Budding business

Posted on May 19, 2016 | Darren Campbell | 0 Comments

Pot is hot in North America, and Saint John’s Derek Riedle is looking to capitalize on the trend.

In September of 2015, Riedle and his partner Terri Riedle launched Civilized.life, a website featuring stories about pot users and pot issues. The Riedles, co-owners of Saint John-based Revolution Strategy, a creative and marketing company, know a business opportunity when they see one. “This is a market that is increasingly coming out of the shadows and it’s leading to some impressive entrepreneurial opportunities,” Riedle says.

Indeed. In Canada, the total market for medical marijuana is perhaps $80 to $100 million. But if the federal government makes recreational use legal, the market could be worth $5 billion. And that’s just in Canada. One research report says legal sales of marijuana in the U.S. could reach US$21.8 billion by 2020.

The Riedles recognize it’s more than just society’s fringe who enjoy pot — it’s teachers, lawyers, engineers, and executives, too. These high achievers (and high earners) are hungry for information about recreational marijuana use. The Riedles hope they come to Civilized to get it. As of March, the site had 1.5 million unique visitors, and it is being run out of Civilized’s Saint John headquarters with 15 employees. The company also has a small Los Angeles office.

While Riedle talks about Civilized being a vehicle for social change, it also has to make money to survive. The website is already hawking Civilized-branded t-shirts, mugs and totes, and more content and revenue opportunities will be rolled out over the next 12 months. It is also working with New York-based venture capital firm Viridian Capital Advisors to get more investment dollars into Civilized. “We’re thrilled about where we are and you’re going to see a lot of exciting news from Civilized here in the near future,” Riedle says.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment policy

Comments are moderated to ensure thoughtful and respectful conversations. First and last names will appear with each submission; anonymous comments and pseudonyms will not be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that Atlantic Business Magazine has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. Publication of a comment does not constitute endorsement of that comment. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


With ABM

Help support the magazine and entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada.


Stay in the Know

Subscribe Now

Subscribe to receive the magazine and gain access to exclusive online content.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty