In case you weren’t aware, public perception of the world’s most popular weed is changing.
Since the states of Colorado and Washington effectively legalized the possession and consumption of cannabis, an endless number of related businesses have sprung up to take advantage of a market newly illuminated by the (grow)light of day.
In fact, just over a month ago we spoke to friend of the site and Clear founder Andrew Graham about his plans to launch an advocacy group best described as “the NRA for Cannabis.”
But what about the journalists covering this brand-new industry?
Glad you asked: we recently spoke to Ricardo Baca of The Denver Post. He serves as the head of The Cannabist, or the first news vertical dedicated entirely to the culture and business of marijuana.
Selected quotes after the jump.
On the operational side of The Cannabist:
We have about a dozen freelancers: two freelance pot critics; one product critic; one freelance hemp writer; a style/fashion writer; and food writers who contribute once a week.
You’ll see how incredibly professional all of this looks: for example, our food writer is a professional chef and photographer who provides a nice diverse set of recipes for cooking with cannabis. We also have freelancers who write about video games and entertainment, and we’ve begun working with a writer who will bring more music coverage into the fold.
We also have an advice columnist: people write her with questions like, ‘If I get high and fail a drug test, can I get fired?’ or ‘Will I fail a drug test if I use cannabis-infused massage lotion?’
On receiving product samples with pitches:
Some imagine a world in which people are constantly dropping off eighths or edibles or gear at our desks in the hope that we post something, but that hasn’t happened once. We do receive product samples on occasion.
Ben Livingston, who writes our gear reviews, needs to try the products personally, so he does receive product samples. I don’t know whether he keeps them or sends them back, and I don’t care because he does a great job.
We don’t usually hear directly from growers because, under current law, all of the growers are linked with specific sellers. Makers of edible products, on the other hand, contact us often; I’m currently working on a piece right now about low-dosage product, because there’s been a lot of controversy about edibles.
On the most surprising fact about his job:
Many people hear about what I do and think, ‘Oh, you must have all the free marijuana you can smoke and you must get high at work.’ But I only eat it; I don’t smoke it — and it’s not a regular thing.
Click through for the full interview via our sister site Fishbowl NY.