Cannabis Site 'Civilized' Locks Down $1M Funding

Civilized, a digital media company focused on cannabis culture for professionals, announced has raised $1 million in a Series A funding round. It is planning to raise up to $3 million during this capital raise from private investors.

Civilized, the digital magazine, targets wealthy, well-educated professionals who use marijuana, but skew older than millennials, separating it from other cannabis-focused sites, like High Times.

Stories range from “How To Deal With A Bad Cannabis Experience” to “Poll Shows Cannabis Consumers Defy Stereotypes, Exercise More Than Non-Users.”

Derek Riedle, founder and publisher of Civilized, told Publishers Daily the site is aimed at “motivated and productive folks who choose to use cannabis as part of a healthy lifestyle, but not defined by it.”

The site’s audience is mostly between 35 and 55, with a yearly household income of $150,000. TheCivilized audience is likely married and homeowners with teenage kids.

“There is an incredible opportunity in the cannabis industry to embrace people who are cana-curious - generally older people who have either not tried it or have tried it and have had somewhat of a bad experience... We really try to elevate the conversation around cannabis," Riedle said.

Civilized was founded in 2015 and is based in Los Angeles and New Brunswick, Canada.

Riedle, who has previously worked in PR, television and entertainment, said Civilized gives advertisers a chance to speak to “an entirely new category of consumers that’s existed in the shadows, but has never really been out there publicly.” He stated that investors are seeing the business opportunity in the marijuana industry as policies across North America continue to evolve.

"Brand wars are about to begin as companies try to win their loyalty," he said.

One of the lead investors and board members of Civilized is Mitch Fox, former group president of Conde Nast Publications and publisher of Vanity Fair.

The company plans to use the funding to develop its three businesses: digital publication, Civilized.life; branded content studio, Civilized Studios; and events business, Civilized Events.

“It’s nearly impossible to monetize traffic and eyeballs alone, so with the guidance of a board and Mitch Fox we are designing a media company that Conde Nast would build,” Riedle said.

Civilized reaches 500,000 unique visitors a month, with 2 million unique page views.

Cannabis is medically legal in 29 states in the U.S. and legal for recreation purposes in eight states. Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001; recreational cannabis will be legalized nationwide in 2018.
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