A Q&A with Debra Borchardt and Cynthia Salarizadeh, Green Market Report Co-Founders
If, like many professionals in the cannabis industry, you feel that business reports related to cannabis are often all fluff, you’d be right. One company, spearheaded by two females, is changing all of that. They are coining their company, Green Market Report, the Wallstreet of cannabis. We sat down with Debra Borchardt and Cynthia Salarizadeh to discuss what was the catalyst for creating their company, what they think it means for the future and how you can take your investments to the next level in the cannabis market. Here’s what they had to share with DOPE readers.
What is the overall intent of creating this platform?
To give people one website for the key financial news in the cannabis industry; trusting that the news is balanced. We want readers to be able to go to one website when looking for research and analytic information on the [cannabis] industry. We want readers to come to Green Market Report and not have to worry about being bombarded with a sales pitch or have to question the veracity of the story.
What was the inspiration behind the creation? Was there a moment where you realized the industry was lacking this information?
Borchardt: I wanted to create a “CNBC of Cannabis.” I’d written about the industry for several years and I wasn’t finding one site that had the type of coverage I wanted. Most were either selling stock tips or engaging heavily in sponsored content or blogging. I wanted a site where business coverage wasn’t just a vertical, where it was the sole focus.
Who is your audience?
Our audience is cannabis investors and cannabis industry insiders. Fifty percent of our readers are in the millennial demographic between the ages of 25-44.
What are the differences between Wall Street and the cannabis industry?
The biggest difference is the amount of female entrepreneurs. There are more women-owned businesses [in the cannabis sector] than on Wall Street. Wall Street also has the approval of bad behavior from the government, while cannabis is punished without doing any bad deeds. Wall Street is a shrinking industry, while cannabis is growing and adding jobs.
What information do people need to know before investing in the cannabis industry?
Investors need to know the management team [they’re working with]. They need to be able to easily find the company’s financial documents. Once investors are able to read the financial documents, they must be able to clearly identify the source of the revenue. Once the revenue question is answered, expenses must be reviewed as well to determine if they are reasonable. It seems basic, but for some companies it’s like a puzzle.
How risky is it to get into Real Estate investing in the cannabis industry?
Real estate is probably the least risky sector in the cannabis industry. That’s why it draws the most conservative cannabis investors. It’s a familiar investment and takes the least amount of industry education. Having said that, with the cost of cannabis prices falling in mature markets, the cash cost per gram if becoming a key metric. Meaning that real estate in cannabis investing will only work if the costs are kept down.
How would you describe the financial state of the cannabis industry in 10 words or less?
It’s in the first five miles of a marathon.
How do you continue to bring credibility to the scene?
Credibility will come from delivering strong journalistic integrity to the reporting. Readers will know that when they read about a company on Green Market Report that it will be based on the facts. The coverage will be balanced and good players will be applauded, while bad players will be called out.
Will cannabis businesses start taking Bitcoin as currency?
I doubt the cannabis industry will adopt bitcoin. Regular retail hasn’t even opened up to bitcoin and the people who have actually tried to use it find the premium price isn’t worth it. The cannabis industry is striving to be accepted as an equal player in the economy and bitcoin won’t advance that cause.
What are some other resources you would suggest if someone wanted to learn more about cannabis investing?
Green Market Report is the only cannabis website that provides access to multiple sources of cannabis analysis and the best analyst research reports for investors to use for when doing their homework. The basics of investing are the same for the cannabis industry as it is for any other industry. Learn how to read financial filings and do your homework before buying shares in a cannabis company.