The Boston Globe announced this week that they would dedicate a new vertical to all things weed.
“The Boston Globe creates a new section dedicated to marijuana coverage,” said a headline announcing the vertical Monday. The decision comes amid a rising tide of state legalizations and an industry that had ballooned to billions of dollars. Both factors were cited by the paper explaining their decision.
“Cannabis is growing to be a multi-billion dollar consumer business that is spreading across the United States, Canada, and elsewhere around the globe,” it said. “Almost half of New Englanders live in a state that has recreational laws on the books. Another roughly 20 percent live within a one hour drive of a state that has legalized recreational use.”
On Tuesday, Massachusetts became the first state in New England to allow recreational marijuana sales and the seventh in the U.S. Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana more than two years ago, but retail stores had to meet a number of rigorous conditions laid out by the state before opening, according to CBS News.
The Boston Globe has also announced that it is hiring a slew of new employees for the effort including two beat reporters, a digital producer and an editor.
“The Globe aims to provide coverage that will be indispensable reading for politicians, lobbyists, businesses, and activists in the Northeast while also being informative and a must-read for interested consumers,” Matt Karolian, director, New Initiatives and general manager for the marijuana vertical, said in the announcement. “This is an important segment, and I am pleased that the Globe is putting strong resources behind this coverage.”
The Globe’s decision makes it an early innovator among legacy publications to cover marijuana. Among digital first properties, however, weed coverage is already well-established. Properties like Vice Media have dedicated extensive resources to the subject for years – like this video of people smoking weed with a man who shares the same name as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Despite the statewide push for legalization, the drug remains a federally banned Schedule 1 narcotic, and is treated in the same category as heroin and LSD.