I think last year there were 40-ish “business to business” conferences out there. So yeah there’s a lot of them, and I think you’ll see some weeding out as people pick and choose what they prefer.

Matthew: As the editor, as you watch news stories kind of come in, create a stir and fade away, are there any topics that seem to be persistently important?

Chris: Well I think basically the biggest one and the most obvious one would be the federal government’s position on marijuana and just last night and into this morning we’ve been scrambling to cover the news of the day which was the DEA basically saying it won’t reschedule cannabis, but it will open the door to research. So there’s always questions about when is the federal government going to take some concrete steps on marijuana, approve the bills that will open the doors to banking and lower the tax burden on the industry which is significant, and of course legalize it or reschedule marijuana nationally. So that’s always the kind of overriding big question that people are talking about.

I would say secondarily it’s kind of the local or state regulations. Everyone, they’re always changing and shifting and everyone in the business is trying to get their head around these changes on the regulatory front because it really affects them on a day to day basis. So that’s the other big topic. Banking of course, everyone wants to know how to get a bank account, which banks are working with the industry. And then as I mentioned, this tax burden where obviously businesses can’t take the same types of deductions that a normal business so it really hurts profit margins and people really want to know how they can work around that. So those are kind of some of the common things that we hear about a lot.

Matthew: Yeah and speaking of Korea, I feel like the United States is starting to look more like North Korea when you compare us to Canada. They seem to be doing everything right in terms of banking and federally legal and we’re kind of moving backwards at times. Well it’s more like pushing over a Coke machine. We go back and forth and we kind of make the right decision, but that’s kind of a big blow, a big punch in the stomach that the DEA says that. It’s frustrating a little bit, but what are we going to do?

Chris: Yeah it is, it is, I like that analogy. It is like a punch to the stomach. It’s like when are you going to finally realize, when are federal officials going to realize that this is a real industry. This has medical uses. I mean talk to the million plus patients in states that have legalized medical marijuana who use this for cancer and HIV and glaucoma and PTSD. So it’s really ridiculous and to your point, yes, the government’s policies are pretty antiquated on medical marijuana specifically. And other countries are moving ahead and kind of pioneering this area when it really should be the US doing it.

Matthew: How have you seen the scope or tone or perspective change over the years since you started covering the industry. I mean now it seems more mainstream. There’s more people coming in from different business industries coming into the cannabis industry. How has your lens changed when you look at the industry now?

Chris: It’s changed significantly. I mean when we first started I would go to meet people in the industry and they would think that I was a narc, an FBI agent and they were really cagey and with good reason at that time because they were basically pioneering a whole new industry that’s product is federally illegal so I don’t blame them for that paranoia, but no one wanted to talk on the record or publically or very few did. They were skeptical of anyone they didn’t know and most of the pioneers of the industry, the people at that time were people who had a strong affinity for cannabis and its uses either medically or recreationally and a lot of them, certainly not all, but a lot of them didn’t have kind of the professional business backgrounds of running companies or starting companies or executive level positions. A lot of people had been growing in their basements for a long time and buying and selling on the black market.

So what we see now is, and there’s kind of a clash, you have the more savvy business people coming in that may or may not really care about marijuana itself. They may not have that passion for the plant but they see it as a business opportunity. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that if it’s kept in check. So now you do have these mainstream people coming in. You have executives and entrepreneurs who have founded many other companies in mainstream industries. You have former DEA officials getting involved. You have former politicians. I mean the list goes on and on and it’s really accelerating as this becomes more mainstream. I will say, however, if you’re in a state that has not legalized medical or recreational marijuana, there is still that kind of heavy stigma I’ve found and people still scratch their heads. Don’t really even consider this a serious industry. Then you find that once a state legalizes everyone seems to get it. So there is still that stigma out there that is hard to overcome.

Matthew: Yeah I’m driving around the country right now and I have Colorado plates on my car and people stop me and actually say hey pot’s legal there now right. Like they kind of whisper that to me. I’m like okay, is that the ice breaker now. Okay.

Chris: Yeah and I mean doing this for five and a half years I’ve heard many similar comments directed at me. I mean most people are fascinated by it or interested in it or support it. I have found very very few people, even in states that haven’t legalized, that are aggressive or anti-marijuana and they want to wag their finger at me or anything. I mean it’s amazing how many people are just like yeah it should be legal at least medically. So that’s the other part of it that’s changed. When I started in 2011, came from a professional background. I covered high tech. I covered airlines for newspapers and at that time when I took this position a lot of people, my former colleagues were kind of scratching their heads and saying what is this guy doing. Is he a closet pot head working for a marijuana publication, but now they’re kind of calling and asking if we’re hiring. So things have changed.

Matthew: Right. So as the November elections approach, which stories do you see as the biggest news?

Chris: It’s going to be a fascinating November for the industry. I mean this could be a big watershed moment that marijuana supporters and business people have been waiting for. You could have almost a dozen states basically voting on whether to legalize medical or recreational marijuana. Just today I think North Dakota approved the signatures there so they will be voting on medical marijuana. You have about a half a dozen other states that will be voting and then you have even more states that have gathered the signatures and submitted them and are waiting to hear back to see if it qualifies. So this could be a huge, huge event for the industry.

There’s a lot of potentially huge markets that could legalize. California will be voting on whether to legalize recreational marijuana. That in itself would be massive for the industry. And according to our projections if California legalizes recreational marijuana, its sales just in that state of marijuana would be higher than the entire industry’s sales right now of medical and recreational. They have a massive population. It’s a big tourist hub and if it’s legal there, it’s really going to push this industry and fuel it forward. And then you have other states. Massachusetts will be voting on recreational and of course Nevada which if they legalize recreational it would be huge as well given its tourism draw. And then on the medical side you have Florida as the big market there. So basically in a nutshell this has the potential to lead to billions of dollars of revenues for the industry and tens of thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of business opportunities. I can’t overstate the importance of this.

Matthew: Yeah California is kind of the big bang. They have the technology, the capital, the people and the culture that’s ready to adopt it immediately.

Chris: Absolutely.

Matthew: Which the other states don’t seem to have quite to the same extent.

Chris: Yeah and a lot of people in the industry are saying California is really the linchpin that if it fails there it is going to set the industry back by years and be a real travesty and a blow to the industry. That if it passes though it will have the opposite effect obviously and propel everything forward. I don’t personally necessarily think that failure there would set the industry back a decade. I think it would be very unfortunate. It could slow some of the momentum, but the industry is operating just fine now without California having legalized recreational . Yes it would be a big disappointment and there would be an impact, however, I don’t think it’s as great as some people say.

Matthew: What about California’s framework of regulation. It’s in typical California fashion. They’ve rolled out some huge Quagmire of regulation in different categories of people that can operate within the industry. Does that act as kind of a wet blanket at all or is it just such a huge, powerful industry that nothing can hold it back?

Chris: Well I mean California has been just such a mess in the marijuana arena. It clearly was the capital of medical marijuana for years and was the pioneering state that really helped the industry get to where it is today, but they didn’t regulate the industry from a statewide basis so it kind of fell behind Colorado and Washington because it’s a mess. I mean every city has its own rules. Some don’t have any rules. There’s a ton of businesses operating outside of regulatory frameworks on a local level that have been established and basically it hasn’t really pioneered any of the legit side of the industry anymore because of this chaos. So the regulatory framework being developed for medical marijuana is a huge development that is positive, but it’s going to lead to a lot of turmoil because a lot of businesses that exist now are not going to be able to make the transition to a regulated market.

In the long run this is very good and in the short term it’s going to be chaotic. You got to feel for a lot of the businesspeople there who again pioneered the industry that might not be able to make over to the regulated market, but then if they legalize recreational it’s just a huge question mark of what’s that going to mean for medical and how this is all going to develop.

Matthew: What are the most controversial topics in the cannabis industry right now? I mean when you put out stories on certain topic do you find you get kind of a polarized response on certain topics from people?

Chris: Yeah I mean there’s a couple of areas. There’s issues particularly on the regulatory side with edibles and infused products. What is the appropriate level or regulations that states should be imposing and you find that responses are all over the board. There’s still a lot of people who don’t think there should be many regulations on infused products at all and they get very angry when states and cities try to regulate that. And then you have people who think there should be very strict regulations like you have on anything else you consume, especially on the food side. So that’s a big issues. The testing conundrum is a big issue too.

There’s no federal oversight, there’s no industry-wide standards on testing. So businesses are forced to test marijuana and infused products but they don’t trust the results. Every lab gets back to you with different numbers on potency and all that. So testing is still controversial. Then you have other kind of HR issues like should your employees who are also patients be able to use medical marijuana while working. That’s still a polarizing issue within the industry. I mean the industry is here to help people like that and they obviously employ patients. So you kind of have this industry still working through some issues. And then of course with the election coming up we ran a survey of our readers to find out how they would vote in the presidential election, and that got dozens of comments when we wrote that story where most of the industry favored Hillary Clinton, but there was a quarter that favored Donald Trump. So you have all these people weighing in on who would be better for the industry and who would create a more favorable climate. That’s the big topic right now.

Matthew: Gosh and I think like a Gary Johnson would be the best for the industry but he can’t even seem to get into the polls so people don’t even know who he is.

Chris: Yeah and he was an option in our survey and he polled well. I think it was roughly 15% or so said they would vote for him, but I think there’s a lot of people that on the marijuana issue he’s clearly the favorite, but people are taking into consideration other factors beyond just marijuana even if they support it. So people in the industry, I think the realists say okay it’s going to come down to these two candidates, Trump and Clinton, and so I’m going to cast my vote for one of them rather than “waste” it on Johnson whether you believe that’s a wasted vote or not. He’s probably not going to win.

Matthew: Right. Well let’s pivot to the conference, your twice a year conference. I was there in Orlando in May and now you have another coming up in October in Vegas, but I’m sure a lot of listeners have been to the conference but for listeners that have not, describe what they experience when they walk onto the conference floor and what they learn when they go to the panels and so forth.

Chris: Yeah and actually our next one in Vegas is in November.

Matthew: November, sorry about that.

Chris: Yeah it’s actually a week after the election so there is going to be a massive amount of buzz at the show. Everyone is going to be talking about whatever happened on election day and we’re going to analyze that and talk about how that may impact businesses. So that will be the big focus obviously of some of the conference. I mean in general the reason we even started this in 2012 is because either people that want to get involved or that already are involved in running businesses they need to gather and they need to network with each other and talk about their common problems and try and come up with solutions. So networking is actually a big part.

Then we have a massive expo hall in our Vegas show coming up with 300 exhibiters. So there’s commerce that happens at this too. People are hooking up with partners and services and products to help their businesses grow. And then of course there’s the content side too where we have three days of sessions that explore all the big business issues that entrepreneurs and executives are facing. And then we have people like Penn Jillette is our keynote. He’s a hardcore libertarian who believes in states’ rights so he’s going to talk about how he views marijuana and he’s a fascinating guy with a lot of wisdom and insight. I’ll be talking about the industry fundamentals and some of our projections and giving an update on kind of the state of the industry. Then we have sessions on everything from banking and taxes, as we talked about before, to overarching issues about what coming down the bend, around the bend regulatory-wise. So it’s a great place to network and learn about issues in the industry and hopefully learn things that you can take back to your business to improve it.

Matthew: Penn Jillette, that’s a fascinating character. He has a real ability. I don’t know if it’s because of his magician training or experience, but he has a way of phrasing things that can kind of crack people out of their typical mode of thinking and their perception. It’s pretty interesting.

Chris: Yeah and he won’t hold back on his views, and I’m sure people are going to be thrilled to hear him. He will probably rail against the government’s policies on marijuana and drugs in general. Yeah he’s pretty outspoken and I think it’s going to be entertaining.

Matthew: Looking back at previous panels are there any that kind of jump out at you as being really valuable or you got feedback from attendees that said hey I learned a lot here?

Chris: Yeah I program the conference so I believe that all of them are valuable, but to your point. We’ve had one in the past where we talk about if and when Big Tobacco, Big Agriculture, Big Pharma basically big business is going to come into this industry and those are always very packed sessions. People are afraid. This has been a mom and pop industry and that’s how it started and in large part that’s how it still is today, but it’s moving away from that and it’s moving towards big business and corporatization. So people really want to look forward and say what is this industry going to look like in the future if legalization occurs or if the government kind of relaxes its rules on marijuana. We’ve done that kind of a session twice and it’s always immensely popular.

Matthew: In terms of getting a booth, I know you have a lot of exhibitors that they get the booth every year. They already book it right away. Is there openings still to rent a book and how should people thinking about it if they’re on the fence or considering renting a booth. Is it too late?

Chris: Well on the booth side it’s too late. We have several dozen companies on the waiting list. We sold out months ago. Again we’ll have 300 booths. We sold out our entire space at the Rio in Vegas. Next year we’re moving to the convention center so my advice would be start planning for our event in the Spring in D.C. or Vegas next year because we do sell out. Always we sell out our booths and we’re going to continue to grow as the industry grows, but again we sold out a couple months ago. There are other opportunities to get your name out there.

We have other sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities that aren’t necessarily booths. So contacting our sales department is a good way to see what’s out there, but yeah I would start planning for next year. And I would say to your point earlier there are a ton of conferences out there and do your due diligence before you go. Even before you go to ours, I mean, it’s very well respected and we get industry leaders and have cutting edge content. There’s other ones that are good too but there’s a lot of duds out there. And that’s why we’re seeing some consolidation because people in the industry are going to some of these and realizing how poorly planned and produced they are. So most people are going to just a handful of these, but like I said we’re going to have 7,00 to 8,000 professionals there. If legalization goes really well, we could have 10,000. Who knows.

Matthew: Okay. Now let’s turn to the fact book. Can you tell us what that is and what listeners might find in there?

Chris: Yeah we started doing this a couple years ago because we just realized there was a huge need for information and data in this industry and it really didn’t exist. I mean you have no federal data because it’s illegal and they don’t track anything with the industry and then most states, especially a couple years ago, didn’t really track anything either. So it was really hard to get your arms around the size of the industry and all the fundamentals. As I mentioned earlier, average profits, average revenues, startup costs, all these things that are available for other industries weren’t for this one.

So we started doing this massive research report every year, and we break down state markets and talk about where we think sales are, a number of businesses operating and kind of compile all of that into a national picture too. We do estimates on retail sales nationwide through 2020 and there’s just a ton of data in here, again, that doesn’t exist really anywhere else. So that’s why we started to do it. You are seeing more companies, data companies get involved in this industry which is a good thing and states are now tracking the industry much closer so there’s more data than ever before available. Things like how many companies are there in the industry and how many jobs are there and what are annual sales, that type of data is very hard to get and that’s kind of what we focus on.

Matthew: You’re seeing cannabis stories so there’s probably not too much that surprises you, but when you glance over that book was there anything that jumped out and slapped you like wow this is much more than I originally had thought?

Chris: Well it always happens. When we do it every year there’s always surprises and especially when we dig into, we do big surveys of professionals in the industry to get an idea of their fundamentals for their business and there’s always interesting things that we see there in terms of concentrates and infused products becoming a much much bigger part of the industry and moving in the direction of one day you’re SERP-ing sales of flower, of marijuana flower. So there’s always things like that that give us insight. I’d say the profitability levels of businesses in this industry was one of the things that stood out to us that a lot of businesses are profitable.

Now 2ADE in this tax issue hurts that to some degree and shrinks the profit margins, but in general a lot of businesses have been able to historically reach profitability very quickly. Often in a matter of months. You’re seeing that change a bit now though because of the huge regulatory burdens, the caps on licenses where you have to spend a million to even get involved and there’s only a few licenses awarded. So it is taking a bit long to reach profitability in some markets, but in general it’s much better than they business community at large. So always things like that that we see each year.

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Matthew: Circling back to the conference for a second, is there any strategy you would advise for someone attending for the first time in terms of getting the most out of it, attending the right panels, meeting people, strategy on the floor because sometimes, Vegas is a big place, you have a huge conference. How do you prioritize to ensure you have an optimal experience?

Chris: Yeah that’s a good question. I mean we always look at that and reassess it and figure out how can we meet everyone’s needs. We do have our crash course which is kind of a one day, one-on-one level overview of the industry, everything you need to know if you want to get involved in the business and need kind of the bigger picture of the challenges you’re going to face and the opportunities. That’s separately ticketed from the main show but that always sells out. We’ve gotten 900-1,000 people in that in the past. So that’s truly for newbies who just want to know about the industry and how it works. So that kind of hits that segment.

Then the rest of our conference is aimed at people already in the industry. The newbies benefit immensely by being there and learning at that level, but we really want to target the business operators that are in it now and want to talk about and learn about the issues they face and how to improve their businesses. So you know we offer a variety of different formats and that’s another thing where we’re unique. We have the big keynote with Penn Jillette speaking from a broad perspective, an outsider’s views on legalization of marijuana, but then we have workshops on extraction and we’re going to have one on finding a bank account. Then you have the bigger panels and discussions that are also drilling into key areas of the different niches in the business, in the industry and what they face. So we try to offer something for everyone. So I guess the strategy would be to really examine the agenda and the separate events and see where you’re at in the industry and where you think you would benefit most, but I would have to say the networking aspect is huge and a lot of people go just for that. Whether it’s on the exhibit hall floor or in our networking events or the dozens of after parties that are going to be held in association with out event kind of on the side by other groups. So a lot of people come back and say just the pure networking was the biggest benefit.

Matthew: One panel I really enjoyed, it was a panel, one speaker I really enjoyed in Orlando was the gentleman that spoke about demographics and looking at demographics for your marketing the different generations, GenX, Baby Boomers and Millennials because there really is a huge difference in how we perceive things and we all like to think we’re unique snowflakes but a lot of it has to do with the generation we come up in and there’s so much similarity there and I was shocked to see just how much there is and just how you can craft your marketing or brand to different generations to get a desired outcome. So I thought that was pretty cool.

Chris: Right, and that’s another thing we try to do at these is bring in outside experts in the business community in general that can apply their knowledge and expertise to this industry specifically that a lot of business owners overlook. So the average infused products company or retail store/dispensary is probably not thinking when they’re marking along the lines of generations, but you can see how that would be so useful. You have the older patients, you have the younger ones, the Baby Boomers and things resonate differently with each of them so you can craft your marketing message to them differently. So that’s another thing. We’ve had a former executive from Starbucks talking about how you create kind of chain stores and a brand and a consistent experience. So that’s the other thing we try and do at these shows is bring in people like Chuck Underwood, the gentleman you were just referring to.

Matthew: Yes, yes. Let’s pivot to a couple of personal development questions Chris. I like to give listeners a sense of who you are and maybe some things that have been important to you in your past. Looking back over the course of your life, is there a book that stands out that has had a big impact on you and your way of thinking that you would like to share?

Chris: I don’t think there’s been a specific book. I mean I’m a heavy reader, but I don’t think I’ve read kind of a life changing book that shaped my views on the world. It’s more just getting out there and experiencing things. I’ve read a lot of business books that I found were beneficial, but beyond that I’m basically a big Earnest Hemingway fan and he kind of got me into reading in general. Yeah I guess in general a lot of the books I’ve read kind of have taught me empathy in general and I try to apply that in my personal and professional life.

Matthew: Great points. I’ve read so many books in my life but I still have a good memory of The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls and the Old Man and the Sea, those books are just so incredible. Even now you just pick them up, they’re just amazing.

Chris: They’re still good yeah. They still resonate. Yeah so he really got me into reading in general. I owe that to him because it opened up a lot of doors in my life and in my mind.

Matthew: Is there a tool, web-based or otherwise that you consider indispensible to your productivity that you would recommend?

Chris: I think no I’m actually pretty simple. I mean it’s Outlook and my smartphone and all that kind of stuff. I mean we have internal tools that we use like SalesForce that have been immensely helpful on the editorial side for keeping track of our massive source list, but other than that it’s just a lot of the basic everyday things that people use.

Matthew: Okay as an editor give us one grammar mistake you see over and over again that we could fix, everybody could fix to be a little bit better writer.

Chris: I think when writers refer to companies in the plural, like a company in the plural. If it say their, referring to it as a group. That works if you’re talking about executives of the company but a business or a company is an it. So I see that all the time in writing and in other media as well and sometimes among our own reporters. But I think that kind of has been adopted because of casual conversations when you’re saying they, when you’re referring to one company. So I see that a lot in professional writing and that’s one of my pet peeves.

Matthew: Good one, good one. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that one.

Chris: A lot of people are. And I would say the other one is kind of the which vs. that issue. A lot of people use which when they should use that and that when they should use which.

Matthew: Good, good ones. Well Chris in closing let us know how listeners can find Marijuana Business Daily and get daily alerts on all the best news stories, how they can find the fact book and how they can learn more about the conference.

Chris: Yeah www.mjbizdaily.com is kind of the portal into everything we do and that’s our daily news and analysis site, and then from there there’s links to our conferences, our fact book, contact information and kind of everything we do. So we do have a daily newsletter that goes out Monday to Friday with our kind of exclusively on our site stories that our reporters research and write. We have professional reporters who have been trained in journalism, have been working at newspapers and magazines and for online outlets, their careers. We’re professionals bringing professional news and analysis and that’s kind of what makes us different. A lot of people are kind of aggregating content or just having people in the industry write guest columns. We have people putting together fresh, unique stories every day that affect business owners and really taking that business slant. So we have this newsletter you can sign up for. It’s free. It goes out every day. If you’re a professional in the industry, you can get out magazine, Marijuana Business Magazine, you can get a free subscription to that. We don’t charge for that for people in the industry.

Matthew: Great. Well Chris, thanks so much for coming on the show today. I look forward to seeing you in Vegas.

Chris: Terrific, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

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Chris Walsh is the Editor of Marijuana Business Daily. Chris discusses the top trending stories in the cannabis business ecosystem and how they will affect events in the near future. Listen to this podcast on your Smartphone for free.

Key Takeaways:
[2:37] – Chris’s background
[3:37] – What is Marijuana Business Daily
[6:10] – Marijuana topics in the news industry that are persistently important
[9:08] – Chris’s perspective on the change in the industry over the years
[12:03] – The biggest news as the November election approaches
[15:47] – The strength of California’s marijuana industry
[17:18] – Most controversial topics in the cannabis world
[20:21] – Chris talks about the Marijuana Business Conference experienc
[23:13] – Chris talks about previous panels that have gotten great feedback
[25:54] – What is in the Fact Book
[29:55] – How to get the most out of the Marijuana Business Conference
[33:59] – Chris’s personal development
[36:57] – Contact details

What are the 5 Trends that Will Disrupt The Cannabis Industry in the Next 5 Years?Find out with your free report at: http://www.cannainsider.com/trends

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The Five Disruptive Trends Shaping The Cannabis Industry Now