Due to unsustainable costs, publisher and well-known marijuana activist Marc Emery has decided to stop printing Cannabis Culture Magazine. However, in a message published on CannabisCulture.com dated March 25, Emery said that he and his staff will "continue to devote our time to changing the world and ending the war on drugs through the Cannabis Culture and Pot-TV websites, the CCHQ retail store, the BC Marijuana Party, and CC’s online mail order.
In his closure letter, Emery offered readers a close-up look at the magazine's troublesome financials:
Of the 62,000 printed for issue #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.
Emery founded the Marijuana & Hemp Newsletter, which evolved into Cannabis Culture magazine, in 1994.
Because revenues were not meeting costs, Emery has had to pour $20,000 from his retail and mail order businesses into the magazine each month for the last three and a half years.
Emery also noted that the bimonthly magazine medium—because of "the modern-day demand for immediate news and material"—was no longer meeting the needs of his audience.
"It’s clear that printed media is no longer sustainable or effective," Emery wrote. "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."