Article by Jeremy Berke, Business Insider
On September 20, 2018, Derek Riedle, then the CEO of Civilized Worldwide, a cannabis media startup, was set to embark on a tour..He had just boarded a jet with the comedian Chelsea Handler at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, a popular spot for celebrities and wealthy executives.
The pair were heading to Calgary, Alberta, the first stop on a tour of seven Canadian cities where Riedle and Handler held town-hall-style events with thousands of people. Canada had just legalized cannabis, and the excitement was palpable.
The excitement helped the company pull in $7 million from prominent investors like Canopy Rivers, the venture arm of the biggest cannabis company, and celebrities like Handler. By spring 2018, former employees said the company had even taken steps to go public and touted its ability to reach over 2 million people per month.But a little more than a year after the Riedles toured Canada with Handler, they were closing up shop at Civilized.