Don't call it "weed," and other tips from the Cannabis Media Summit
The first biannual Cannabis Media Summit took place a few weeks ago, hosted by Duane Morris, a law firm with a cannabis practice. Tickets cost a hundred and forty-nine dollars; the proceedings started at 9 a.m. in the firm’s midtown offices, which smelled not faintly of the subject. More than a hundred paying attendees turned out to hear journalists from outlets including dope (“Defending Our Plant Everywhere”), Mary (“the mature voice of cannabis culture”), High Times, and the Boston Globe speak on panels with titles like “Getting the Scoop” and “The Rise of Marijuana Podcasting.”
New York could become the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana, and attendees were optimistic. On a panel called “Financial Reporting on Publicly Traded Cannabis Stocks,” Bill Alpert, a writer for Barron’s, told the crowd, “It’s great fun to tour the grow houses. To put on the surgical masks and the shoe coverings.” He added, “Because I only ever used to see grow houses in indictments.” Nina Fern, a former currency broker who founded The Highly, which she describes as “a Michelin guide for the cannabis industry,” ended one conversation by offering a cannabis-infused mint.
The National Law Journal recently put out a list of cannabis-law trailblazers, which included David Feldman, a partner at Duane Morris, who moderated a panel called “Ethics in Cannabis Reporting.” Feldman tried warming up the crowd with a few jokes. Why did the pothead plant Cheerios? “Because he thought they were doughnut seeds!” Feldman said, to scattered laughs. He tried again: How do you get a one-armed stoner out of a tree? “Wave!” Feldman said. “These are not going over well.”
The panel featured three female freelance journalists. A young woman in the audience raised her hand. “I’m a reporter who’s been at mainstream outlets for seven years,” she said. “I’ve covered government, politics, and criminal justice. Now I’m going to be covering the cannabis beat.” Her question: “I’m just curious if you guys smoke weed with your sources. When you’re meeting them and they’re, like, ‘Do you wanna hit this?’ ”
Feldman interrupted, telling the panelists, “As your lawyer, I advise you not to answer that question.”
Sara Brittany Somerset, who writes for Forbes, was circumspect. “I have qualms about mainstream writers who are getting into cannabis lying to their sources and pretending that they use cannabis to be ingratiating,” she said.
Janet Burns, who writes for Leafly and hosts a podcast called “The Toke,” was more direct. “I’m down,” she said. “I’m not proposing there should be a budget for that, but—”
“A new journalism line item!” Feldman said.
Burns went on, “I definitely don’t think it should be compulsory in this field.”
Stu Zakim, the owner of a cannabis communications firm, asked for advice on changing “the way people refer to cannabis.” He added, “We need to eradicate the stigma.”
“We have a style guide,” Sirita Wright, a co-founder of a female-oriented site called EstroHaze, said. “In a perfect world, there’d be a task force diligently working on some A.P. standards.” She expressed sympathy for people who assume it’s called “weed.” “I get it. I used to call it that, too.”
Adrian Farquharson, the chief creative officer at Mary, weighed in. “It’s Cannabis sativa,” he said. “It’s not ‘pot,’ it’s not ‘weed.’ Call it by the plant’s name!” People clapped.
During the next panel, Dan Adams, from the Globe, grumbled, “I’m in a never-ending war with our copy desk to stop putting punny headlines on my stories.”
Attendees discussed preferred modes of consumption. Zakim said that he tends to use “flower”—the plant’s smokable buds—or “vaping if I have no choice.” Jyl Ferris, a cannabis marketer, described herself as “an indica-flower person, because I like the whole-body feeling.” Taylor West, a consultant, said she uses “a gummy at night, to help me fall back asleep.”
In a conference room, a group of industry representatives traded notes on best practices for vaping on airplanes. “You don’t have to necessarily worry too much about the smell,” advised one, a bearded young man who works for a company that makes cannabis-infused sublingual strips. He went on, “The visibility area from the flight crew is the seat tops and above. I usually exhale while I’m pretending to get something out of my bag down here”—he gestured to his feet—“because it gives you an extra foot or two of dissipation before it reaches above the seats.”
Several people nodded.
The bearded man pointed to a coworker. “He likes to use his drink,” he said. “And make it play off the ice cubes.”
The proceedings concluded around 5 p.m. Outside, it was hard to hail a cab. Walking felt nice.
Original Article by 420intel