Who are the Cannabis Wire founders?
Nushin Rashidian grew up in California, which became the first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996, and saw up close the country’s early days of legal cannabis.
Alyson Martin grew up in upstate New York. In college, she got started in local journalism, and became fascinated with the policymaking process at the state capitol in Albany.
We met at Columbia University’s journalism school just over a decade ago and got talking about the rising number of states that had legalized medical cannabis, and the seemingly inevitable swing toward legal adult use. We had a million questions, and we wanted to capture this historic moment.
So, together, we hit the road and traveled from coast to coast to report for what became one of the first books to document the increasing pace of debate about legal cannabis in the U.S. It’s called A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition, and it was published by The New Press in 2014.
That same year, Colorado launched the country’s first adult use sales and we knew there was so much more to the story. How would this work? What would the rules be? How would taxes work? What would be the effect on the communities that had been hit hard by the War on Drugs? Would neighborhoods welcome these legal shops or ban them? And on and on. We had already thought about launching a news organization about cannabis — we even came up with the name Cannabis Wire back in 2012 — so we decided to make it a reality.
With the help of grant funding — including from Columbia and Stanford, and from the Made in NY Media Center/NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment — we got our newsroom off the ground.
What is Cannabis Wire? How is it different?
Every single day, and with every single story, we bring this decade of experience in journalism and expertise on cannabis to our reporting. This includes what we choose to cover, and how we cover it, as well as what we choose not to cover. We sift through the noise — of which there is plenty in the world of cannabis information — to bring our readers only what matters.
Importantly, we’re independent. We’re not industry stakeholders or advocates. Our priority as journalists is to explain to our readers what is happening and why it matters, so they can be as informed as possible.
We also focus primarily on regulation, research, and equity. We’ve made this choice because these areas of decision-making will be the pillars on which national — and global — legalization will succeed or fail, when it comes to fruition.
Why is Cannabis Wire reader-supported and newsletter-first?
News organizations typically rely on two primary sources of revenue: advertising and/or subscriptions. We believe that the latter provides for a more meaningful relationship between a news organization like ours and our readers. We prefer for our readers to support us because we provide value, not to get paid for their clicks. It allows us to focus on quality, not quantity.
For $1 a day — less than a cup of coffee — our readers can subscribe to stay on top of everything they need to know about developments in the world of cannabis regulation and research with unlimited access to our daily reporting and archives. For non-profits, students, and educators, among others, we offer discounts, too.
Our Cannabis Wire Daily newsletter, published every weekday morning since 2018, brings the latest developments to the inboxes of regulators, public health officials and researchers, members of the cannabis industry, and other stakeholders from business to law.
Our readers who subscribe tend to stay with Cannabis Wire. Many of our supporting readers have been with us for years. We thank them and we welcome the new ones.