Emerald Rolls Into Cannabis Industry By Acquiring MJBiz

Andrea Doyle, Executive Editor

NEW YORK, NY – Emerald Holding has acquired MJBiz, the leading event-producer and content platform serving the wide range of companies operating in the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

Founded in 2011, MJBiz produces MJBizCon, the oldest and leading B2B cannabis trade show in America. In 2021, MJBiz’s revenues were approximately $27 million, which is near pre-pandemic levels.

MJBizCon is a top trade show in the cannabis industry, having featured more than 1,200 exhibiting companies and 27,000 attendees — including more than 18,000 paid registrations — at the October 2021 event, rivaling pre-pandemic numbers.

MJBiz management, including CEO Chris Walsh, Senior Vice President of Events and Sales Jess Tyler, and Senior Vice President of Content and Audience Development Pam Moore, will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the business, utilizing their exceptional knowledge and experience in the event and content platforms.

“This is a transformational acquisition for Emerald, as it represents an important next step in the implementation of our strategic initiatives and underscores our commitment to evolve and grow our customers’ businesses 365 days a year,” Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s President and CEO, said. “We have long admired MJBiz’s sterling reputation for being the most trusted event and content-producer serving the business side of the cannabis and hemp industries and their respective participants. MJBiz’s leading event and content portfolio coupled with their 365-day engagement platform, which connects the entire cannabis supply chain, will diversify our collective product offerings, enhance our growth profile and enable us to deliver even greater value to our customers over the long term.”

Cassandra Farrington, MJBiz Cofounder and Chair of its Board, commented, “Our organization has experienced massive growth since its inception, initially as a how-to resource to help dispensary owners run their businesses better, into our position today as the leading commercial resource for the cannabis sector. Integrating with a larger organization provides the additional resources and channels to unlock the next phase of MJBiz’s growth and is the right next step in our evolution as a business. We chose Emerald because they clearly value the unique aspects of our brand and are committed to serving the industry’s expansion.”

Emerald paid $120 million as initial consideration upon closing of the transaction, with potential future payments contingent on the performance of MJBiz through 2022.

“We at Emerald stand firmly behind our strategic initiatives and framework that will allow us to achieve portfolio optimization and growth for our employees, customers, and our company. Through this acquisition, we can partner and collectively invest in the growth sectors MJBiz has already identified alongside the strategic opportunities that lay before us in the future,” Sedky said.

MJBizCon returned to Las Vegas for its first in-person conference in two years last October, attracting 26,998 attendees and 1,246 exhibitors. Approximately 249,300 net square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center was used for this show.

“This is an exciting opportunity for MJBiz. Joining the Emerald team will allow us to take MJBizCon — and the brand — to the next level with additional resources and a breadth of experience from across their many verticals. With Emerald’s support, we intend to build upon the success of the 2021 show and serve our audience and exhibitors better than ever,” Jess Tyler, CEM, SVP Events and Sales, MJBiz and MJBizCon, said.

MJBiz’s next events include the Emerald Conference, February 27-March 1, 2022, in San Diego, CA at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, and MJBizCon, November 15-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Sidebar

MJBizCon

  • Ranked once in the Gold 100 (Show year: 2019)
  • Ranked five times in the Fastest 50 (Show years: 2015-2019)
  • The 2019 show ranked #72 in the Gold 100
  • The 2019 show ranked #3 by NSF, #2 by Exhibiting Companies, #32 by Attendance in the Fastest 50
  • The 2015 show ranked #1 in all three metric categories in the Fastest 50.
  • 2021 show data reported for the upcoming Q4 Dashboard (October 20-21, 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Center): 247,700 nsf; 1,245 Exhibiting Companies; 26,998 Attendees.
  • The show was previously Marijuana Business Conference & Expo (name shortened to MJBizCon beginning in 2017).
  • Marijuana Business Conference – Spring was a spring edition held in previous years (last edition held in 2019). The spring edition ranked once in the Fastest 50 (Show year: 2016).

MJBizCon Gold 100 Grand Awards

  • 2019 Show: Fastest-Growing Gold 100 Show in Net Square Feet in 2019 (By Percentage of Growth)
  • 2019 Show: Fastest-Growing Gold 100 Show in 2019 (By Blended Growth)

MJBizCon Fastest 50 Grand Awards

  • 2018 Show: Fastest-Growing Annual Show in Attendance (Sheer Numbers)
  • 2018 Show: Fastest-Growing Annual Show in Exhibit Space (Percentage)
  • 2017 Show: Fastest-Growing Retail Show by Blended Percentage of Growth
  • 2017 Show: Fastest-Growing Semi-Annual Show by Blended Percentage of Growth
  • 2016 Show: Fastest-Growing Semi-Annual Show by Percentage of Growth (NSF, Exhibitors, Attendance)
  • 2015 Show: The Fastest-Growing Show of 2015
  • 2015 Show: Fastest-Growing Show Managed by an Independent Organizer

Reach Hervé Sedky at herve.sedky@emeraldx.com; Cassandra Farrington at (720) 212-5802 or cassandraf@mjbizdaily.com