Starting a disruptor event for Cannabis Brands and Retailers, MJ Unpacked, with Co-Founders George & Kim Jage - Lit Up Founders

Episode 26

Starting a disruptor event for Cannabis Brands and Retailers, MJ Unpacked, with Co-Founders George & Kim Jage

Being an entrepreneur is tough! Start that same business in Cannabis and it’s at least 10x more difficult. What about starting a business with your spouse as a co-founder and business partner? Maybe try to start an in-person events company a month before a global pandemic?

Yeah… George & Kim Jage have done all that. Still love each other! And after two events in Las Vegas and New York, they are onto something disruptive, and are returning to Las Vegas this September!

Kim is the energetically connected to the Universe type. Someone who would choose a college major to travel and understand the humans of this world better. She loves people, their energy, and sharing their passions. George is the stolen motorcycles, gas station weed, mushroom walks with undercover cops kind of guy, who unsurprisingly always got himself into trouble. In doing so he built a key skill of how to get out of it and that essential “make it work” drive that helped him start many successful businesses.

Following her passion for plant medicine, their meeting at a Tea expo George was running was predicted by Marcus, Kim’s naturopathic friend. The connection was immediate! The resulting story is how they came to start a journey as life and business partners, pandemics and all. 

Please enjoy the founders journey of starting a disruptor event for Cannabis Brands and Retailers, MJ Unpacked, with co-founders George & Kim Jage

Professional Summary:

Kim Jage is an award-winning B2B brand developer and marketing executive. She is co-founder and chief marketing officer at Jage Media, as well as their affiliated cannabis CPG trade show, MJ Unpacked, and their media arm, MJ Brand Insights, which provides news and intel to cannabis industry professionals. Empathetic, energetic, and innovative, Kim is an expert in messaging and developing meaningful connections that build community and deliver return on investment. Prior to founding Jage Media and its properties, Kim was partner and vice president of sales & marketing at World Tea Media, director of sales & marketing at F+W Media, and president of Frost Jage Consulting. Under Kim’s leadership, World Tea Expo was three times named Fastest 50 by Tradeshow Week Magazine. Kim has won numerous awards in advertising and brand development. She was named Expo Elite by Expo Magazine in 2013. Kim holds a Bachelor in International Politics from Hofstra University and is a certified yogi trained under the guidance of acclaimed practitioner Annie Carpenter. She enjoys spending quality time with her family, photography, hiking, and traveling, extensively — Kim’s traveled to over 35 countries! For more information, please visit:

George Jage is an award-winning event producer and media executive with nearly 3 decades of experience. He was a founding partner and lead executive for the Off-price Show (’93-’01) and World Tea Media (’02-’14. George entered the cannabis industry in 2014 as President of MJBizDaily and was the lead architect of MJBizCon from 2014 through 2017, scaling the event from 20 table tops to over 100,000 net sq ft of exhibits at the Las Vegas Convention Center. George went on to serve as CEO of Dope Media and lead the sale of company assets to High Times Holding Corp in 2018. In 2018, George launched an exclusive microcap event to help drive investment into the growing number of publicly traded cannabis companies. In his latest media play, George launched Jage Media in partnership with his wife, Kim Jage, to meet the needs of the market and provide focused events to the CPG brands and retailers driving the industry forward.

Company Summary:

All it takes is a spark. MJ Unpacked is the first cannabis event of its kind that places passionate cannabis retailers and THC CPG brands at the center of it all, with unique opportunities to connect, collaborate and access capital. In a newly imagined format, executives are free to learn from fellow professionals, explore expansion opportunities and prepare to be competitive in a national market. MJ Unpacked hosted its inaugural conference in October of 2021 in Las Vegas, featuring over 100 nationally-recognized THC CPG brands. MJ Unpacked was founded by George Jage, former president of MJBizDaily/MJBizCon and CEO of Dope Media, and Kim Jage, former EVP & CMO of World Tea Media, with the goal of filling the gap where brands and retailers convene to drive the future of the industry, capturing the next stage of market growth and delivering a true return on investment and objectives. For more information, please visit: and 


  • "It's not a show, it's an event" - Kim Gage

Top 5 Articles/Interview with our Guest:

  1. MJ Unpacked Brings Its Cannabis Conference for the First Time to NYC
  2. MJ Unpacked Rocks New York: CPG Cannabis, Brand Innovation, and Cultural Touchstones From David Korins to Ghostface Killah
  3. Unpacking the MJ Unpacked Conference in NYC
  4. MJ Unpacked: The Secret to Successful Cannabis Events
  5. MJ Unpacked Founder George Jage is creating better events
  6. At MJ Unpacked, the Big Apple Gets a Taste of the Cannabis Business

Inspirational Founders:

Kim Jage, Co-Founder & CMO at MJ Unpacked

George Jage, Co-Founder & CEO at MJ Unpacked

MJ Unpacked

Brian Weber, Producer & Host, Lit Up: A Founder's Journey

Listen to the episode here or on our website for links to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Pocket Casts or RSS to your favorite podcast app.

About the Podcast

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Lit Up Founders
A show about the founders of the Modern Cannabis Industry and the Organizations they are building.

About your host

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Brian Weber

In addition to producing and hosting Lit Up Founders. Brian is the Director of Omnichannel Strategy and Partnerships for Flourish Software, a leading ERP Seed-to-sale Software company serving Cannabis and Hemp operators up and down the supply chain.

Prior to Flourish, through his company Digital Realty, Brian served the Retail and Hospitality Industries as a technology and business consultant focusing on POS, eCommerce, Payments, Loyalty, and other related services for the past 9 years.

In researching the Cannabis Industry, largely because of its Federal status and history in the US, he was fascinated in seeing what the entrepreneurs were building. With his experience as an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurship, some background in broadcast radio, and a love for the amazing medium of podcasts (especially "How I built this" by Guy Raz); all converged to create the spark moment that spawned Lit Up Founders. I hope you enjoy!

Brian holds a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Rutgers University Business School. He currently lives in Jersey City, New Jersey with his dog Zeke.