On the tail end of the Great Recession in 2009, we, the CANNAPAGES founders, were laid off from a company that created web media for the YellowPages. After months of development, we launched the first CANNAPAGES website in January 2010, coinciding with an industry eruption due to new state laws. We immediately established a new precedent amongst other listing sites, by providing not only contact info, but specials as well. Even to ask dispensary owners at that time if they had any sales, caught many of them completely off-guard.
Within months, we were contracted to put our directory and coupons in Post 420 Magazine, the first of several publishing partnerships. We also leveraged our design skills and social media reach to become an integral part of the community long before ever considering the possibility of printing our own directory. We experimented with a million directions: promoting events (including our own parties), building websites --including the first for NCIA-- traveling the convention circuit, marketing guides for the dispensary owners, and even on a few occasions, state-hopping in a 4-seater Cessna with Steve from ADILAS (midnights from Salida into blizzards nonetheless).
During the years that followed, we improved and expanded CANNAPAGES on the side while taking on budtending, and eventually, management roles at dispensaries. We identified what was missing from cannabis media: a simple merging of traditional retail with the forces that once drove underground purchases for the decades before legalization. What you see today is the end product of that research, CANNAPAGES Directory & Digest, which first launched on the streets of Denver in January, 2014. Since then, we’ve worked to spread the joy of CANNAPAGES to the rest of Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, & most recently Oklahoma - and we still have new territories to explore.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that today’s publication evolved from the brainstorms of a few activists, patients and growers so long ago. But we wouldn’t have made it without the work of our dedicated team, community of business owners, and of course, our readers!
Thank you for making the last ten years well worth the challenges - we sincerely appreciate it!
Nathan, Micah, and Isaac Johnson, Founders