Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Can Pot Save Denver’s Struggling Newspapers?

The city of Denver seems to have stumbled onto an unconventional model for sustaining its struggling newspaper industry: cashing in on all those freely-flowing medical marijuana dollars. Cannabis dispensaries need to advertise. Newspapers need advertising revenue. Ergo, ipso facto, a match made in heaven.

Denver-based public policy analyst and political strategist Jessica Corry, writing for the Huffington Post, explains this unlikely and fortuitous turn of events in the unfolding marijuana legalization saga.

Denver is a city in love with its newspapers. Even in 2009, many residents still cling to the scent and grime of fresh newspaper print. But as the recent loss of the city’s beloved Rocky Mountain News still lingers, the focus now turns to saving the publications remaining. In an ironic twist of fate worthy of its own front page feature, essential revenue could come from the most unlikely of sources. Marijuana.

Denver’s top alternative weekly, Westword, gets it. On both sides of its most recent edition’s back cover, 32 medical marijuana dispensaries advertised their services. In addition, in the publication’s “alternative healing” section, nearly nine additional pages were packed with similar plugs.

Patricia Calhoun, Westword‘s editor and public face, has no qualms about accepting dispensaries as advertising clients. “It’s first come, first served. No moratorium here,” she said, referencing current efforts by many Colorado cities, including Denver, to enact moratoriums on new dispensaries. Westword has become so popular for marijuana-related advertising that Calhoun says she has plans to release an inaugural guide focusing exclusively on medical marijuana as early as next month.

But Westword hasn’t just stopped there. It has shrewdly utilized the broader issue of medical marijuana to make a notable splash nationally. As the New York Times recently detailed, “Westword, an alternative weekly newspaper in Denver, has the standard lineup of film, food and music critics. But in what may be a first for American journalism, the paper is shopping around for a medical marijuana critic.” According to Calhoun, more than 250 people submitted formal applications for the post.

While medical marijuana may be the source of laughter to some, including late night comedian Conan O’Brien, who joked, “My one suggestion for the editors: Give the guy a deadline,” Calhoun and her colleagues are smart, picking up on what can only be described as marijuana’s gold rush.

But what does this mean for more mainstream publications, who appear conflicted about whether to accept such controversial advertising?

Read the whole article here.

Photo: Reuters

 

Related Articles:


The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More

How Carbon Farming Can Save the Planet

Carbon farming alone is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, but coupled with new economic priorities, a massive switch to clean energy, and big changes to much of the rest of the way our societies work, it offers a pathway out of destruction and a route to hope.Along the way carbon farming can also […] Read More

Look Under Your Feet for Global Soil-utions

For several years, Chelsea Green has been publishing books that look under our feet for solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing the planet – hunger, drought, degraded farmland and grasslands, damaged waterways, and much more. Those books focus on (mostly) one thing: Soil.  In 2016, we’ve published two more important books that […] Read More

Climate Change & the End of Stationarity

Just as predicting the rise of Donald Trump as a leading presidential candidate stumped even the best of political analysts (looking at you Nate “FiveThirtyEight” Silver), the advent of the Sixth Great Extinction due to climate change and an increasingly potent mix of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has completely upended how we predict the […] Read More

Use Simple Games to Better Understand Climate Change

How is it that emissions keep growing despite rising concern about the climate change they cause? It is possible to identify several reasons for the paradox, most of which lie outside the scope of The Climate Change Playbook. But one important reason is relevant here: people do not understand the behaviors of the climate system.And […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com