In episode 39 of Investing in Cannabis, Brandon David interviews Trek Hollagnel, a co-founder of Dope Media, which publishes Dope Magazine, hosts events and curates products. The magazine is distributed in 24 states, with over 100K published each month, consisting of a national edition with local content provided in several markets as well.
Trek explained how the company’s original name has evolved over time. Originally the acronym stood for “defending our patients everywhere”, but the company has transitioned to “defending our plant everywhere.” The magazine originally filled a void in Washington’s market for cannabis advertising in 2011, and the word “dope” was selected, with the acronym following.
The five founders of the company were running an entertainment magazine and a dispensary but, by 2013, realized that the best path would be to focus on Dope Magazine. The company employs about 70 people in four offices, including the headquarters in Seattle as well as Colorado, Oregon and California.
One of the newer initiatives of the company has been its own branded accessories, like vaporizers. The company has limited edition runs of 5-10K units that are introduced about every three months. The Dope Cup and Dope Industry Awards help build Dope’s cannabis lifestyle brand. The company is contemplating “Dope TV” in order to boost its video presence.