Politico is launching cannabis coverage, hires two
Politico Pro editor Marty Kady sent out the following announcement on Friday:
We have exciting news to announce on our newest vertical: We’ve hired Paul Demko to be the first ever Pro Cannabis editor, and Natalie Fertig to join the team as a cannabis beat reporter.
This new vertical is already getting a lot of buzz in the Pro readership community, and we expect to make a big splash with our September newsletter launch, followed by an October Pro launch when the paywall goes live. The Pro Cannabis vertical will be unique in the industry, as it will be one of the only truly national policy reporting teams focused on the dynamic, complicated and booming cannabis industry.
Marijuana is legal or semi-legal in 34 states while still being illegal at the federal level. That makes things … complicated. Every state and many localities around the country are struggling to figure out how to regulate, legislate and navigate this issue. That’s where Pro comes into play. With our new staff of three journalists, plus regular contributions from our states teams, we’ll be covering all the movement in the federal government and the 50-state patchwork of laws and regulations for cannabis. We’ll also differentiate ourselves by focusing solely on policy – not on the cultural issues surrounding marijuana – with a targeted audience of policy professionals who need to navigate issues about cannabis, marijuana and hemp.
Most of you already know Paul, who has been a health care reporter for POLITICO Pro since 2015, primarily responsible for covering the insurance industry. Prior to joining POLITICO, he was the Washington bureau chief at Modern Healthcare. Paul also spent a decade reporting in Minnesota, including stints with Politics in Minnesota and City Pages. He started his career at The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Paul has helped us pitch this vertical, and worked closely with our product and sales team every step of the way.
Before coming to POLITICO, Natalie could be found most recently writing about cannabis policy for Rolling Stone, POLITICO Magazine and other outlets. She’s also worked with Pro Sales’ marketing team on a report on the state of the cannabis industry, so she’ll be a plug and play expert on the topic. Natalie previously reported for Circa and for McClatchy, where she covered the 2016 campaign. Natalie is a graduate of CUNY’s Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, and originally hails from the beautiful state of Washington.
We still have one more opening to fill, and will be making a decision in the coming weeks on that position, so stay tuned.