Editors’ Note

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 below, 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.)

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 we formed our newsroom, we looked for an experienced, curious, and diverse team of journalists (see below). As the cannabis industry grows, we plan to grow our coverage right along with it. So, to see the most important cannabis industry and policy news in your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter, follow Cannabis Wire on Twitter, and let us know if there’s something that we should be covering: editors@cannabiswire.com.

Thanks for reading,

Alyson Martin & Nushin Rashidian

Founding Statement

Cannabis is rich territory for serious journalism. Legalization raises urgent questions about regulation and law, technology and taxation, science and business, criminal justice and individual liberties. It stands at the intersection of a booming billion-dollar industry and promising advances in medicine, all while remaining federally illegal.

That’s where Cannabis Wire comes in. Nushin Rashidian and Alyson Martin, the journalists who founded the publication, have been covering cannabis for national and international publications since 2010 and co-wrote one of the first books about legalization, A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition (The New Press, 2014).

Legalization is spreading across the country and the globe. Cannabis Wire will focus not on the arguments about whether cannabis should be legalized, but instead cover the robust debates over how. These debates all too often bypass voters, as the industry and its regulators, advocates, and opponents trade shots.

Cannabis Wire will also investigate the social and economic complexities that come with legalization, providing deep-dive analysis on evolving policy matters. It will serve as a watchdog over emerging influences and special interests in this rising industry. Our journalism is produced by veteran reporters and editors with a stake in an informed public—and not in the cannabis industry.

The team

Co-Founder and Editor

Co-author of A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition (The New Press, 2014). Bylines: The Atlantic, The New York Times, BuzzFeed News, and The Nation. Adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. @alysonrmartin

Co-Founder and Editor

Co-author of A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition (The New Press, 2014). Research lead of Platforms and Publishers project at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. @nushinrashidian

Senior Editor

Adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Journalism and editor of The Delacorte Review, a platform for narrative nonfiction. He is the former longtime editor of the Columbia Journalism Review. @michaelhoyt


A graduate student at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY. She previously reported on agriculture, sustainable development, and mental health in India.


LA native, graduated from Columbia Journalism School after working in education for several years. Her work has also appeared in La Opinión, the Columbia Journalism Review, and La Prensa Gráfica. @Julia_P_Barajas


Software Engineer with a Bachelors of Technology degree from NYCCT. Full-Stack Web Developer for Cannabis Wire. WordPress custom Theme and Plugin Developer. @MagdaSicknick

Cannabis Wire is working with freelance correspondents across the globe, and partnering with both local and large newsrooms. If you’re interested in working with our team, get in touch: editors@cannabiswire.com.