Canna Law Blog

Farewell, Cannabis Chronicles and other news

With a headline like that, you know where this is going. Yes, after a little more than four glorious months of running Cannabis Chronicles, I’m calling it quits here at The Columbian.

For more than the past decade of my life, I wanted to be a writer. To get paid to sit on my butt and tell stories to the masses all day, who doesn’t want that? And what more exciting way to BE a writer than to work in the maddeningly frenetic world of journalism in the 21st century.

I never thought I’d leave the industry so soon.

Don’t get me wrong. Nothing went so horribly awry here for me that I’d storm out of the building after publishing this post. In fact, I’ll really miss this crew, and sometimes even newsrooms in general. This newsroom in particular is full of good, talented people, so keep reading their stories. Seriously, they do important work for this community.

The fact is, though, it’s just hard to make a living in this industry today. If you pay attention to the news, I’m sure you’ve heard all about the struggles newspapers face in the digital age. Just last week, I read four stories about four separate major daily newspapers around the U.S. having their own fresh rounds of layoffs

That’s not happening here at The Columbian, of course, but looking at the signs all around the news business and thinking long-term about my future, I figured now is as good a time as any to try something different. So, I’m off to do just that in marketing. Next week, I’ll become the communications counsel for a public affairs marketing firm in Portland.

Of course, even though I’m leaving The Columbian and Cannabis Chronicles, I’ll always be a writer. So, keep an eye out for my byline in the blogosphere. I’ll be out there somewhere.

Now, what would a goodbye be without a shout out to the person who gave me this awesome opportunity to begin with? Big thanks to former Columbian reporter Sue Vorenberg, who created Cannabis Chronicles and then took me under her wing before flying off to join the recreational marijuana industry.

After helping Main Street Marijuana launch a new website this summer, Sue split off to do her own thing. Now, she’s running a new cannabis consumer news and education site called Cannabis Daily Record.

“The goal of CDR is to provide cannabis consumer news for adults, especially those age 30 and older,” Sue said via email. “A very large portion of the consumer information in this market is aimed at young people in their 20s. But we already know at least half of the consumer market is mature adults – Gen X, Baby Boomers – and we wanted to make a news site for them.”

The site also includes commentary, reviews of strains and concentrates, and a wide array of other resources and information on the recreational marijuana industry. You’ll find posts with tips ranging from which strains may help ease back pain and fight stress to insider advice for anyone looking to join the industry.

Sue also aims to help consumers develop a deeper appreciation for the nuances of cannabis, like the interplay between different cannabinoids. The taste. The scents. The affects. Even the science behind the plant.

“Gourmet cannabis isn’t about binging or getting as high as possible,” she said. “It’s about using cannabis sensibly to enhance a wide array of experiences, whether that be meditation, nature hikes, dinner parties or even just watching TV.”

If you haven’t seen Cannabis Daily Record yet, check it out. And stay tuned for more marijuana coverage from The Columbian, because the industry should be in for another wild year of new changes.

Well, I guess that’s about it for me. Covering Washington’s grand experiment with the budding recreational marijuana industry has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life. Not everybody likes the idea of legal marijuana, but everyone can agree that it’s fascinating stuff.

It’s not every day that a reporter gets a chance to watch a huge untested industry grow from the ground up. And well, that’s exactly what I got to do here for the past four and a half months.

Thanks for reading.

– Justin Runquist