Meet The CEO Building A Marijuana Business News Empire

Meet The CEO Building A Marijuana Business News Empire 960 640 C-Suite Network
Cassandra Farrington, CEO, Marijuana Business Daily speaking at the 2016 MJBiz Expo in Las Vegas

When the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in 2011 began to scare off would-be entrepreneurs, Cassandra Farrington, CEO and co-founder of a brand new marijuana trade newsletter didn’t blink. She and her business partner “kept the lights on” in their small Denver publishing house while their only competitor went dark. They ended up building what they hoped would be “The Wall Street Journal” of legal cannabis.

“It always made sense to keep going,” says the former Citigroup exec who helms the website, print and email publication Marijuana Business Daily, a.k.a., MJBiz Daily, plus its mega trade conference that will draw more than 14,000 attendees next month in Las Vegas. The MJBiz Conference and Expo is the largest B2B gathering in the burgeoning landscape of legal weed and was named to Trade Show Executive’s “Fastest 50” the last two years. With 843% overall growth across its verticals in 2016, MJBiz Daily won accolades as a top media company by Inc., landing on its Inc 5000 list.

“We’re not a lifestyle publication or a culture magazine or a celebration of the plant type publication. We are truly all about the dollars, cents, actions, partnerships: the business side of the industry,” Farrington explains of her company’s position in a market that has seen an explosion of media startups devoted to covering all aspects of legal weed like Merry Jane, Weed Week, Green Rush Daily, and Marijuana Investors News. With some form of pot legalized in 29 states plus the District of Columbia and consumer spending across North America projected to jump from $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021, the race is on to cash in on cannabis.

“It is a huge industry, not just in the United States, but globally and getting bigger every day,” says the mom of two who laughs that she was “outed” to her neighbors and friends as a cannabis entrepreneur one evening as she was co-leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop meeting. It was November 2012, in the days following Colorado’s…