Ep. 515: Chris Walsh, MJBiz

February 20, 2020

Chris Walsh dives into the industry’s exponential growth over the past several years, the SAFE Banking Act, and the frustrating process of incremental legislative change: “When something substantial actually is enacted into law is when you’re really going to see things open up.” Walsh also discusses the difference between the cannabis industry and the hemp industry, the state of the CBD market in the U.S., retail investments, and more.


Seth Adler: Chris Walsh returns. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com, that's two N's and the word economy, or wherever you currently get your podcasts. First a word from our supporter and then Chris Walsh.
Speaker 2: I've known the family behind Medicine Man for the past eight years. Pioneers in Colorado, the family business helped set the path for global adult use cannabis. Mg magazine has voted them top 50 cannabis companies to work for, two consecutive years running. Check out their website at MedicineManDenver.com, or visit one of their locations in Denver, Aurora, Thornton or Longmont the next time you're in Colorado to understand how one family has helped chart the course for the next great American industry.
Seth Adler: Chris Walsh, here we are at the, what, family size MJBiz in Las Vegas.
Chris Walsh: Supersize.
Seth Adler: Supersize, that's what I was going for. Yeah. 35,000, is that a number that makes sense?
Chris Walsh: That's what we're on pace for as of the eve before the show.
Seth Adler: Right. There we go. And so podcast land knows no time, but it does happen to be before the show begins, but that puts into context this year's show as we look to it, versus we were just talking about the last few years and the exponential growth that the industry has had, and that you guys have had as well.
Chris Walsh: Yeah, I mean, I always say that we're a reflection of the industry, right? We've built a successful business. Our conference is successful. Our content, our journalism, all that has grown, but it's a reflection of the industry and where it's come. It's not like we could've gotten this crowd five years ago, right, if we'd just done things better. I think that's how you can chart the industry sometimes is through the success or the growth of our own conference, because this is really about getting people together. And so if there's a big legal change or a new state comes online, it's reflected in this conference.
Seth Adler: Yeah. Five years ago, just to give folks a sense, right, if 35,000 is today, what was five years ago?
Chris Walsh: Five years ago I think was around-
Seth Adler: Who remembers, but roughly.
Chris Walsh: ... 4,000 or 5,000. Yeah, yeah.
Seth Adler: 4,000 or 5,000, so we've grown I think seven times if ... I'm no mathematician, but that's big growth in five years.
Seth Adler: You mentioned a legislative change can move the ball. The SAFE Banking Act passing in the House, now I'm almost asking you to put on your old writer hat, it feels like that doesn't move the ball, right, as much as it would have five years ago, something like that. Right?
Chris Walsh: Yeah, I think so. I think that what we're seeing on the federal landscape now is that that's another crack in the dam, right? So we keep swinging at this with a sledgehammer-

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