By now you’ve likely noticed that we’ve changed the name of our magazine, from Cannabis Canada to Cannabis Culture. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was one that had to be made for many reasons.
To be blunt, one of the main reasons we changed our name is to sell more copies to Americans. Although we have no desire to become an all-American magazine, it is important for the success of our magazine that we have as broad a readership as possible. There’s a lot of pot-people living in that great nation to the South, and we want them all to pick up and enjoy our magazine, along with their Canadian cousins.
We’ve been told by many distributors and advertisers that the word “Canada” in our title means that many American and international outlets don’t put our magazine on their shelf, as they assume that we are a magazine aimed solely at Canadians.
We are still a Canadian magazine, but the last few issues have seen us bringing you stories from Europe, Asia and America, and we aim to continue expanding our focus to embrace international Cannabis Culture as well as current events across Canada.
To “culture” also means to grow a plant, and so our new title is also a subtle pun. Cannabis culture is not defined by national boundaries, but by our love and respect for the cannabis plant. The glorious nature of our culture is that it is international in scope. Pot-people from all different countries are able to unite peacefully to share their sacrament, and we want to reach out to unify and inspire the international cannabis community.
Although very succesful for a new magazine, we still often find ourselves at the precipice of financial meltdown. This is partly because of the nature of magazine distribution, as our major distributors pay us two issues behind, so that with the release of this issue we are paid for issue #11. This is a 4-6 month delay, while we must pay to have each issue printed immediately. Since we are rapidly expanding, this means we must somehow pay ever-increasing printer’s bills before we have received our payments.
Another problem which most magazines don’t have to deal with is continued police harassment. When we were part of Hemp BC we suffered whenever the cops went in and seized their merchandise. Now that we are on our own we still have to deal with police raids and seizures. On April 30, Vancouver pigs raided our office (as well as Hemp BC and the Cannabis Cafe) and seized $10,000 in mail-order bongs and pipes, as well as 3 computers.
(The machines they seized had our payroll records, tax remittances, and some other financial information. The subscriber list was not seized.)
Coupled with the many other problems we face, this raid almost brought an end to our publication. Only desperate cost-cutting measures have allowed us to continue. We have closed down our mail-order all together, and sold off all remaining stock at wholesale rates. Luxuries like using hemp paper will have to be postponed indefinitely.
Given all of this, it is important to understand that our main goal, above all others, is survival. We must continue to exist and grow as a magazine, and we will do whatever is necessary to maintain ourselves as a viable publication. I believe that there is a huge potential for this magazine, and I want to fulfill that potential and become an internationally recognized voice for marijuana freedom. If changing our name will bring us more revenue and help us to survive, then our name must be changed.
While there are many other cannabis magazines out there, I believe in all modesty that we are among the best, and that we have a unique voice which ought to be heard.
Cannabis Culture is here to stay, and we will not allow police intimidation or financial woes to silence us. With your help and support we will continue to grow and develop, and to fight for the freedom of the cannabis plant, in Canada and around the world.