But it’s not the numbers that interest Roberts as much as who is reading the magazine each month. Advertisers will change their perception once they know who the readers are, he added.
If he were selling a growing machine and wanted to reach individual buyers, Roberts said that he would advertise in a consumer publication, such as High Times, which has been publishing for more than 40 years. In contrast, Mg targets industrial buyers.
“I’m the magazine you want to go with if you want to sell 1,000 units to one store who is then going to sell them. Totally two different models. That is an education that most (advertisers) need to go through,” he said.
Neal Vitale, a veteran of the business-to-business publishing world and an advisor to Mg, said that in 2016 it is counter-intuitive to start a print magazine. By doing that, Roberts has created a distinctive position for Cann Media Group in the marijuana market.
“I don’t think anybody else has gone after it in the same way and focus on the retailer,” said Vitale, the former chief executive of 1105 Media, a Chatsworth business-to-business media company serving the education, public sector, security and public health markets.
For Roberts, the reason was simple for why he wanted to do a print magazine – it’s been the format he has worked with the longest.
“I was drawn to print, design, paper and it’s turned into my career,” Roberts said.
Aaron Justis, president of Buds & Roses Collective in Studio City, is both a reader of and a subject in Mg, having appeared on the cover of the January issue.
He called the magazine refreshing in that the ads were relevant to him as a dispensary owner.
“It is good resource in an industry where you cannot pick up a catalogue and order what you want,” Justis said.
The magazine, however, is just the start of what Roberts wants to do in the cannabis industry. Cann Media will have multi-platform distribution for content through a website, newsletters and white sheets. The managing editor of the magazine will pick the content and stories best suited for print, Roberts said.
Additionally, webinars, conventions and educational seminars will figure in the future plans of the company.
The magazine’s name comes from the abbreviation for milligram – mg – the measurement used for the THC (a psychoactive chemical) or cannabidiol (a non-psychoactive chemical known as CBD) found in marijuana products. But the industry has taken upon itself to create other translations for the abbreviation, Roberts said, such as Master Grower, Marijuana Gardener or Marijuana Grower.