Cannabis Wire co-founders Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian have covered cannabis intensively since 2010, for national and international publications. In November 2015, Cannabis Wire was awarded a Made in NY Entrepreneur Innovation Grant, funded by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Martin and Rashidian received a 2014-15 grant from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, a partnership between the Columbia Journalism School and the Stanford School of Engineering, to create a cannabis-based news game prototype. Subsequently, Cannabis Wire became a part of the incubator space at the Made in NY Media Center in Brooklyn, where the company is still based. Cannabis Wire also participated in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Internship Program, and former intern Magda Sewastianik is now Cannabis Wire’s developer.
The founders co-authored A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition (The New Press, 2014). The book received great praise, including a review in The New York Review of Books. They appeared as experts on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show and on the History Channel documentary Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way. They spoke about A New Leaf at The Cato Institute and at universities from coast to coast, in addition to giving a journalism-focused lecture called Covering Cannabis.