What is Cannabis Culture Magazine?

As of spring 2009, Cannabis Culture Magazine is no longer available as a printed publication. Read Marc Emery’s explanation here. We are still recognized as one of the best sources for information due to our highest-standard journalism and news delivery about cannabis-related politics, activism, growing information, entertainment and more, so bookmark www.CannabisCulture.com!

Cannabis Culture is a magazine about marijuana and hemp around the world. Cannabis Culture is published every two months, and can be found at hemp and head shops, retail book stores, and newsstands across North America.

At Cannabis Culture we love marijuana in all its diverse forms. Each issue of is packed full of marijuana and drug war news, amazing grow stories, political and historical information, and spectacular photography from the top cannabis photographers. From fabulous budshots and cultivation advice to cutting-edge pot culture and the drug war journalism, Cannabis Culture aims to bring you nothing but the best.

We are an activist magazine dedicated to liberating marijuana, freeing pot-prisoners around the globe, and bringing an end to the vicious worldwide war on drugs. Every issue challenges prohibitionist myths and provides current and essential information pertaining to marijuana.

The History of Cannabis Culture

Cannabis Culture magazine has seen rapid growth and change in its twelve-year history. The magazine was founded in the summer of 1994 as a newsletter edited and published by Marc Emery, who also founded Hemp BC and the Cannabis Cafe (now the BC Marijuana Party Bookstore and the New Amsterdam Cafe on the “Pot Block” in downtown Vancouver). The newsletter was called “Marijuana and Hemp” and Emery printed them totally on hemp paper.

Dana Larsen took over as editor in December 1994, and in January 1995 produced the first and only issue of Marijuana and Hemp Magazine. With the next issue the title was changed to Cannabis Canada, and the new magazine continued to be printed entirely on hemp, coming out four times a year.

Cannabis Canada was one of the first websites on the Internet, with an online version of the magazine launched simultaneously with the print one in December 1994. The first issue is a good indication of how primitive the web was when we began!

In the early days of the magazine it was subsidized by publisher Emery’s Hemp BC store operation. Yet Hemp BC suffered from repeated police raids, so hemp paper was discontinued after issue #3 due to the great expense involved.

The magazine continued to evolve and expand, adding colour and picking up new advertisers and contributors. At issue #13 we changed the name to Cannabis Culture to reflect our growing international coverage, and to acknowledge that ‘cannabis culture’ crosses all borders.

Boldly Pushing Forward

Looking at the history, Cannabis Culture is still strong today. [Up until early 2009] we still come out every two months and print about 70,000 copies per issue. Publicity has been rapidly growing, thanks to associations with Showtime’s TV hit series Weeds, Showcase’s Trailer Park Boys, various movies, musicians and celebrities, and more in the works.

Around the world the marijuana movement is blossoming into a unified cultural force. The legalization of hemp and medical marijuana are harbingers of the coming end of prohibition and the drug war. We are documenting a turning point in history, when cannabis will be returned to its place as a loyal friend and helper to humanity.

We hope that you’ll join us in our pursuit of knowledge and justice, and enjoy being part of our magazine as we journey together towards freedom.

Peace and Pot,
Cannabis Culture Magazine

– To reach various CC staff, go to our Contacts Page.


Cannabis Culture Magazine: Moving from print to online

March 25th, 2009

Message from Cannabis Culture Publisher and Editor-In-Chief Marc Emery:

I have decided to cease publication of Cannabis Culture Magazine’s print version and move to an entirely online format. Magazine advertising and circulation are predicted to fall off in the near future and matters will get worse if I continue to print a paper edition.

We printed 62,000 copies of issue #73. Soon afterward, magazine distributor Anderson News – who handles 25% (about 12,500) of our magazines that go to newsstands – went out of business. This was terrible news for all magazines, as Anderson News was one of the largest publication distributors in North America. That news led to our main distributor, Disticor, ordering 9,000 fewer copies of #75 (had we printed it), meaning our immediate future sales on newsstands would have been severely reduced. Ultimately, each issue lost about $35,000 to $45,000, and my Cannabis Culture Headquarters store in Vancouver, BC was forced to pay for the losses. That was an unsustainable burden we cannot afford going into the future.

Cannabis Culture Magazine began as the Marijuana & Hemp Newsletter (then called Cannabis Canada, then renamed Cannabis Culture) in 1994, the year the World-Wide Web debuted. In those days, all information about marijuana, hemp and our culture was available only in the monthly High Times Magazine and nothing else. We were the first web site (HempBC.com) in the world about cannabis, appearing in November 1994, and in January 2000, we began the very first cannabis video streaming website (www.Pot.tv) online.

Now there are thousands of websites devoted to cannabis information, photography, commentary, grow information, and political news on an hourly or daily basis. Our magazine, appearing once every eight weeks, simply cannot stay abreast of current events and the modern-day demand for immediate news and material. Our organizations are often being quoted, but the references are from our online material and archives, videos, movies, TV interviews and other multi-media. At the same time, feedback has dropped from readers and the effort to produce a print copy of CC Magazine required enormous manpower and a small Canadian forest for each issue.

The future of all print media is bleak. Many magazines and newspapers could go out of business by the end of the year, including The National Post, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, and many others. Check out the latest Sports Illustrated; it has only 10.5 pages of advertising in the entire issue. TIME Magazine has only eight pages of advertising. Magazines rely on advertising, and as the economy worsens, companies are not able to afford ads like they used to. The digital age is truly the future. Magazines don’t have nearly the impact they once did, because all information is available faster and free online. Our www.CannabisCulture.com website gets a huge number of visitors and readers – much more than the magazine ever did – so that’s where we will put all of our effort. It’s clear that printed media is no longer sustainable or effective. If we focus on our online presence, we can raise revenue and be more efficient and competitive with information. We will continue our pioneering ways by taking advantage of our Pot-TV video capabilities and our extensive contacts and reputation around the world.

Here’s a breakdown of CC Magazine’s unsustainable costs. Of the 62,000 printed for #73, only 35,000 sold, meaning 27,000 got destroyed (which is typical with magazines, but very environmentally unfriendly). Now, with chaos in our distribution system, our potential sales would drop to under 30,000. The circulation revenue for that is a disappointing $44,000 per issue; advertising revenue is only providing $30,000 per issue, but it costs $64,000 to print 62,000 copies. It’s another $10,000 to ship to distributors, stores and subscribers. Those costs are covered by revenue from all sources, but the cost of producing the magazine is approximately $16,000 for material (writers and photographers), $32,000 for the staff of six people who work in 8-week cycles to produce the magazine, $4,000 an issue in promotion, posters, subscription cards, and much more that were not covered by revenue the magazine generated. Subscriptions never made money, and we never had more than 1,400 subscribers at any one time. Each magazine cost about $2 each to produce, plus 60 cents to ship in Canada, $1.50 to ship to USA, $3.00 abroad. Envelopes and packing took another 25 cents per issue.

This huge cost of producing CC Magazine has meant our retail stores and mail order have had to pour $20,000 into the magazine each month for the past 3.5 years – ever since the Marc Emery Direct Seed catalog was canceled from CC Magazine in July 2005 (after the US Drug Enforcement Administration raided my seed business and set me up for extradition to the US – please see www.NoExtradition.net if you don’t know this story, and to help me fight to stay in my home country Canada). When I had the seed business, I paid $35,000 for my 12-page catalog to appear in each issue. In those days, CC Magazine had 20 pages of additional advertising that produced $30,000, so combined, advertising generated $65,000 per issue. We’re done our best to keep CC Magazine alive, but it has been a growing revenue drain.

All subscribers will get a credit in the mail worth 25% more value than what we owe you for the remainder of your subscription. The credit is redeemable for merchandise from the CC Mail Order catalogue, CC online store (www.CannabisCulture.com/store) or in our CCHQ store (307 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, 604-682-1172). If there is no merchandise you would like to receive, then we will reimburse your remaining subscription money.

I am extremely proud of our 15 years of publishing Cannabis Culture in print. Our activist publication inspired so many people, and did numerous good things for the movement. We will continue to devote our time to changing the world and ending the war on drugs. Our Cannabis Culture and Pot-TV websites, the CCHQ retail store, the BC Marijuana Party, and CC’s online mail order will all continue – and they will be able to do even more now that CC Magazine’s losses won’t be subsidized. It is the end of an era, and I know many readers will miss CC Magazine, but it’s also a new beginning. I hope you join us on our journey into the future.

Thank you for your support over the years.

Marc Scott Emery
Publisher and Editor-In-Chief
Cannabis Culture Magazine

Cannabis Culture Magazine
307 West Hastings Street
Vancouver BC, V6B 1H6, Canada
(604) 669-9069 / (604) 689-0590