April 13, 2017 Last Updated 2:38 pm

David Downs, author of ‘The Medical Marijuana Guidebook,’ hired to be The San Francisco Chronicle’s first cannabis editor

‘David is one of the country’s best-sourced and most knowledgeable journalists covering cannabis, and he will help ensure that the Chronicle remains a top source for news and information about this emerging recreational market’

TNM runs news items (read: press releases) by placing them under the byline TNM News, including a dateline, but writing a somewhat “original” headline and subhead. But The San Francisco Chronicle’s headline for their announcement of the hiring of David Downs to be the paper’s first cannabis editor deserves to be reproduced, one way or another.

I’m also pretty happy to see the newspaper making a hire and announcing it. Hearst, who I used to work for way back when, does a pretty good job of making announcements on a regular basis, many other newspaper groups do not. That’s a shame.

Anyways… here is the announcement:


Photo: UC Berkeley Extension

SF Chronicle’s New Cannabis Editor Helps Readers Achieve a Green State of Mind

New Editor to Expand Chronicle’s Focus on Rapidly Growing Industry

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – April 13, 2017 — Leading the charge on coverage of the burgeoning cannabis industry, the The San Francisco Chronicle has hired award-winning journalist, best-selling author and industry expert, David Downs as its first cannabis editor.

The Chronicle expanded its cannabis coverage with a 24-page special section, which appeared on March 19; however, Green State will officially launch in May. It will highlight cannabis culture throughout the Bay Area, California, the seven other legalization states, and beyond. Green State will be the go-to source for anything and everything cannabis related including daily cannabis news, product reviews, medical, legal, lifestyle and cultivation information, and more.

“David is one of the country’s best-sourced and most knowledgeable journalists covering cannabis, and he will help ensure that the Chronicle remains a top source for news and information about this emerging recreational market,” said Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Audrey Cooper. “Adding David’s expertise to our newsroom provides all readers with the best reporting on Northern California lifestyle topics.”

Downs is the author of “The Medical Marijuana Guidebook” (2016, Whitman), co-author of “Marijuana Harvest” (2017, Quick American), and contributing author to the best-selling “Beyond Buds” (2014, Quick American). As a freelance journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, WIRED, The New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. For the past three years, Downs edited the marijuana blog Smell the Truth on SFGATE.com, and wrote the syndicated column Legalization Nation for the East Bay Express. He’s also been the senior editor of Cannabis Now Magazine, and co-founded The Hash podcast. Downs graduated from University of California Santa Barbara, and was a Fellow at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in the Academy of Alternative Journalism. He is based in San Francisco.

At the Chronicle, Downs’ reporting includes numerous facets and influences of cannabis in California. Beyond the impact of the legalization of cannabis on the industry, its users, and government, Downs also reports on the nuances of marijuana trends and major cannabis events in the Bay Area as well as senior access to medical marijuana, common medical cannabis terms, and more.

“Green State offers a fresh look at the topic and the culture around it,” said Chronicle Cannabis Editor David Downs. “We’re excited that we can serve readers everywhere who want to know how cannabis might affect their lives.“

With April 20, also known as 4/20 – cannabis enthusiasts’ national holiday – only days away, stay tuned for announcements of new cannabis media products from the San Francisco Chronicle.

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