I may be a cynical prick, but I’m also somewhat of an optimist, at least when it comes to the commercialization of cannabis.
I have been thumbing through old weed mags in preparation for this year’s NECANN cannabis expo at the Hynes Convention Center this weekend. As part of the DigBoston setup we’ll have some dusty heady rags on hand, including several produced by the Dig. Holy shit have we been at this for a while.
As I am obligated to remind readers by the hipster code of the alternative press, we were reporting on the plant and its enthusiasts since Pluto was a planet. I mention this newspaper’s track record, as well as my own as a longtime reporter who has covered the topic along with innumerable sub-issues ranging from edible reviews to municipal permitting news, not just for recognition but so that it lends perspective to my offering a somewhat controversial comment like the following: the weed scene isn’t quite the hopelessly lost corporate cause that some well-meaning activists argue the industry has become over the last five or so extremely long years, nor is it the glamorous green bright future Xanadu that someone who (whether due to no fault of their own or because they didn’t care enough about trees to lend a hand in their liberation) takes the fact that you can simply walk into a store and buy a joint in towns across the Commonwealth for granted.
Stick with me for a second, I’ll explain further. As a journalist who has interviewed hundreds of people from all corners of the cannabis world, it’s been interesting to hear the haves lament about the have-nots and vice-versa. I may be a cynical prick, but I’m also somewhat of an optimist, at least when it comes to the commercialization of cannabis. As far as I see it, there is plenty of money and action for everyone, including the major companies that keep on buying up the smaller players here and elsewhere. I’m the editor of a progressive independent rag, so of course my heart is with equity applicants and local craft shops and ancillary ops. But while we will continue amplifying those kinds of companies and supporting dispensary workers and consumers, we’re also not afraid to point out that the new big business of cannabis is no more or less sleazy than the preceding illicit market. It just has a newer, more distinguished look.
In any case, we hope this issue packs in some of all of the above, from the hope and highlights to the despair, spanning the sleekest counters in New England to spots with that warm neighborhood feel. In here you’ll read about some products from the biggest companies in cannabis, and you will also meet young startup entrepreneurs and creatives angling for their slice of the pie.
Needless to say, the pie is infused.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.