There’s a brand new (and interestingly unique) resource on the web for cannabiz folks – a duet of websites 100% focused on the cannabis industry.
Buds and buds
Growbay.com hosts a cannabis-related business directory, industry event calendar, and comprehensive knowledge base. And CannabizNews.com is, as its name implies, a daily cannabis industry news magazine.
Both sites were started by two long-time “buds,” Rick Schettino and David Wagner – one a marketing and the latter an IT pro. Rick tells us about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of their venture.
HERB: Who is involved in this new venture?
It’s just myself and my partner Dave Wagner. We met way back in 1975. We were 12 and 13 years old. Dave went on to become an IT consultant, and I went into communications.
I eventually ended up publishing an indie music business magazine that’s still around today. That experience is really the “seed” for this venture.
HERB: What possessed the two of you to develop these sites?
We decided to team up to form a marketing agency in early 2016. Our first big client turned out to be a cannabis-related business. We instantly saw that there was a huge void to be filled.
We saw no comprehensive resource focused 100% on the industry. There are consumer marijuana websites mixed with some business news, and there are business sites with great news coverage, but the content becomes old fast, and they don’t offer much for the guys and gals with their hands in the dirt.
HERB: What made you decide to build two sites rather than just one site with all the features?
We originally envisioned a website that could serve as a junction box for the entire industry. After putting more thought into it we decided rather than cramming it all into one site, we’d tailor the function of each site to fit the content.
Our news website is what I call a “glossy” news magazine site. We put a lot into the design. It’s a pleasure to read, and not cluttered with ads. It’s designed for quality of content, not for quantity of clicks.
And our information and knowledge base website is highly functional and easy to use and will have tons of valuable info. Growers won’t have to sift through old news to find valuable information. Although they are two distinct sites with distinct functions, they really work hand-in-hand.
Growbay and CannabizNews: Keeping you informed
HERB: How did you raise the start-up capital to develop the two sites?
We considered raising investment capital but decided instead to take the indie route. We knew it was going to be a mammoth undertaking to build two websites at the same time.
But, rather than become married to a bunch of shareholders, we decided to go it on our own because we have the right combination of skills. We’ve been working on the two sites simultaneously, non-stop for six months.
HERB: Who else is involved in the venture?
We’re bringing on top-notch talent. Our first hire was our Managing Editor, Mikel Weisser. He’s the Arizona state director of NORML, and a former AZ congressional candidate who was instrumental in drafting Arizona’s legalization initiatives.
We’ve recently joined forces with Denver-based cannabis journalist, Lloyd Covens, editor of West420 Newsletter. We have industry journalists in California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, and other states. And we’re actively recruiting experts in all aspects of the industry to share their knowledge on Growbay.
HERB: The sites were launched just recently. Where do you go from here?
We’re just a sprout right now, but we have big plans. We intend to make Cannabiz News the highest quality industry news site on the web, and to build Growbay into the go-to resource that connects everyone in the business to each other and to the information and knowledge they need to be successful in this industry.
It’s going to be a lot of work, but we’re super stoked to be doing this and looking forward to an exciting future.
Get growing with free listings
Growbay offers free business listings, event listings, help wanted ads, classified ads and more. If you’re involved in the cannabiz it would behoove you to pay the site a visit and take advantage of the resources they have to offer.