New York Business Journal

The Fresh Toast online cannabis and lifestyle rag celebrates success at weed-free launch party

Posted: January 21, 2017

By: Patti Payne

Seattle’s Coterie WorkLounge hosted a celebration for, a mainstream lifestyle magazine with heaping helpings of cannabis content.

Seattle-based The Fresh Toast, which has its content office in New York City, is steadily gaining traction in the industry since its official start on Oct. 5.

TFT Publisher JJ McKay said he saw a need for a high-end cannabis lifestyle site, did his research and put it together.

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Yahoo! Finance

Will Donald Trump send the marijuana industry up in smoke?

Posted: November 17, 2016

By: Alexis Christoforous

Pot may have been a big winner in the 2016 elections, but what will the budding marijuana industry look like under a Trump presidency?

“[The election] was a giant deal for the industry as a whole and a surprise to a lot of people,” said Kelly Barbieri, editor-in-chief of the online cannabis magazine, The Fresh Toast. “We had the red states passing medical marijuana, which means we’re going across party lines and across economic lines,” Barbieri tells me in the video above.

In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 41% of Republicans support use of medical marijuana. By the time Donald Trump is inaugurated January 20, 2017, one in five adults will be living in a state where medicinal marijuana is legal.

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Yahoo! Finance

It’s time to invest in cannabis right now: trader

Posted: October 25, 2016

By: Alan D. Valdes

Picking the cannabis winners

How does the average investor navigate his way though all this noise and smoke out the real winners? This a currently a market that is quite saturated. In Colorado, there are more marijuana shops than Starbucks.

One of the best tools out there is, which reviews the long list of small publicly-traded companies and highlights the ones that are both well-managed and well-financed. Another site is The Fresh Toast, an online magazine that caters to the lifestyle of the younger cannabis generation.

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New York Post – Page Six

Publisher launches online cannabis magazine

Posted: October 16, 2016

By: Richard Johnson


Publisher JJ McKay served hashless brownies at the launch of his online mainstream cannabis magazine at Campeon, so guests wanting to sample “Sour Diesel” or “Larry Bird” had to step outside.

Public Enemy’s Keith Shocklee said, “The fact that pot is still illegal in some parts of this country is ridiculous . . . I think the reason it hasn’t been fully legalized is that the government wants to figure out how to control it and make all the money.”

Guests buzzing about pot included Broadway producer Wendy Federman, singer Kwame Binea and Thomas “Mister Manners” Farley.

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The Martha Stewart of pot? Seattle entrepreneur JJ McKay launches cannabis lifestyle brand ‘The Fresh Toast’

Posted: October 12, 2016

By: Monica Nickelsburg

JJ McKay and an impressive suite of investors believe there’s serious demand for a cannabis lifestyle brand that’s decidedly more Martha Stewart than Snoop Dogg.

To fill that need, the Seattle startup advisor and relationships guru launched The Fresh Toast. The online media company is 50 percent light-hearted, shareable mainstream content and 50 percent information targeted at casual cannabis users and people interested in marijuana as medicine.
The Fresh Toast is headquartered in Seattle and its main content office is in New York City. A beta version of the site is live, with sections like “Hot Mess,” “HighWay” and “Rx.”“Doing research, I realized that if we can present information to the groups, the demographics that we had identified in a way that they were used to, they would come and we could help transform and redefine the industry and be a market-maker like Martha Stewart,” said McKay, who is well known in Seattle philanthropic circles.

The Rx vertical, which provides advice and resources related to medicinal marijuana, is a key revenue source for the company. The Fresh Toast plans to use its Rx directory services and advertising to generate initial profits. Eventually, the company will add live entertainment (The Fresh Toast Stage), sponsored events, a marketplace, and data research as revenue sources.

The Fresh Toast’s target audience sees cannabis “as one facet of their daily life,” says McKay. “It’s not a definer. They look at it like vodka or lattes or aspirin.”

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FOX5 New York

Brooklyn-based marijuana website launches

Posted:Oct 05, 2016

By: Sharon Crowley

A new digital publication launched Wednesday. The Fresh Toast is aimed at readers who want to know more about medical and recreational marijuana.

JJ McKay is the founder and publisher. He says the online magazine, which has an office in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, is trying to appeal to mainstream cannabis users not traditionally served by so-called stoner magazines.

The publication also has a directory where you can buy medical marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. He insists the site is not pushing pot smoking, which is still illegal in most states. McKay says the publication doesn’t take a position on advocating for pot use; instead it is education people on it.

About 6,000 people have already checked out the fresh toast website. Its founders expect that number to grow.

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Crain’s New York Business

Cannabis lifestyle site aims for wide audience

The Fresh Toast launches Wednesday with posts on how not to get too high on cannabis-infused edibles and other tips for the new marijuana consumer

Posted: October 4, 2016

Cannabis culture continues to go mainstream: Lifestyle site The Fresh Toast debuts Wednesday with content geared to the growing number of marijuana users who don’t identify as outlaws or stoners.

The company has been publishing a beta version out of its editorial headquarters in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn for the past few weeks. Subject matter ranges from “Will cannabis make me fat?” to cute animal videos and posts on Drake, Stephen Colbert, “novelty hamburgers” and how to safely consume cannabis-infused edibles.

The site’s launch is timed to take advantage of changes in the public’s attitude toward the drug that may accelerate come November. New York legalized medical marijuana in 2014. Five states, including California and Massachusetts, have measures on the ballot that would legalize recreational use and another four states will be voting on medical marijuana programs. A total of 25 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized pot in one form or another.

Entrepreneurs and investors have been rushing to create products targeting a middle-of-the-road crowd.

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  2016 Cannabis, The Constitution & The Courts Show Audio

Al Olsen, Cannabis Editor for The Fresh Toast is interviewed

Politico Morning Media

September 26, 2016

By: Joe Pompeo

FIRST IN MORNING MEDIA — This ain’t your father’s High Times: Seattle socialite and business consultant JJ McKay has created a new website devoted to cannabis coverage, with a mix of lifestyle, entertainment, comedy and food & drink thrown in for good measure. The Fresh Toast has been quietly publishing in beta in recent weeks ahead of an official October 4 launch that McKay says will deliver a weed publication targeting the non-stoner set. “Everyone in the digital space is embracing stoner culture,” or coming at pot from a policy angle, McKay told Morning Media.

McKay is a 48-year-old first-time publisher and former non-profit fundraiser who served as an advisor to Tina Brown in the Newsweek-Daily Beast era. (“A force of nature,” Brown said when we asked about him.) McKay said he’s raised $2 million so far out of a planned $2.8 million initial round, enough to hire a New York-based staff of about 10, including Kelly Barbieri (formerly of High Times and Haute Media) as The Fresh Toast’s editor in chief, and Maccabee Montandon, a former Fast Company editor behind the popular web series “Ocean Parkway.” Notable investors and advisers include Dan Nordstrom, of the Nordstrom family; Jeff Barish, a Condé Nast veteran; and Carolyn Kelly, a former president of The Seattle Times.

With marijuana legalization on the rise, McKay thinks the timing is ripe for a publication that will treat weed like others do food or wine. But he doesn’t need Morning Media to tell him how crowded and punishing the digital-publishing space is right now. That said, The Fresh Toast will derive only a portion of its revenue from traditional ads and content marketing, with much of it expected to come from a paid directory of vendors, physicians and other pot-related things. As for the name, “It’s hard to get mad at toast,” said McKay.

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