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MJBiz Acquired by Emerald Holding for $120 million

Emerald X has acquired Denver-based MJBiz. Emerald Holding is a New York media and event company that acquired MJBiz in a deal worth $120 million.

The acquisition also includes MJBizCon MJBizDaily and Hemp Industry Daily. MJBiz Magazine was acquired in 2020. According to Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s president and CEO, this acquisition will greatly benefit his company. “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.”

MJBiz’s CEO Chris Walsh also shared that this move represents the cannabis industry’s growth. “This really highlights the rapidly growing interest in cannabis from all corners of the business world, the market’s vast potential and the success of not only MJBiz, but also of the entire industry,” Walsh said. “We’re seeing these types of deals across cannabis as pioneering companies such as ours level up to more effectively tap and foster the industry’s next wave of growth.”

MJBizCon’s most recent event was held in October 19-22, 2021, and attracted approximately 27,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada. The event boasts that it’s one of the largest and long-lasting cannabis business events, and will be celebrating its 11th year of operation in 2022 with the expectation that attendance will reach up to 30,000. It is expected that the event will take place between November 15-18, 2022. Between February 27th and March 1st 2022, the Emerald Conference is scheduled.

Emerald is responsible for over 142 events as well 16 media productions that span a broad range of markets. These include design, technology, safety, security, retail and more. The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, International Pizza Expo, Modern Day Marine, Retail Innovation Conference & Expo, Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, to name just a few events, are all hosted by Emerald.

According to MJBizDaily the company’s current staff of 40 will be retained, and Emerald has over 600 employees. CEO Chris Walsh, Senior Vice President of Events and Sales Jess Tyler and Senior Vice President of Content and Audience Development Pam Moore have been confirmed to continue working as part of MJBiz’s day-to-day activity.

Anne Holland, Anne Holland, and Cassandra Farmington will still consult. MJBiz Co founder Cassandra Farmington feels confident that MJBiz’s incorporation into another company will strengthen the companies. “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,” Farmington said. “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.”

Aside from the $120 million acquisition amount, but MJBiz notes that the earnout is based on future financial performance calculated as “an amount equal to the average MJBiz EBITDA over the past two years minus $13 million—multiplied by 9.3.” Emerald’s Chief Financial Officer projects that this earnout could amount to somewhere between $30 million to $50 million in early 2023.