Cannabis Corner: 4 Must-Read Outlets For Your Daily News Dose

December 20, 2016

Welcome back to Cannabis Corner, a weekly column on the No BS Blog where we examine trending topics within the cannabis industry. If you’re late to the party, we’ve recently looked at a rising PR problem in the cannabis industry and how the 2016 election led to a plethora of thought leadership opportunities in November.

This week, we’re highlighting a handful of different outlets that we visit to check the pulse of the cannabis industry. A very important disclaimer before we dive in: contrary to the popular belief of my family members, there are a significant amount of reporters either partially covering or specializing in cannabis news, from those at Forbes and Fortune’s to strong local papers, blogs, and podcasts.  Throw in some phenomenal freelancers, advocates, and analysts – all of sudden one realizes how much cannabis news is widely covered.

We have a post Coming Soon that will provide a better handle on these individuals, but if you’re new to the cannabis industry and need recommendations about where to dip your toes, you’ve come to the right place. In no particular order, here we go:

 

The Cannabist

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Groundbreaking start, I know. As the Denver Post’s marijuana arm, The Cannabist made quite the splash when it launched in late 2013 on the heels of Ricardo Baca’s appointment as the country’s first “Marijuana Editor” (much to the chagrin of the 20-year vets at HIGH TIMES). With Colorado being the Launchpad for this new wave of cannabis legalization in the US – cue loud voices from California – The Cannabist quickly became the go-to source for breaking news and coverage of the entire industry.

From my perspective, a couple things have allowed The Cannabist to maintain its edge over the competition. The first has been its ability to strike a balance between covering national breaking news in the cannabis industry and strain reviews. This spectrum of coverage is a key factor that enabled The Cannabist to pass HIGH TIMES earlier this year in viewership numbers. It’s a one-stop shop for everything from political news to which vape or strain should be your go-to, and has found a way to do so without appearing illegitimate, pay-to-play, or simply “too stoner-y.” Secondary arguments: great sourced material from AP and contributors, a rising video department, and awards that all serve to make these folks a leading authority on the industry.

 

Marijuana Business Daily (MJ Biz Daily)

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Just plain news. MJ Biz Daily has fantastic insights into political and business stories that affect the cannabis industry, and it pays great attention to every corner of the market, from Alaska to Maine and even some international stories. Their roundup pieces are great for catching up on the week’s top stories – see also: Alex Halperin’s WeedWeek Newsletter – and they turn out the best infographics of anyone on this list. While not the place to land a nice, fluffy piece of coverage on that new vaporizer or list of budtender “do’s and don’ts”, I’d be hard pressed to find a better publication for keeping up with regulatory changes and individual markets across the country.

 

Leafly 

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Most folks associate Leafly with the strain review/dispensary finder function of this platform, but Leafly’s News section has spent some time under the knife the past 12-24 months. The result is a driven and incredibly sharp gang of cannabis editors and reporters with an ever-growing contributor network. Similar to The Cannabist, Leafly’s news section runs the gauntlet from breaking news to deeper political and health stories, along with product reviews, “Cannabis 101” tips, and pop culture news. They also commonly write stories that answer some of the more interesting questions in the industry – like the impact of legal cannabis on alcohol sales. Bonus points for being in the Pacific Northwest and for great individual Twitter accounts that lead to more news, opinions, and gifs.

 

Civilized

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We found Civilized during a search for places to pitch one of our local clients, Paper & Leaf. Now based out of LA, Civilized has some of the nicest writers and editors I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the cannabis industry. A relaxed website layout with great visuals and titles, I was drawn into their site even before their readership numbers began to resemble a hockey stick. Their editorial team always has their ears open for a good story, and no one will ever accuse them of a lack of content, with most reporters publishing what seems like 5-6 stories a day. Civilized also employs several staff members out of Canada and has kept great tabs on that emerging market in addition to happenings in the US. Civilized will be an even more compelling news destination when Justin Trudeau and the rest of Canada make concrete moves on cannabis policy.

While I spend more time on Twitter than I should admit scrounging around for cannabis news, these four sites give newcomers a great path to catch up on all the activity in the industry. With so many changes continuing to come down the pipe in a burgeoning market, it’s great to have some of the country’s best journalists pumping out such high-quality content. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a more comprehensive list of cannabis influencers, and more from the Cannabis Corner after the holidays.

Thanks for reading,

-Grady

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