When I attended the University of Washington in the 1980s, I remember a professor lecturing about the importance of reading the news. One of his comments was that at the very least, reading the Sunday New York Times would put you ahead of most Americans in terms of understanding world events, politics, etc. I’ve been a reader ever since.
The Sunday, Nov. 19 edition of The Times featured an interesting column in the Opinion section titled “Our love affair with digital is over,” by David Sax, author of the book “The Revenge of Analog.” In the article, Sax points out that there is a big resurgence of analog products: print books have grown for three straight years, vinyl records are now selling 200,000 copies per week in the U.S., sales of print notebooks are growing, bookstores are on the rebound and even film cameras are making a comeback. What’s going on? The author points out that while analog is more expensive and cumbersome than digital, it offers a richer experience than anything delivered through a screen. I agree.
When we launched Marijuana Venture, we decided to focus on print. We did so for a number of reasons. One of the biggest was that we saw a huge number of digital e-zines, which all had a “me too” feel and lacked good, well-researched, original content. Nearly four years later, Marijuana Venture is thriving, and many of the e-zines are struggling to find revenues in a digital world cluttered with “fake news,” junk science, conspiracy theories and just plain garbage. We need look no further than the past presidential election cycle to see how fake digital information on social media platforms influenced the outcome of the election (and, YES, I actually know some people in this industry who voted for Donald Trump based on false stories like “Pizza Gate” that were passed around the Internet).
When I launched Marijuana Venture, I reached out to Garrett Rudolph who was the managing editor at a newspaper in Eastern Washington. Garrett is a university graduate with a degree in English. His newspaper background and academic credentials are real, and I quickly found out that he was serious about only printing articles he believed were worthy of the magazine. Junk science, articles based on anecdotal evidence and pay-to-play business profiles were not something he was willing to tolerate.
As the magazine editor, he has shot down articles I wanted to see run because he deemed them not credible or poorly written, and he’s willing to take me to task when it comes to content (although I agree with him about 99% of the time).
I’m sometimes asked why we don’t feature the cultivation writers you see in High Times and other pot magazines, and the answer is simple: There’s a huge difference between hobby growing — which is what you mostly see in High Times — and real commercial cannabis farming. One is like growing tomatoes in your backyard (and I’m pretty good at that myself) and the other would be akin to operating and managing a commercial tomato greenhouse (I’d be lost!). The former can be learned quickly from other hobbyists; the latter almost certainly requires lots of hands-on experience and, more often than not, a degree from a major university that has a well-regarded agriculture department.
As I’ve said before, failures in this industry are not reported on nearly as much as they should be, and the “gold rush” mentality is still the order of the day. At Marijuana Venture, we’re not here to be the “wet blankets” of the industry. We just want to make sure the information you read on these pages is accurate and worthy of printing.