Your cannabis blog makes you a partaker of one of the fastest growing industry in North America (and the world) today.
So how do you get your piece of the pie? Let’s explore your options.
In North America, cannabis sales climbed 30 percent to reach $6.7 billion. By 2021, the marijuana market would have reached $20.2 billion at a CAGR of 25 percent. Meanwhile, Greenwave Advisors project the cannabis market to reach $30.1 billion by 2021.
With the growing market for cannabis, cannabis products, and services, businesses are using content marketing to reach their target audiences. You can offer designs, web development, app development, VA, writing, and other services on your site to businesses and websites in the cannabis space.
Contrary to popular opinion, advertising is NOT dead. Retargeted ads are popular these days – because they work! In fact, retargeted persons have a 70 percent chance of converting.
You can generate revenue by running ads on your cannabis blog. Norml, one of the most prominent advocates of medical cannabis use, makes money from advertising. High Times is another cannabis news site that makes money from simple banner ads.
You can run ads on your cannabis blog using any of these channels:
- Video advertising (and this can be featured on your social media handles as well)
- Site Sponsorships
- Newsletter advertising (you run ads on your newsletters)
- Ad networks
- Text links
- RSS advertising
- Podcasting advertising
- Job boards
Of course, you can use a combination of these adverting options. However, it’s best to keep ads as minimal as possible to avoid offending or distracting your site visitors.
Partnerships with Offline Businesses
This type of monetization tactic is a form of referral business. You could refer people cannabis farmers or other offline companies. Just like Norml, you can get businesses and organizations that support your course pay you monthly in exchange for keeping a profile on your site.
Only 17 percent of small businesses in the U.S. are selling their products online. Meanwhile, over 80 percent of internet users buy things online. You have an advantage here of earning money by recommending businesses.
Sell Merchandise for Your Cannabis Blog
If you have T-Shirts or stickers or some other merch, you can make money selling them on your blog if you have a large audience base. High Times gives their shirt for free if you subscribe to their magazine.
You don’t have to spend money creating your merchandise! Use services like CafePress and Zazzle to sell your merch. You’d find merchants selling mugs, t-shirts, pendants, curtains, and more on CafePress. Master Bong sells merch to his readers.
Sell Tickets and Organize Events
High Times organizes events. You can host your events or sell tickets and bookings for other people who hold events that are contextual to your cannabis blog contents.
Your events don’t have to be physical. You can organize webinars, and this can be held live, or you’d record and avail it on your site. Most webinars are free.
Luckily, you can monetize your event in many ways. You can sell the recording of the webinar (video, audio or transcript). You can sell access to an exclusive webinar to discuss topics that your audience want to hear more about, after the free webinar. You can also offer your products, merch, and services after the free webinar.
Physical events have many benefits. You can build long-term relationships with attendees and connect people with like interests. Meetups are great if you like bringing people together.
Sell Cannabis Products
In 2016 alone, pot consumers spent $6.9 billion on legal cannabis products, and that number is expected to climb to $20 billion in 2021. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all U.S. population reside in cities where cannabis use is legal – that’s over 180 million people.
You have a market!
If you have a product made from or for cannabis, then sell that on your blog, but if you don’t have a product of your own, sell other merchants’ products. You could sell products as an affiliate marketer or have a JV partnership agreement.
Natural and non-GMO cannabis products, like CBD Oil from Try the CBD, are coming to market now. These cannabis products need marketing and awareness, and many of them are offering reseller opportunities.
The estimated size of the hemp market stood at $688 million in 2016, a 20 percent increase over 2015 figures. Personal care products valued at $163 million, CBD products at $130 million, and foods at $129.3 million.
Sponsored Posts, Videos, and Podcasts
You can get paid to write posts, reviews, or press releases on your cannabis blog. Depending on how large your site is, you could charge anywhere from $500 to over $5,000 to write sponsored posts.
Even for a small site with a tiny audience, you can get paid some money to post on your blog. As long as you get targeted traffic to your blog, you can command $50 to $200 to post on your site.
Master Bong runs reviews on his blog. He covers cannabis products of different kinds from different makers and gets paid to write exclusive posts about them.
In 2017 publishers will generate more than $6 billion from branded content (i.e., sponsored content), and that number is predicted to hit $20 billion in 2021. Sponsored content has a 35 percent growth rate covering the five-year period concerned.
Sponsored content is succeeding because it removes the resistance people have against traditional advertising.
If you produce a lot of valuable content that helps your readers they’d feel compelled to donate. If your cannabis blog promotes the legalization of pot and educates people on its use, you can ask for a donation as Norml does.
When implementing this monetization tactic, remember to ask for a specific reason. Giving a particular reason for asking your donation raises your chances of getting the money by 200 percent. You can collect donations using PayPal’s Donate button.
A word of caution here, do not give prod your readers for donations. This monetization option is an excellent supplement to other monetization avenues.
To Wrap It Up
A functioning cannabis blog is no mean feat. From the sweat that goes into setting it up and running the blog, to the social resistance you might face initially, this isn’t some soft work.
However, once you’ve done the heavy lifting, you can monetize your blog in many ways. You can sell more than one thing, and you can even make money with a combination of the monetization options I discussed here.
Even if money isn’t enough to motivate you to start your blog, you have other reasons to launch your cannabis blog.
Fewer than four in 10 Colorado voters say that marijuana legalization has been bad for their state, according to a new survey by Public Policy Polling. A plurality — 47 percent — say legalization has been good, while an additional 9 percent say it hasn’t made a difference either way.
Colorado voted for marijuana legalization in 2012, with the first recreational marijuana shops opening in 2014. At the time, opponents warned of dire consequences, such as skyrocketing crime rates and increases in underage marijuana use.
But a recent Cato Institute analysis found that none of those nightmare scenarios have come to pass so far. Teen use is down, crime is flat and many other social and economic indicators are unchanged.
“The absence of significant adverse consequences is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents,” the Cato authors conclude.
The Public Policy Polling survey, commissioned by the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, suggests that that’s how many Colorado residents see it, too. About 61 percent of voters there say legalization has had a positive impact on the economy, and 58 percent say the tax revenue generated by legal marijuana sales has been good for the state.
Most interesting, from a public health standpoint, is the finding that nearly one in four Colorado voters say they know someone who is drinking less alcohol now that marijuana is legal. Research has generally shown that marijuana consumption is associated with fewer health risks — both to consumers and society as a whole — than alcohol consumption. If Coloradans are substituting marijuana for alcohol, the state could see some subtle gains in public health as a result of that shift.
There are, of course, negative outcomes associated with legalization, too. The Colorado Department of Health says marijuana-related emergency room visits are up. The state has also had some difficulty regulating edible marijuana products, such as candy and cookies, which have sent a number of kids to the hospital.
The survey found that men (55 percent) hold significantly more positive views on legalization than women (40 percent) do, and that Democrats (58 percent) and Independents (52 percent) are considerably more likely than Republicans (32 percent) to say that legalization has been good for Colorado.
But the biggest marijuana divide is seen in age: Three-quarters of 18- to 29-year-olds say that legalization has been good for the state, compared with 27 percent of voters over 65 who say the same.
Despite these divisions, however, a majority of Colorado voters (51 percent) would oppose any plan to repeal marijuana legalization. Only 36 percent would support such a measure.
1. Privateer Holdings
The marijuana investment company recently closed a $75 million fundraising round that included the Founders Fund, an investment firm created by PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, taking a multi-million dollar stake. The investment was a big one for both Privateer and the cannabis industry on the whole because it represented the first major institutional funding in a marijuana company.
Privateer, which says the $75 million funding is the largest yet in the pot industry, operates a trifecta of pot-related companies: Canadian medical marijuana growing facility Tilray; a Yelp-like website to search marijuana dispensaries called Leafly; and, the recently unveiled Marley Natural, which will sell recreational cannabis strains branded with the name of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley.
2. GW Pharmaceuticals
This British pharmaceutical company has been developing drugs derived from cannabis compounds THC and the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (which, unlike THC, does not produce a “high”) for more than a decade. GW Pharmaceuticals GWPH -0.72% is currently testing a new cannabidiol-based drug, called Epidiolex, that is intended to treat severe epilepsy in children and young adults. At the same time, investors who are eager to pump money into the cannabis industry’s expanding medical research segment are sending up the company’s shares.
GW’s stock topped $100 per share last month and are up nearly 68% so far this year, giving the company a market value of about $2.2 billion.
This medical marijuana delivery app has been billed as the “Uber for pot.” And, while Eaze is nowhere close to the ride-hailing app’s multi-billion dollar valuation, the delivery service that can bring pot to your door (assuming you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal) recently took in some major investment money. Eaze announced its $10 million Series A funding earlier this month from a handful of venture capital firms.
Interestingly, one of the reported investors in Eaze’s funding round was Casa Verde Capital, a VC firm backed by rapper Snoop Dogg, a well-known pot-enthusiast who already has his own branded vaporizer.
This pot-focused social networking app overcame a brief exile from Apple’s App Store earlier this year and has since grown to more than 275,000 users. MassRoots, which lets cannabis lovers connect and share pictures with one another, is now being traded as a penny stockafter raising more than $1.3 million in funding through a pair of investment rounds that left the company valued at $25 million overall.
MassRoots’ troubles with Apple seem to be over now that the app has added a geo-restricting function that limits its users to the 23 states with legal medical marijuana. CEO Isaac Dietrich told Fortune in February that his company is lining up advertisers in the hopes of capitalizing on its user base. Dietrich thinks MassRoots could see $1 million in monthly revenue within two years.
MedMen managing partner Adam Bierman told Fortunelast year that he wants his company to become “the Four Seasons of pot,” referring to the luxury hotel chain. In other words, he sees the marijuana management and consulting firm becoming a trusted name in the industry that can manage medical marijuana businesses across the country. Currently, the focus is in Nevada, where MedMen is in talks to manage licensed dispensaries and cultivation facilities. As the company moves toward its goal of managing a bigger variety of pot businesses, MedMen will tap into the $3.75 million in funding it raised from investors last fall.
MassRoots (OTC: MSRT), the cannabis technology company with a registered user base of over 900K, filed an amended S-1 yesterday pointing to an imminent stock offering. The company, upon the registration going effective, is seeking to sell up to 10mm units at $0.50 per unit. Each unit will include a common share and a warrant, which we understand to have an exercise price of $0.90 per share, below the $1.10 implied by the filing. If the company is successful in selling all of the shares it intends to offer, it will raise $5mm.
MassRoots has 49.3mm shares outstanding as well as 12.3mm shares that could be issued upon the exercise of warrants or convertible debentures ($0.51 weighted average exercise price) and 5.7mm shares that could be issued upon the exercise of employee stock options ($0.63 weighted average exercise price).
The funds raised will be used for general corporate purposes, working capital and business development as well as the primary purpose, which is to pay $1.917mm to retire a bridge note. The March 2016 Note Offering of $1.515mm is due in September. The company last sold equity in November, raising over $1mm selling shares (with warrants) at $1.25.
MassRoots shares are trading at $0.68, down 38% YTD:
In an 8-K filing with the SEC this afternoon, Medicine Man Technologies (OTC: MDCL) announced that it will be acquiring Pono Publications, which publishes “Three A Light”, a step-by-step book on growing indoor top shelf cannabis, and Success Nutrients, Inc. Josh Haupt is the Principal Officer and Director of the two companies. The binding Term Sheet calls for MDCL to issue 7mm shares valued at $12.6mm within the next 90 days, representing 41% of the entire company upon closing.
Medicine Man Technologies is the consulting company that has licensed IP from leading Colorado cannabis company, Medicine Man, which is run by Andy Williams. He is the CEO of MDCL, while Brett Roper serves as COO. The company has 24 active clients in 13 states. The company recently announced a potential acquisition of Capital G Ltd, an Ohio limited liability company and its three wholly owned subsidiary companies, Funk Sac LLC, Commodigy LLC, and OdorNo LLC, in consideration for the issuance of an aggregate of 1.3 million shares of our Common Stock.
Prior to touring Josh Haupt’s cultivation facilities, I had never met an industrial cultivator of cannabis that was better than Medicine Man. Now I have. I believe Josh Haupt and Three A Light TM are hands down the best industrial cultivators of cannabis in the world. I could not be more excited to welcome Pono Publications and Success Nutrients to Medicine Man Technologies.
Andy Williams, CEO of Medicine Man Technologies
The revenue and earnings potential of both products are tremendous. Paired with the leadership and charisma that Josh Haupt will bring to our executive management team and the synergies of our current product and service portfolio, the potential growth on all product and service fronts is exciting.
Success Nutrients began operations in December and generated over $100K sales in July, while Pono Publishing has generated about $400K since December. The combined companies intend to offer existing and future clients of the firm a cultivation improvement offering.