Welcome to Cannabis Wire, a news organization that will provide smart coverage of the booming, global cannabis industry.
As veteran journalists with nearly a decade on the cannabis beat, and the co-authors of one of the first books about legalization, A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition (The New Press, 2014), we’ve long felt that cannabis is, as we outline in our founding statement, rich territory for serious journalism.
After reporting in states with legal cannabis across the country for our book, we realized the story was moving faster than we anticipated. The book was published just as legal sales went live in Colorado, and what had been a story about a political movement was quickly turning to one about the birth of a billion dollar industry. The future of Cannabis Wire took shape: it would be a news organization that produced original industry news and analysis, watchdog coverage, and ambitious features—work that pushed the boundaries of the beat. (We wrote a piece for Nieman Reports in 2017 about exemplary cannabis coverage, and created a course called Covering Cannabis in early 2018 for Poynter, if you want to get a better sense of what we mean.)
As we built out our newsroom, we looked for an experienced, curious, and diverse team of journalists. We are excited to work with Mike Hoyt, former long-time editor of Columbia Journalism Review and current Columbia Journalism School adjunct, as our senior editor. Jeremy Borden will be covering the intersection of politics and cannabis, and Maria Murriel covering business. Isaac Fornarola is a fellow working on money and politics projects. We have two CUNY Journalism interns for the summer: Laura Olivieri Robles is on the intersection of health, science, and cannabis, and Ben Jay as our data reporter. We are working with correspondents across North and Latin America (Canada just became the second country in the world to legalize cannabis and sales go live in October), and we’re partnering with local newsrooms like Mendocino Voice.
We created our resource page because we’ve heard from journalists, regulators, and voters alike how challenging it is to find accurate, reliable information on cannabis as a result of the patchwork of laws across the country and globe. You’ll see that our page Cannabis: The Issues covers those critical areas where state and federal law collide, from banking and IRS hurdles to cannabis on tribal lands. There are timelines that will take you through the history of cannabis as medicine, for example, and the history of federal crackdowns. And if you’re curious about cannabis research taking place in the U.S. and abroad, we’ve compiled a list that we will continue to update. Bookmark the page and come back for more resources, like our glossary and more, soon.
As the cannabis industry grows, we plan to grow our coverage right along with it. Until then, sign up for newsletters, follow Cannabis Wire on Twitter, and let us know if there’s something that we should be covering: firstname.lastname@example.org (email for secure communication info).
Thanks for reading,
Alyson Martin & Nushin Rashidian