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). (They also wrote a piece for Nieman Reports in 2017 about exemplary cannabis coverage, and created a course called Covering Cannabis in early 2018 for Poynter.)
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.