Media Moves

Politico Pro establishes team of reporters to cover cannabis industry

September 9, 2019

Posted by Yvonne Zacharias

Politico Pro has established a team of journalists to cover the burgeoning cannabis industry, according to reports.

“It’s a heavily regulated industry and a very rapidly changing one and it also sort of intersects with every policy area that Politico already covers,” cannabis editor Paul Demko says. “We also see a void in the media treating this like a multibillion-dollar, heavily regulated industry rather than an excuse to make weed jokes.”

Demko is a familiar byline at Politico, moving from his role as a healthcare reporter. He is joined by federal cannabis policy reporter Natalie Fertig and state cannabis policy reporter Mona Zhang.

Fertig has written about cannabis policy for Rolling Stone and Politico Magazine, and Zhang is the founder of daily cannabis newsletter Word on the Trees, with cannabis bylines in the Outline and Forbes.

“It‘s the ultimate policy job because it’s completely new,” Fertig says. “It’s a fruition of covering things that already existed in politics and now moving into something that doesn’t exist. It’s a new challenge.” 

One of those challenges is covering an industry that remains illegal on the federal level, even as 11 states have legalized it. In addition to Fertig and Zhang, Politico’s network of state bureaus and Canada (where weed is legal) will also contribute reporting.

The on-line national policy publication reaches 27,000 readers who access its coverage through the subscriptions of 4,500 businesses, organizations, associations, and universities.

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