Gawker says William Breathes, the nation’s first medical marijuana critic, has the “best job in journalism,” which may be why he’s been featured by the New York Times, CNN and The Daily Show. Meet him at our panel about how to cover the medical marijuana industry. Breathes and Patricia Calhoun, editor of the Westword, are based in Denver, Colorado, the Wild West of “MMJ,” where there are more dispensaries than Starbucks'. We'll show you how to report on and earn revenue from the medical marijuana industry in your community in a way that's useful to all involved. We'll share advice about handling MMJ politics, culture and how the multi-million dollar industry sprang up around it. And yes, how to cover pot culture without pandering. MMJ still remains a taboo subject for the old guard of journalism, who at best cover pot with a wink and a nod. And finally, we'll talk about being a pot critic – which may not always be the best job in journalism, but it sure beats writing obits.
Medical Marijauan Critic, Village Voice Media/Denver Westword
William Breathes is the pot pen name for Denver Westword's medical marijuana dispensary critic. Since November 2009 when he was selected to be the first dispensary critic in the nation, he's been bringing weekly reviews of medical marijuana centers and the products they sell to Westword's online readers in his Mile Highs and Lows blog. Much like a restaraunt critic, he does his job anonymously (hence no photo) helping Colorado medical marijuana patients distinguish between high-end medical centers and shops that feel more like a college kid's dorm room. Through the use of social media networking and constantly being on top of the medical marijuana community news in Colorado, Breathes has also helped make Westword the first source for medical cannabis news, information, culture and opinion in the state.
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